Beyond the written word: The role of text on preschool teachers’ book sharing styles

Adina R. Schick, Lauren Scarola, Silvia Niño, Gigliana Melzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Teachers’ sharing of picture books is a quintessential activity in early childhood classrooms, and has been found to be predictive of children’s language and literacy skill development. Although most research, to date, has focused on the manner in which preschool teachers share text-based books with their students, recent work has recommended that teachers include wordless books as part of their classroom book sharing routines. Yet, little is known about how the absence of text might influence teachers’ discourse styles. The present study, thus, explored the discourse styles used by preschool teachers of Latino dual-language learners when sharing both text-based and wordless picture books with their class. Results showed that, while there were common features across both book types, when sharing wordless books teachers tended to adopt a more co-constructive style, by asking questions and supporting children’s participation in the sharing of the story. At the same time, they were more likely to elicit predictions and analyses from the children. The findings highlight the importance of including wordless books in preschool classroom book sharing interactions, especially in classrooms serving dual-language learners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-469
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Literacy
Issue number3
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Book reading
  • dual-language learners
  • preschool classrooms
  • teacher-class interactions
  • wordless picture book

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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