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Dialogic Reading as a Teaching Approach

I watched the following four videos: About oceans-integrating language and literacy activities, Providing phonological awareness instruction, Becoming aware of print and Dialogic reading –an interview with Christopher Lonigan (WETA, 2011). I found the last podcast most interesting. Here the speaker, Dr. Lonigan, briefly details the strategy as a teaching approach that fosters student participation in class through encouraging them to contribute in telling/reading a story. Dr. Lonigan says that children get acquainted with reading through constantly going through the same publication.

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He, therefore, proposes that a stepwise mode of teaching be adopted whereby teachers initially focus on identifying the big things, actions in the pictures-in a way developing vocabulary (Lonigan, 2011). In the second phase, the doctor proposes that teachers develop ways of getting the children to use the words they learned in the first step to tell a story. In the final stage, the teacher is supposed to help the children develop a narrative about the story that relates to something they have done before (Lonigan, 2011). In conclusion, from the video, we learn that books with pictures are more effective for use in dialogic reading as compared to those with text only.

The curriculum presented in the podcast is mainly experiential because it supports learning through individual involvement. This type of curriculum supports language acquisition by giving children the time and a favorable pace with which to acquire learned speech patterns into sensible pieces of communication (Otto, 2010). Even more advantageous is the fact that this type of instruction is appropriate in both home and formalized settings and can be used effectively even by individuals with little or no teaching experience.

By basic mention, the speaker also informs the viewer of interactive shared reading as another training technique that is closely related to dialogic reading (Lonigan, 2011). He, however, says that shared reading is not as interactive as dialogic reading and hence might not address the aspect of language acquisition in the same way that the dialogic reading approach does.

The dialogic reading method adequately addresses the five aspects of language. As far as the phonetic and morphemic element is concerned, the children, through having someone read a story to them, end up picking different sounds that, when put together, can be used to identify something. The technique also addresses the syntactic elements of language because, through repeated reading, children are able to correctly identify the correct ways to use certain words in combination with others to make meaningful dialogues.

The semantic element of speech is also well covered in this method of instruction because, through the acquisition of basic reading skills in the form of phonetics and morphemics, the children gradually learn to connect words to particular meanings. Finally, and most importantly, dialogic reading is particularly fundamental in the development of pragmatic elements of language. This is particularly evidenced in the third stage, whereby children are encouraged to connect learned language elements in detailing personal experiences.

I would definitely use the elements learned from the dialogic reading strategy because the step-by-step method it proposes gives the children the motivation needed to acquire proper reading and communication skills. The element of expansion as a method of getting children to grow into effective readers gradually is one of the approaches I have personally witnessed through previous interaction with children.

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Reference List

Lonigan, C. (Host). (2011). Dialogic reading. Reading rockets, Podcast. Web.

Otto, B. (2010). Language development in early childhood. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

WETA (2011). Early literacy. Web.

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