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Dialogic Reading
Introducing the Strategy

Click here to view the Standards for Four-Year-Olds

Related Standards for Four-Year-Olds

IV. Language, Communication, and Emergent Literacy

  1. Listening and Understanding
    1. Increases knowledge through listening
      Benchmark a: Child shows understanding by asking and answering relevant questions, adding comments relevant to the topic, and reacting appropriately to what is said.
    2. Follows multi-step directions
      Benchmark a: Child achieves mastery of two-step directions and usually follows three-step directions, with teacher support and multiple experiences over time.
  2. Speaking
    1. Speech is understood by both a familiar and an unfamiliar peer or adult
      Benchmark a: Child’s speech is understood by both a familiar and an unfamiliar adult.
  3. Vocabulary
    1. Shows an understanding of words and their meanings
      Benchmark a: Child has age-appropriate vocabulary across many topic areas and demonstrates a wide variety of words and their meanings within each area (e.g., world knowledge: names of body parts, feelings, colors, shapes, jobs, tools, plants, animals and their habitats, and foods; words that describe: adjectives, verbs and adverbs).

      Benchmark b: Child has mastery of functional and organizational language of the classroom (e.g., same and different, in front of and behind, next to, opposite, below).

      Benchmark c: Child understands or knows the meaning of many thousands of words including disciplinary words, (e.g., science, social studies, math, and literacy) many more than he or she routinely uses (receptive language).
    2. Shows increased vocabulary to describe many objects, actions, and events
      Benchmark a:
      Child uses a large speaking vocabulary, adding new words weekly.

      Benchmark b: Child uses category labels (e.g., fruit, vegetable, animal, transportation, tools).

      Benchmark c:
      Child uses a variety of word meaning relationships (e.g., part-whole, object-function, object-location).
  4. Sentences and Structure
    1. Uses age-appropriate grammar in conversations and increasingly complex phrases and sentences
      Benchmark a:
      Child typically uses complete sentences of four or more words, usually with subject, verb, and object order.

      Benchmark b: Child uses regular and irregular plurals, regular past tense, personal and possessive pronouns, and subject-verb agreement.
    2. Connects phrases and sentences to build ideas
      Benchmark a: Child uses sentences with more than one phrase.

      Benchmark b: Child combines more than one idea using complex sentences.

      Benchmark c: Child combines sentences that give lots of detail, stick to the topic, and clearly communicates intended meaning.
  5. Conversation
    1. Uses language to express needs and feelings, share experiences, predict outcomes, and resolve problems
      Benchmark a: Child demonstrates varied uses of language (e.g., requesting, commenting, using manner
      words, problem-solving).
    2. Initiates, ask questions, and responds to adults and peers in a variety of settings
      Benchmark a: Child follows another’s conversational lead, appropriately initiates or terminates conversations, or appropriately introduces new content.

      Benchmark b: Child provides appropriate information for the setting (e.g., introduces himself or herself, requests assistance, answers questions by providing name and address to a police officer or other appropriate adult).
    3. Uses appropriate language and style for context
      Benchmark a: Child demonstrates knowledge of verbal conversational rules (e.g., appropriately takes turns, does not interrupt, uses appropriate verbal expressions, and uses appropriate intonation).

      Benchmark b:
      Child demonstrates knowledge of nonverbal conversational rules (e.g., appropriate eye contact, appropriate facial expressions, maintaining a comfortable distance in conversation).

      Benchmark c:
      Child matches language to social and academic contexts (e.g., uses volume appropriate to context, addresses adults more formally than he or she addresses other children, and uses the more formal academic language of the classroom).
  6. Emergent Reading
    1. Shows motivation for reading
      Benchmark a: Child enjoys reading and reading-related activities (e.g., selects reading and reading-related activities when given a choice, pretends to read to others).

      Benchmark b:
      Child interacts appropriately with books and other materials in a print rich environment.

      Benchmark c: Child asks to be read to or asks the meaning of written text.
    2. Shows age-appropriate phonological awareness
      Benchmark a: Child can distinguish individual words within spoken phrases or sentences.

      Benchmark b:
      Child combines words to make a compound word (e.g., “foot” + “ball” = “football”)

      Benchmark c: Child deletes a word from a compound word (e.g., “starfish” – “star” = “fish”).

      Benchmark d:
      Child combines syllables into words (e.g., “sis” + “ter” = “sister”).

      Benchmark e:
      Child can delete a syllable from a word (e.g., “trumpet” – “trum” = “pet” or “candy” – “dy” = “can”).

      Benchmark f:
      Child combines onset and rime to form a familiar one-syllable word with and without pictorial support (e.g., when shown several pictures, and adult says /c/ + “at”, child can select the picture of the cat).
    3. Shows alphabetic knowledge
      Benchmark a: Child recognizes almost all letters when named (e.g., when shown a group of letters, can accurately identify the letter that is named).

      Benchmark b:
      Child names most letters (e.g., when shown an upper case or lower case letter, can accurately say its name).

      Benchmark c:
      Child recognizes some letter sounds (e.g., when shown a group of letters, can accurately identify the letter of the sound given).

      Benchmark d:
      Child names some letter sounds (e.g., when shown a letter, can accurately say the sound the letter makes).
    4. Demonstrates comprehension of text read aloud
      Benchmark a: Child retells or reenacts story after it is read aloud.

      Benchmark b:
      Child asks and answers appropriate questions about the story (e.g., “What just happened?” “What might happen next?” “What would happen if…?” “What was so silly about…?”“How would you feel if you…?).
  7. Emergent Writing
    1. Shows motivation to engage in written expression
      Benchmark a: Child demonstrates understanding of the connections among their own ideas, experiences, and written expression.

      Benchmark b:
      Child intentionally uses scribbles/writing to convey meaning (e.g., signing artwork, captioning, labeling, creating lists, making notes).
    2. Uses scribbling, letter-like shapes, and letters that are clearly different from drawing to represent thoughts and ideas
      Benchmark a: Child independently uses letter-like shapes or letters to write words or parts of words.

      Benchmark b:
      Child writes own name (e.g., first name, last name, or frequent nickname), not necessarily with full correct spelling or well-formed letters.
    3. Demonstrates age-appropriate ability to write letters
      Benchmark a:
      Child independently writes some letters on request.
    4. Demonstrates knowledge of purposes, functions, and structure of written composition
      Benchmark a:
      When writing or dictating, child uses appropriate writing conventions (e.g., a letter starts with “Dear”; or the idea that a story has a beginning, middle, and end).

Dialogic Reading is an effective strategy
to enhance vocabulary and oral language skills. Before we learn about the strategy, let’s reflect on why it is important to incorporate vocabulary and language instruction into the classroom.

Many children lack world knowledge because they have had limited experiences that facilitate rich vocabulary. Many of these children also have very limited vocabularies – they are lacking in knowledge of numerous words. Dr. Julie Washington, an expert in early language development, suggests that one way to provide children with world knowledge and word knowledge is through books.

Dialogic Reading is a strategy that is used with books to promote vocabulary and oral language skills. In Dialogic Reading, the book becomes a shared visual and verbal context in which you and your children can learn new words. The children learn to communicate thoughts and ideas using these new words in increasingly complex phrases. It is a very effective method of increasing the size and diversity of children’s knowledge about the world and the words we use to describe it.

The following video is an introduction to Dialogic Reading by Dr. Beth Phillips.

Video[video clip]


Click here to print the transcript of this video, then
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