What is Dialogic Reading

Dialogic reading is a way of reading to preschoolers that incorporates a range of techniques to build a child’s language skills. In dialogic reading, the child and the adult often have a conversation around the book and the adult helps the child become the story teller. 

How do I do it

During dialogic reading, there are some two main techniques you can incorporate. These include the PEER technique and the CROWD technique. 

The PEER technique stands for: 

  • Prompt – prompt the child to say something about the book. 
  • Evaluate – evaluate the child’s response. 
  • Expand – expand their response by rephrasing and adding more information to it. 
  • Repeat – repeat the prompt to ensure the child has learned from the expansion.

The CROWD technique can be used to help prompt the child. The following prompts can be used:

  • Completion prompts – leave a blank at the end of the sentence and encourage the child to fill it in (e.g., when she went to the shops, she bought a ….) 
  • Recall prompts (More suitable for 4–5-year-olds) – these are questions that involve asking about what happened in a book a child has read. (e.g., tell me what happened to the spotty dog?). 
  • Open-ended prompts – these prompts are great for pictured books and involve asking what is happening in the picture (e.g., tell me what is happening?) 
  • Wh- prompts – these are prompts that start with what, where, when, why and how questions. These prompts typically focus on the pictures in books (e.g., what’s the name of this?). 
  • Distancing prompts (More suitable for 4-5-year-olds) – this involves asking the child to relate pictures or words in the book to their real-life experiences. (e.g., reading The Hungry Caterpillar and talking about the foods that are in the book with the foods you might’ve had on a picnic). 

How does it help? 

Research has found that dialogic reading has a very positive impact on younger children. It can have assist young children’s (<5 years) language, literacy and social-emotional development. It has also been suggested that dialogic reading can have positive effects on reading motivation, enjoyment of reading, parental-child attachment, and parental confidence. 

If you have any questions about dialogic reading, please don’t hesitate to give us a call (02) 4862 5063 or reach out to our team via email (admin@hanrahanhealth.com.au).


Whitehurst, G.J., (2002). Reading Rockets. Dialogic reading: an effective way to read aloud with young children. https://www.readingrockets.org/article/dialogic-reading-effective-way-read-aloud-young-children 

Pillinger, C., Vardy, E.J. (13 July, 2022). The story so far: a systematic review of the dialogic reading literature. Journal of Research in Reading, 45(4), 533-548. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9817.12407