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Dialogic Reading During Shared Story Reading in Speech Therapy

Updated: May 26

Text reads "dialogic reading during shared storybook reading"

Hi friends!

The most important part of shared storybook reading is the SHARED part! You may have read my post 10 Ways to Make Shared Story Reading More Fun, and today I have another framework to share with you: dialogic reading!

“Dialogic reading draws on sociocultural learning theory to suggest that scaffolded interactions between children and adults during reading will result in language gains, particularly with regard to vocabulary development, oral complexity and narrative skills.” (Watkins, 2018)

What is dialogic reading?

Dialogic reading involves creating a dialogue with students about the text you're reading to help children explore the text at a deeper level. When we support children with being active participants in the reading experience, we can better support their oral language skills, comprehension, and print awareness.

Dialogic reading is...

  • a dialogue with children about the text

  • for children of all ages, abilities, and reading levels

  • for fiction and non-fiction texts

  • individualized and child-centered

  • interactive and motivating

How does dialogic reading work?

Adults can make reading more interactive by prompting the child, expanding on their response, praising their efforts, and repeating the prompt. This is know as the PEER sequence.


P – Prompts the child to say something about the text

E – Evaluates the response

E – Expands on the child’s answer by rephrasing it or by adding information

R – Repeats the prompts to see if the child has learned from the expansion

Here are some examples:

PEER sequence with examples. P for prompt. E for evaluate. E for expand. R for repeat.

You can check out some additional examples in this post.

What kind of prompts can I use?

There are 5 different types of prompts you can use at the start of the PEER sequence.


C Completion prompts that fill in a blank at the end of a sentence.

R Recall prompts ask children to talk about what has happened so far in a story or text. You can also prompt them to think about stories you may have read in the past. Recall prompts support comprehension and recall.

O Open-ended prompts are ones that could have multiple types of responses.

W – WH prompts begin with what, where, when, why, and how. In this situation, adults are looking for a specific response.

D – Distancing prompts helps students make text-to-self connections. In other words, they help children bridge the text with the real world.

Here are some examples:

CROWD prompts with examples. C for completion. R for recall. O for open ended. WH for wh questions. D for distancing.

You can check out some additional examples in this post.

Let's Take a Look At Some Examples

PEER with a Completion Prompt

PEER examples using the cover of the story Dragons Love Tacos. P - I see a... (completion prompt). E - Yes! It's a dragon. E - It's a hungry dragon. R - what is it?

PEER with a Recall Prompt

Picture from the story Strictly No Elephants. Page shows a sign on a door saying strictly no elephants.

PEER with a Open-Ended Prompt

PEER with a WH Question Prompt

PEER with a Distancing Prompt

I hope that helps!

Happy reading! 💛

Three grey mountains with some white snow on to. A small heart in a speech bubble. Four boot prints underneath the mountain. The name Sarah in pink, blue, peach, green, and purple colors.


Flack, Z. M., Field, A. P., & Horst, J. S. (2018). The effects of shared storybook reading on word learning: A meta-analysis. Developmental Psychology, 54(7), 1334–1346. Link

Watkins, P. (2018). Extensive reading for primary in ELT Part of the Cambridge Papers in ELT series. [pdf] Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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