The researchers have summarized some of the research literature on read alouds as well as information they have gleaned from their own observations. According to the research read aloud suggests it is a valuable tool in providing children with the experience of making sense of ideas beyond the here and now. This thinking helps the child become successful in not only listening to a story but also engaging in a conversation about the story.There is an emphasis from the research that book talks aid the child in becoming literate.
The research also indicates the most effective features of talking about books focus on major story ideas, allowing discussion to be reflective in nature. Beck and McKeown observed kindergarten and first grade teachers reading to their classrooms. They noticed that rarely were children involved in discussing the major story ideas. It was also noted that when young children respond to a story they typically use prior knowledge to support their answers rather than ideas from the text. Research has shown background knowledge to be an important aspect of understanding text however; it should be used to integrate with the text in order to assist in comprehension. Children were also observed using pictures to direct their thinking. The research on using pictures indicates students can be misled by some of the pictures as they do not always match the text and as previously mentioned students need to use language to express ideas beyond the here and now. The research review and classroom observations by Beck and McKeown motivated their development of text talk. The goal of text talk is to use read aloud in a way that will promote the children’s’ ability to construct meaning from decontextualized language, improve comprehension and further language development.