Second language and Dialogic Reading

There are several theories on the acquisition of the second language among young children. The most widespread is the theory of the Transfer of Skills. Cummins (1996) has suggested that there may be “common basic skills” (p. 250) in the language in such a way that first language skills favorably mediate second language acquisition. The interlingual transfer of skills can be conceptualized as “the access and use of the linguistic resources of the first language by students while learning other languages” (Leafstadt & Gerber, p. 27). The principle is susceptible to inversion, that is, the inter-linguistic transfer can also take place with the transfer of resources learned in the second language and be favorably transferred to the language of origin.

Numerous researches show how classroom Dialogic Reading can generate benefits in the language of origin, spoken at home. Conversely, also the Dialogic Reading practiced at home with the parents, can have benefits on the linguistic abilities of the child in classroom activity.

Dialogic Reading is an interactive reading strategy that promotes the language development of children through argumentation, reasoning and the extension of children’s thoughts supported by the adult reader. The strategy has been shown in several research studies to support the development of children’s oral language and early literacy skills, including child-adult (in this case Teacher) and child-peers expressive and relational skills. Researchers using Dialogic Reading strategies have reported significant positive results in the development of the oral home language (Crain-Thoreson & Dale, 1999; Lonigan & Whitehurst, 1998; Valdez-Manchaca & Whitehurst, 1992; Whitehurst, et al., 1988; Mary Ellen Donovan Huennekens, 2013).