Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MA Reading Education


Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Madden, Marjorie

Second Advisor

Browne, Susan

Third Advisor

Chen, Xiufang


Language arts (Kindergarten)


Language and Literacy Education


The purpose of this research inquiry is to study how kindergartners use oral language when interacting with texts during guided reading, read aloud books, and literacy discussions. Six students were selected from a Basic Skills Instruction (BSI) intervention program to participate in this study. As the academic demands have increased in the kindergarten classroom, it appears that there is a decline in the oral language skills that are the foundation for success as an emergent reader. This study examines the effects of engaging students in talk about books to promote their oral language and reading skills. Characteristics of literacy talk from both the students and the teacher during literacy events are analyzed. Findings from this study suggest that talk that supported students' interests, the use of open-ended questions, collaborative talk with peers, and selecting authentic literature with moral and justice themes are key components to encourage literacy talk in the kindergarten classroom. Implications for educators are also discussed in this study.