Asynchronous online picturebook read-alouds – The affordances of ‘read-aloud talk’

  • Mourão, S. (Keynote speaker)
  • Gail Ellis (Keynote speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


A read-aloud is defined as an adult reading a book to a child or a group of children (Campbell, 2001). Reading aloud to children in a FL introduces them to continuous and coherent spoken discourse (Cameron, 2001) and the quality illustrations support or extend their experience of life and the world around them (Mourão, 2015). Picturebook read-alouds are a common practice in YL classrooms and accompanied by activities and tasks planned to develop language, literacy and cross-curricular topics through English (Ellis & Brewster, 2014). During the pandemic, authors, publishers, teachers and librarians alike began recording picturebook read-alouds to ensure that children were given continued opportunities to engage with quality literature (cf Emily Gravett, Puffin Storytime series; Book Trust, CLPE) This session presents research around ‘read-aloud talk’, which we define as is adult-generated talk which goes beyond reading the picturebook verbal text. Using a set of categories which emerged from a typological analysis of a professional librarian and storyteller, we analyzed four asynchronous read-alouds: two for older primary children by teacher-storytellers who did not know the children and two for younger primary / pre-primary children by teacher-storytellers who did know the children. Our objective was to find out how ‘read-aloud talk’ can contribute to a FL learning environment. Results show that through ‘read-aloud talk’ adults furnished comprehensible and meaningful input, as well as support for construction and interpretation of the story through their commentaries and questions in both the L1 and the target language. They also successfully recreated the shared social experience of the classroom. We conclude with thoughts on the implications of our research for teacher education and development.
Period23 Oct 2020
Event titleTaking literature online in times of crisis - online symposium
Event typeSeminar
LocationErfurt, GermanyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • picturebooks, read-alouds, read-aloud talk, asynchronous, young learners