Engage preschool children in interactive reading and dialogic reading to improve language and literacy skills.
- Use systematic, explicit, interactive and dialogic reading strategies to engage children in conversations about a book and expand their responses in a meaningful context.
- Teachers should use explicit questioning techniques to engage children in discussion, ultimately improving their oral language and other literacy skills. Teachers need to identify learning goals, select appropriate books, and plan ahead for interactive reading sessions with small groups. A strong foundation in interactive and dialogic reading techniques enables the teacher to be an active listener and questioner who helps increase children's participation, and systematically helps them become storytellers.
- Use books with large narrative print, a limited number of words per page, and illustrations throughout.
- Book selection is an important part of interactive reading. Teachers should select books with simple narrative plots, numerous illustrations, and limited words per page. Predictable, repetitive books help children learn the patterned language so they can then "read" them to their teacher, peers, or on their own.
- Conduct adult-mediated 10-15 minute reading sessions several days a week.
- Regular small-group reading sessions with an adult give preschoolers the instruction and practice they need to develop oral language skills. Because this practice encourages a high degree of children's attention and participation, small-group sessions work best.
- Train teachers on the dialogic reading method of assessing and supporting children's vocabulary and language development through scaffolding and prompts.
- Professional development and classroom modeling activities focused on dialogic reading give teachers opportunities to practice and discuss how to sequence questions and gradually use higher-level prompts to improve classroom practice.
- Support teachers by providing modeling, coaching, and observation and include opportunities for practice and discussion.
- Professional development must be ongoing and include extensive practical activities, such as helping teachers understand how to organize and plan lessons using the developmental continuum and progress monitoring data. Teachers should practice and discuss instructional techniques and receive support and feedback from a coach or mentor.