Speech Corner – Using ‘think alouds’

Using ‘think alouds’

The term ‘think alouds’ refers to expressing your thoughts aloud (literally ‘thinking out loud’). Expressing your thoughts out loud provides your child with a model of your reasoning and how you understand what is happening. Research has shown that think alouds are very effective at supporting comprehension development, including inferential comprehension (linking information).

You can use think alouds by saying “I wonder what/if/how/why……” or “I think ….”.

Some strategies:

  • Book sharing – Using think alouds during book sharing can be a powerful tool for getting your child to think about different aspects of a story
    • (e.g. I wonder what the dog will do next”; “I think that the dog is going to jump over the fence because he wants to get the ball!)
  • Everyday activities
    • Explain what you are doing and why (e.g. “I think we need to put washing detergent in the sink so we get rid of the dirt and germs. Germs can make us sick”).
    • Engage your child in discussions involving reasoning (e.g. on a day with dark clouds, “I wonder what will happen if we put the washing out today”).
    • If your child does not respond you can model your thinking and reasoning using another think aloud (e.g. “I think the washing will get rained on today because the clouds are big and dark”).

Speech Pathology Team