Talking About Wordless Picture Books
Date posted: November 24, 2017
Talking About Wordless Picture Books: A Tutor Strategy Supporting English Language Learners is a guide to using wordless books with low-intermediate ELL parents of preschoolers in a family literacy program. It provides instructional activities with guidance on specific learning strategies to help the parents build and practice English conversational skills.
Tutors model conversational skills by using questioning strategies. Open-ended questions and prompts are created from “wh” questions (who, what, where, when and why) to provide the stimulus for extending conversations between parents and tutors. Parents are then encouraged to apply the strategies they learn to wordless picture books they will share with their children. This creates a mutually beneficial situation for parents as they practice their English speaking skills while learning strategies that can be used to support their children’s language and
Parents are encouraged to use the strategies they learn in tutoring sessions with their children using their home language. By providing young children with a firm foundation in their home language, parents give them a basis for learning to read and for learning other languages, including English. Some parents may want to use these strategies in English as well, to work on their own skills and to support their older children’s school readiness and success.
Strategies in the book can be adapted to use with parents at different language levels and children at different ages.
Thanks to the National Center for Families Learning (formerly the National Center for Family Literacy) for providing this online resource for free.
For suggestions on wordless picture books to use, see: