Dialogic teaching - a pedagogical approach that involves students in a collaborative construction of meaning and is characterized by shared control over the key aspects of classroom discourse - has been largely advocated by contemporary research and theory. However, studies in the US and UK continue to document the persistence of monologic instruction in today's classrooms. This paper reviews empirically-supported features of dialogic teaching and relates them to relevant theoretical models. It describes the Dialogic Inquiry Tool (DIT), an observational rating scale designed to engage elementary school teachers in a systematic and deliberate examination of their interactions during group discussions of assigned readings. The paper uses excerpts of classroom discussions to demonstrate the use of the DIT and to discuss its potential for informing teacher practice and encouraging reflection on the relationship between language and pedagogy.