Dynamics Therapy Centre for Kids
Issue 75 | September 2020
Diologic reading and Language Development

Dialogic reading is an interactive process of engaging children in conversations about books they read. It involves asking questions, learning new words, and having a discussion about the story.

Besides being fun and enjoyable in relation to traditional book reading, the following benefits of dialogic reading have been found:

  • Dialogic reading improves comprehension (understanding) skills in children. Studies show that asking children wh-questions about a story and discussing the answers increases the child’s understanding of different question types and also the ability to retain information in their heads.
  • As children learn new words through active participation, the interactive process of dialogic reading is a great platform for them to learn more words to express themselves. The strategies in dialogic reading allow parents/teachers to evaluate the child’s responses, provide constructive feedback, and build on the child’s existing language. This in turn develops the understanding and use of new words.
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Speech Therapists - Abigail Chan Abigail Chan
Speech Therapists

Bachelor of Speech Pathology

Abigail is a speech therapist who graduated from the University of Sydney, Australia, with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology). Abigail is passionate about working collaboratively with her clients and their significant others to achieve her client’s communicative best.

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How to facilitate dialogic book reading at home:

Meal Tip

Prompt: Prompt your child to say something about the book.
E.g. “What do you see?”

Some ways you can prompt your child include:

  • a. Sentence completion
    Encourage your child to complete a phrase
    e.g. “I see a ___.”

  • b. Recall
    Ask questions about the book that the child has already read e.g. “Can you remember what happened to the truck?”

  • c. Open-ended questions
    Ask your child to describe what they see in the book

  • d. Wh-questions
    ‘who’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions

  • e. Distancing
    Ask questions from the story that relate to everyday life.

Evaluate: Evaluate your child’s responses. 
E.g. “That’s right! Truck.”

Expand: Expand on your child’s responses by adding more information to what they say.
E.g. Child: “truck”. Parent: “Red fire truck!”

Repeat: Encourage the child to repeat the expanded response.
E.g. “Red fire truck. You say!”

Whitehurst, G.J. (2002). Dialogic Reading: An Effective Way to Read Aloud with Young Children.
Retrieved from https://www.readingrockets.org/article/dialogic-reading-effective-way-read-aloud-young-children

Morgan, P., & Meier, C. (2008). Dialogic Reading's Potential to Improve Children's Emergent Literacy Skills and Behavior. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education For Children And Youth, 52(4), 11-16. doi: 10.3200/psfl.52.4.11-16

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