Parents’ involvement in their children’s learning process of reading begins at the child’s birth. Therefore, collaboration with parents and teachers to encourage reading with their children as they grow up is essential for children’s acquisition of reading skills (studies by Doyle & Bramwell, 2006). Reading storybooks and stories for children, which is a common practice of parents, ensures improvements in the use of the oral language and the formation of a vocabulary of one’s own language (studies by Isbell, Sobol, Lindauer and Lowrance, 2004). Regular reading of storybooks encourages greater sentence complexity, reading comprehension and positive attitudes towards reading activity (Silvern, 1985). The use of reading storybooks and children’s stories can be particularly effective in teaching and acquiring a new vocabulary (Collins, 2005).
As shown by the numerous academic researches we have talked about in other pages of this site, familiarity with reading and acquiring a large vocabulary of words in one’s own language is a determining factor in the growth and success of the child in his or her own language. adult life. A good level of reading and a correct vocabulary knowledge ensures the child will understand the surrounding events, will have the ability to relate appropriately with peers and adults, will have the ability to correctly express their thoughts and behave consistently.
Dialogic Reading plays a fundamental role in all of this. It is based on the involvement of parents and teachers, who stimulate with questions and answers and discussions around the story and the theme of the book. In doing so, the adult not only stimulates the acquisition of a vocabulary and the use of language by the child (as shown by a recent research by Umek, Podlesek & Fekonja, 2005) but the researchers Bus, van IJzendoorn and Pellegrini (1995 ) effectively demonstrate that the constant interaction during reading between adult and child ensures linguistic growth, development of interpretative skills and consequently relationships with others and in understanding what surrounds the child.
Dialogic Reading therefore plays a fundamental role in the development of the child. Its effectiveness, however, cannot be based solely on the class work carried out by the teacher, who can choose to use this methodology more or less frequently, but the contribution of parents is essential as well. It is parents who, by regularly reading to their children for example in the evening before falling asleep, stimulate children to develop a vocabulary and activate all the beneficial consequences of Dialogic Reading, i.e. an open and shared dialogue between parent and child, the development of reasoning skills through the interpretation of the story being read, the initiation of a discussion around topics raised by the child during the reading. The activation of Dialogic Reading by the parent is particularly effective because the child is already predisposed and aligned with the parent’s vocabulary and reasoning methods.
On the other hand, Dialogic Reading is particularly advantageous for the parent as it requires a relatively simple commitment for the adult, who must dedicate half an hour or an hour a day of their time to the child and simply need to have a good quality book. The commitment required by the parent is also relatively simple as it is not necessary to develop a topic at all costs but just follow the story told in the book, as long as it is a good book for children, and develop the discussion with the child around the issues raised by the story narrated in the book.