Video 6.2: Dr. Christopher Lonigan: Research on dialogic reading


Dr. Christopher Lonigan, a professor of psychology at Florida State University, talks about research on dialogic reading. (running time: 2 min. 01 sec.)


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Dr Lonigan:

What we know from the research is that when children are exposed to shared reading using dialogic reading, that they really do acquire greater levels of development in their vocabulary and other aspects of language. So not only is it designed to produce language, but there’s a number of research studies that actually demonstrate that children who are exposed to shared reading with dialogic reading, gained more vocabulary skills and other language skills than children who don’t get exposed to dialogic reading.

And the interesting thing there is that most of the studies had the children who didn’t get dialogic reading—is they got as much shared reading as the children who got dialogic reading. So it wasn’t a difference in being exposed to story books, it was a difference in how they were exposed to storybooks.

The idea is that there are different purposes for books. So understanding that doing dialogic reading doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have times where you just actually read a book with children, you might even read a book where just you are the one who’s reading and the children are listening during small group time, during large group time, or during circle time. But dialogic reading is a special time, it’s a special time to help children learn vocabulary and learn other language skills.

Of course, dialogic reading is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be fun for the children, it’s supposed to be fun for the teacher—so turn taking, and using different books, using them differently, sometimes using them for whole group, sometimes for dialogic reading, sometimes you just read. Seeing that that process is okay. Dialogic reading is flexible enough that it shouldn’t be seen as something other than fun. A fun way to use books and have conversations.