Welcome to Parsimony’s blog, where we help K-12 educators identify evidence based ways to maximize student outcomes.

This blog post is part of our What Works Clearinghouse review series. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which is the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the United States Department of Education. WWC estimates the effectiveness of programs by evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence for that program.

This week’s blog post is about the evidence behind Dialogic Reading’s impact on students. Here’s the short version:

Dialogic Reading is an interactive shared picture book reading practice designed to enhance young children’s language and literacy skills. During the shared reading practice, the adult and the child switch roles so that the child learns to become the storyteller with the assistance of the adult, who functions as an active listener and questioner.

The evidence for Dialogic Reading covers students in pre-kindergarten.

The outcomes examined include: oral language and phonological processing. Here’s what the evidence suggests about Dialogic Reading’s impact on each outcome:

  • Oral language: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 19 percentile points).
  • Phonological processing: No detectable impact

The studies looking into Dialogic Reading had student samples that were in urban areas in New York, Florida, Maryland and Tennessee, had students who were Black and Hispanic, were male and female, and were and received free & reduced price lunch.

You can find the full report from the What Works Clearinghouse here: https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/WWC_Dialogic_Reading_020807.pdf

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