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Talking for meaning: The dialogic engagement of teachers and children in a small group reading context

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Hofmann, R 


This paper reports a UK study which investigated the instruction of comprehension strategies for elementary children in small group discussions about short animated films. The qualitative analysis of three lessons is reported to illustrate the differing approaches that the teachers took, showing how they initiate discussions and follow up responses from the children. We examine how children’s ideas are elicited, selected for further discussion, developed and evaluated by the teachers. Findings highlight operating principles for how teachers conceptualise and realise reading comprehension instruction and how these relate to the use of key language, focusing on whether this produces a ‘performance’ of dialogue or genuine dialogic engagement.



Reading, Comprehension, Dialogue, Accountable talk, Dialogic teaching

Journal Title

International Journal of Educational Research

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Elsevier BV