[Reading-For-Healthy-Families] Dialogic Reading simplified for parents

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Mon Jun 14 11:41:49 PDT 2010

Hello!  I just read the following article about dialogic reading on the Washington Learning Systems<http://www.walearning.com/articles/conversations-with-children-using-books-to-build-oral-language/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=MailingList&utm_content=890010254&utm_campaign=EarlyLiteracyNewsletterJune2010&utm_term=Readmore> website.  You'll notice the article does not use the term dialogic reading, instead it describes the C.A.R. method for using a book to start a conversation between the adult and child.  If you are looking for a different, more simple way to explain dialogic reading to the parents you work with please read the article at the end of this email for another idea!

Here are a few links to ideas for C.A.R. bookmarks you may want to adapt for your families and programs:

*         Iowa Department of Education: http://www.iowa.gov/educate/ecr3-5/docs/ljobaidb.pdf

*         Allen County Public Library, red car: http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/followcar.jpg

*         Allen County Public Library, yellow car: http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/followcarstart.jpg

If you want to view the Talking and Books video referenced at the end of the article, it is available to check out from the Oregon State Library.  Healthy Start staff, ask your local public library if they can check it out to you via interlibrary loan. The Talking and Books DVD is actually included in a set from Washington Learning Systems so be sure to provide your library with this information:

*         The title is: Language is Key [videorecording]

*         The publishing information is: Seattle WA: Washington Learning Systems (c)2006


Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528

Conversations with children: Using books to build oral language

Published on Monday, June 14, 2010

We all know that reading picture books with young children promotes literacy. But there is another way to use books to promote literacy. You can use books to stimulate conversations with young children. For example, you can:

  *   Use the book to help the child select a conversational topic,
  *   Listen and respond,
  *   Model language by talking about the pictures in the book,
  *   Take turns, back-and-forth, talking about the book.

Using a picture book to support an adult-child conversation is a proven language and literacy building strategy. "C.A.R." is a simple way for adults to remember some of these evidence-based strategies.

C stands for Comment and wait.
A stands for Ask questions and wait.
R stands for Respond by adding a little more.

The CAR strategies elicit more child-language when you "follow the child's lead" and let him choose the conversation topic. (Children are more likely to talk about what they are interested in. Just like adults!!!)

Comment and Wait.   Describing pictures in books (modeling language), then pausing to allow time for a response, is an effective way to get a conversation going. Children need time to think and code their thoughts into language, so it is important for adults to give children at least 5 seconds to respond.

Ask Questions and Wait. Adults use two major types of questions to encourage children to talk or respond: open-ended and closed questions.

  *   Closed questions are those questions that require a yes-no answer, a pointing response, or a one- or two-word label. Asking a child "What do you see?", "Can you point to the cat?" or "What color is the alligator?" are examples of closed questions.
  *   Open-ended questions generally demand a more complex response.  Open-ended questions tend to elicit full sentences or even several sentences. "What is the chicken doing?", "What's going to happen next?", or "Why did the girl need a new bicycle?" are examples of open-ended questions.

Respond by adding a little more. Expanding on what children say helps build oral language.  For example, if the child says "ball", the adult might say, "Ball...big, blue ball." This reinforces the child's talking, gives her the support for the next level of complexity and provides new information.

 To see the CAR strategies in action, you can view the video Talking and Books<http://www.walearning.com/products/language-is-the-key/>.

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