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IES Grant

Title: Project Early Vocabulary Intervention
Center: NCSER Year: 2011
Principal Investigator: Coyne, Michael Awardee: University of Connecticut
Program: Reading, Writing, and Language Development      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4/1/11–3/31/15 Award Amount: $4,097,835
Goal: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R324A110135
Description:

Purpose: Early vocabulary development has long been recognized as being important to future reading success. Although there is some research on direct vocabulary instruction in early grades, there are few investigations of its effects on students identified as at risk for disabilities. The purpose of this project is to assess the efficacy of Early Vocabulary Intervention with kindergartners most at risk for language and learning disabilities. The intervention is designed to supplement classroom vocabulary instruction and intended to accelerate students' vocabulary and listening comprehension skills.

Project Activities: A randomized control design will be used to study the efficacy of Early Vocabulary Intervention for improving vocabulary and listening comprehension skills. Students most at risk for language and learning disabilities will be randomly assigned to receive Early Vocabulary Intervention or a business-as-usual control group. Both groups will be assessed pre-intervention, immediately after intervention, and biannually through the end of second grade.

Products: The products of this project will be published reports on the efficacy of Early Vocabulary Intervention and moderators of intervention effects.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The research will take place in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Population: Approximately 1,500 students most at risk for language and learning disabilities will participate in this research. These students will be those who perform below the 30th percentile on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4.

Intervention: The Early Vocabulary Intervention is intended to be implemented within a tiered instruction approach. It supplements classroom instruction by reinforcing words introduced in whole class activities and providing more explicit instruction and opportunities to practice with immediate corrective feedback. Interventionists reintroduce students to words taught during classroom instruction and provide students with interactive activities to maximize exposure to words in multiple contexts. The intervention is provided to small groups outside the classroom for 20 minutes per day, 5 days per week, for 24 weeks.

Research Design and Methods: A randomized control trial will be used to study the efficacy of the intervention. All classroom teachers will implement the Elements of Reading: Vocabulary program, a classwide vocabulary program that uses 15- to 20-minute daily sessions that progress in a 5-day sequence from read-alouds, to viewing photo cards, to increasingly challenging discussion and activity prompts, to a weekly quiz. Students who are identified as at risk for disabilities will be randomly assigned to Early Vocabulary Intervention or a business-as-usual control group. Both groups will be assessed pre-intervention, immediately after intervention, and followed through the end of second grade. In addition, a subsample of students who are not at risk in each participating kindergarten classroom will be randomly sampled so that the progress of students who receive the Early Vocabulary Intervention can be compared to their typically developing peers.

Control Condition: Early Vocabulary Intervention will be compared to a business-as-usual condition in which students will receive only the Elements of Reading: Vocabulary classwide program and any vocabulary intervention typically provided by the school.

Key Measures: The efficacy of the intervention will be evaluated on a continuum of outcome measures that are proximal and distal to the intervention, including target word learning, listening comprehension, and overall vocabulary knowledge.

Data Analytic Strategy: Multi-level modeling will be used to evaluate the effects of Early Vocabulary Intervention on vocabulary and listening comprehension outcomes, as well as to identify potential moderators of intervention effects.

Publications from this project:

Baker, D. L., Santoro, L., Ware, S., Cuéllar, D., Oldham, A., Cuticelli, M., Coyne, M. D., Loftus-Rathan, S., & McCoach, B. (2015). Understanding and implementing the common core vocabulary standards in kindergarten. Teaching Exceptional Children, 47(5), 264–271.

Coyne, M. D., Oldham, A., Ware, S. M., & Cuticelli, M. (2015, Summer). Using assessment data to make a difference in vocabulary outcomes. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 52–56.

Cuticelli, M., Coyne, M. D., Ware, S. M., Oldham, A., & Loftus-Rattan, S. (2015). Improving vocabulary skills of kindergarten students through a multi-tier instructional approach. Intervention in School and Clinic, 50, 150–156.

Neugebauer, S., Chafouleas, S., Coyne, M. D., & McCoach D. B. (in press) Exploring an ecological model of perceived usability within a multi-tiered vocabulary intervention. Assessment for Effective Intervention.


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