Dialogic Reading

Reading_Mama_ChildDialogic reading is a term that refers to a specific technique of reading encouraging active participation. We know from research that children who actively participate in reading improve reading skills and vocabulary, and learn more expressive language, among other benefits. So how is dialogic reading different from reading aloud to your child? It’s interactive, using open-ended questions. This article from Reading Rockets explains in more detail.

Here’s an example:
“Imagine that the parent and the child are looking at the page of a book that has a picture of a fire engine on it. The parent says, “What is this?” while pointing to the fire truck. The child says, “truck” the parent follows with “That’s right-it’s a red fire truck. Can you say fire truck?”

Follow these steps for a richer reading experience with your child:
1. Ask “what” questions
2. Ask open-ended questions
3. Expand upon what the child says


3 thoughts on “Dialogic Reading

  1. I like and use Bakhtin’s dialogic understanding with text. But I have watched some parents & teachers turn every book into a reading lesson: forgetting that the entry point of textual literacy is most often pleasure.

    1. I agree. We often get hung up on teaching those lessons. Kids are more motivated to read what interests them and captures their imagination- what’s relevant. I’m not familiar with Bakhtin, so will be looking into it- thanks!

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