Audio 6.3: Cristina Gillanders

Dr. Gillanders, an investigator who studies Latino emergent literacy and bilingualism, talks about why reading aloud is important for dual language learners. (running time: 1 min. 52 sec.)


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Reading aloud allows you to be very intentional about the words that you need to teach to these children. So that’s why you have to think about reading aloud as a strategy for promoting vocabulary development in dual language learners. When you’re planning you’re designing your reading aloud you have to think about three things. One is what kinds of strategies are you going to use in order for your dual language learners to understand what the content of the book is about, what the text is about. The second thing you have to think about is, because you’re interested in vocabulary development, what words and phrases you intentionally want to teach through the reading aloud strategy. And the third thing you have to think about is how the dual language learners are going to participate in the reading aloud session and this is particularly important for dual language learners because usually when you’re a teacher the way you engage children in the reading aloud is through asking questions. Isn’t that right? That’s what you do, you ask questions to engage them in the story.  But if the children do not have the English proficiency to respond to those questions then they’re not going to be engaged in the story so you have to think about what other forms of engagement you can use for children to participate in the story.