In December 2012, the Center was awarded a grant from the Windham Area Women and Girls Fund of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. The project, titled Dialogic Reading for Multi-Lingual Families, is designed to help address the fund's objective to advance economic security and foster positive engagement for women and girls under age 18. The project has two main goals:
Goal One: Promote reading to children in their native language as a method of ensuring first language proficiency
Research indicates that children who master their first language can easily translate those skills to English. Ensuring that children are read to in their native language by their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and older sisters and cousins helps to continue develop their language and literacy skills in their native language.
Goal Two: Train women and girls who have caregiving responsibilities in dialogic reading strategies
Research indicates that children learn most from books when they are actively engaged and involved in the reading. In dialogic reading, the adult “helps the child become the teller of the story” (Whitehurst, 1992) by asking guided questions, listening to children’s responses, and helping the child to expand on her answer. Dialogic reading has been shown to improve children’s oral language skills and understanding of written language, which impacts their academic and economic success later on.
The Center is offering multi-lingual families the opportunity to participate in training sessions. Women and adolescent girls with caregiving responsibilities are especially encouraged to participate. Dr. Ann Anderberg, a bilingual associate professor of edcuation and expert on supporting English Language Learners, will lead sessions on dialogic reading and supporting dual language learners. Families will receive children's books to keep in both English and their first language, as well as a certificate of completion from the School of Continuing Education. Child care and refreshments will be provided.
Session I: April 18, 2013
Session II: April 25, 2013
Session III: October 3, 2013
Session IV: TBD
Send us an email to register or to be notified of future sessions.
After completing the training, interested families may be videotaped reading to their children in English and/or their first language. The edited videos will be shows on local television stations so that a broad audience will see their friends and neighbors demonstrating the dialogic reading method in English and other languages. Finished videos will be distributed to collaborating early learning programs for use in their own parent education programs. (Families are not required to be videotaped.)
Dr. Ann Anderberg, Principal Investigator
Julia DeLapp, Project Coordinator
Dr. Denise Matthews, Producer
Dr. Carol Williams and Dr. Indira Petosky, Continuing Education Liaisons
Niloufar Rezai, CFDRC Liaison
Ken Measimer, Video Editor
Sean Leser and Amy Dillon, Student Videographers
For more information, contact Julia DeLapp, CECE Program Coordinator, at 860/465-0687.
Whitehurst, G. (1992). Dialogic Reading: An effective way to read to preschoolers.
Read about other projects and initiatives.