A Bakhtinian Dialogic Interactive Approach: Read-alouds with Spanish-speaking Kindergarteners

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Year of Completion


First Advisor

Lynn Cohen


With an increasing concern in the American school system being the significant growth in the number of bilingual students, the communication between teacher and student, and student to student, has become a focus of attention. The purpose of the present study was to draw on Sullivan’s (2012) dialogical approach and Bakhtin’s theoretical framework on the concept of dialogism, using Bakhtin’s notions of utterance as the unit of analysis. Bakhtin’s (1986) primary (oral speech genres) and secondary genres (narrative texts) were applied to analyze the growth of oral language and meaning-making during interactive read-alouds when carefully scaffolded open-ended questions were utilized. The study approached the field through an individual and collective case study with two dual language learners (Ballantyne et al., 2008) in a kindergarten classroom. Participants’ utterances were collected using videotaped and audiotaped sessions and were analyzed by applying Cazden’s IRE (2001) protocol and a writing protocol. The findings suggested that Bakhtin’s ideas of author/hero, double-voicing, and elements of carnivalesque matter in the narrative texts read during interactive read-alouds. The findings also determined that Bakhtin’s concepts of (a) One Utterance, (b) Multiple Utterances, (c) Double-voicing, and (d) Revoicing emerged from the dataset. The triangulation of data sources confirmed the importance of teachers examining the texts to be used during read-alouds, and the importance of creating a dialogical atmosphere that generates multiple utterances from its participants and increases oral language skills and meaning-making.