Parent-Child Dialogic Reading: A Conversation Analytic Case Study

Conference: The Asian Conference on Education & International Development (ACEID2022)
Title: Parent-Child Dialogic Reading: A Conversation Analytic Case Study
Stream: Language Development & Literacy
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Shin-Ying Huang, National Taiwan University, Taiwan


A large body of work has addressed the positive impact of parent-child interactive reading (also referred to as dialogic reading or shared reading) for children’s language and literacy development. What has been lacking in research is how interaction takes place in a parent-child read-aloud. How interaction takes place is the domain of conversation analysis (CA), an approach which studies turn-taking in naturally-occurring conversations for the moment-by-moment organization of interaction as oriented to by the interlocutors. Analysis of how conversations take place on a turn-by-turn basis from a CA perspective has strong implications for the study of parent-child reading.

Using a CA lens, this presentations centers on a focused analysis of a dialogic read-aloud of one picture book between a mother and her 7-year-old daughter, both of whom are speakers of English as a foreign language. In this particular stretch of dialogue, the discussion is about the title of the picture book and how it might relate to the cover picture, as the dynamics of the title and cover image eluded the child in the beginning of the discussion. The analysis highlights the sequential organization of the dialogue, and the findings reveal that knowledge is co-constructed through dialogue between the two interlocutors. The study argues for the detailed analysis of parent-child reading interaction in order to come to a better understanding of how dialogues can contribute to the construction of meaning (Fecho, 2013), particularly as children learn about image-text relations as a part of their expanding literacy practices.

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