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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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Preschool-to Kindergarten: A Longitudinal Study of the Effectiveness of the Early Literacy and Learning Model (ELLM)

Stephanie Wehry, Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida
Janice Wood, University of North Florida

Abstract: ELLM, developed by the Florida Institute of Education (FIE) at the University of North Florida, is a program that combines a research- and standards-based literacy curriculum with ongoing professional development, increased family involvement, practice-focused research, and working community partnerships to improve the language and literacy skills of at-risk preschool children. The ELLM curriculum is based on a developmental continuum of reading acquisition and uses learning materials, explicit teaching, and structured experiences to help children acquire emergent literacy and language abilities. Teachers are critical for increased achievement; therefore, ELLM professional development links what researchers know and what teachers do by providing weekly coaching/teaching sessions designed to improve classroom literacy environment, demonstrate the use of literacy materials, and model literacy instruction.

This experimental study, part of the 2002, 3-year USDOE PCER grant awarded to FIE, followed 2002/2003 preschool children (87 ELLM and 89 control) to kindergarten. The Test of Early Reading Ability-3rd Edition (TERA-3) and a measure of the children's ability to recognize upper- and lowercase letters provided fall 2002 and spring 2003 and 2004 data.

HLM and HLM/ANCOVA analyses of preschool data indicated the two groups were initially equivalent on measures of early literacy and that ELLM children had greater year-end achievement on all TERA-3 measures. Effect sizes ranged from .17 to .30. Kindergarten data were analyzed using a cross-classified HLM/ANCOVA model with the fall preschool data as covariates. ELLM children sustained their advantage on the TERA-3 Reading Quotient and Alphabet scales with effect sizes of .26 and .43, respectively.