Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Alexandra Gottardo

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Children from low-income backgrounds are at a higher risk for reading difficulties partly because they are read to less frequently in the home (Adams, 1990). When shared reading does occur in low-income homes, it is usually of poorer quality when compared to reading in middle- or upper-income homes (Arnold, Lonigan, Whitehurst, Epstein, 1994). Dialogic reading, a form of enhanced discussion and structured questioning during shared-book reading, can be a cost effective way of improving the language and literacy skills of young children. The current research examines the effectiveness of a community-based, four-month dialogic reading intervention called the Dialogic Reading Club (pseudonym used to protect the identity of the program). Eighteen children aged 38 months to 68 months (M age = 58.22 months) that attended the intervention were compared with 18 children aged 39 months to 71 months (M age = 53.11 months) that did not attend the intervention on measures of expressive vocabulary, word reading, concepts of print, and narrative ability. Controlling for pre-test differences on the same post-test measures, ANCOVAs revealed significant differences in word reading, F (1,33) = 5.40,pF (1,33) = 9.28, pp = .09), produced more words (p = .08), and produced a greater diversity of words (p = .08). No differences were found on expressive vocabulary. The benefits of incorporating dialogic reading strategies in a short-term reading intervention for young children are discussed.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons