Document Type



Doctor of Education


Educational Practice

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Saul,Ellen Wendy


Nicholas Husbye, Ph.D

Rebecca Rogers. Ph.D

Nancy Singer, Ph.D


Abstract Using an action research approach, the African American teacher–researcher investigated the appropriation and effectiveness of dialogic lessons and culturally relevant books to develop and improve primary-grade African American students’ language and literacy skills. Specifically, this study investigated whether changes in the kinds of questions posed during reading interactions resulted in extended thoughts, more complex sentence constructions, and the inclusion of new vocabulary words. Dialogic reading is an invaluable tool for teachers to utilize with students challenged with language differences upon entering school. Lessons were expressly designed to engage and scaffold students in their development of language and literacy skills. Conversations between the teacher–researcher and students were recorded and analyzed in terms of access to cultural empowerment and academic success. The dialogic methods employed celebrate the inquisitive and vocal skills of these emergent learners. By embracing their unique culture and addressing language needs with culturally and linguistically responsive practices, literature, and opportunities for dialogic interactions, the primary-grade African American students were shown to be on their way to developing the essential language and literacy skills needed for proficient student learning and achievement.

OCLC Number


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