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IES Grant

Title: Foundations for Literacy: An Intervention for Young Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Center: NCSER Year: 2011
Principal Investigator: Lederberg, Amy Awardee: Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc
Program: Early Intervention and Early Learning in Special Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 07/01/2011–06/30/2014 Award Amount: $1,616,185
Goal: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324A110101
Description:

Purpose: Poor literacy outcomes have characterized the deaf population for decades. National data suggest that overall literacy rates of deaf high school graduates remain consistently around the 4th grade level. Although children with less severe hearing loss fare better than children who are deaf, they are still at risk for poorer language and literacy skills than their hearing peers. The purpose of this project is to further develop an early literacy intervention specifically adapted to meet the needs of prekindergarteners who are deaf or hard of hearing called Foundations for Literacy. Although preliminary evidence suggests that Foundations for Literacy holds promise for fostering growth in alphabet knowledge and phonological awareness, further development is needed to promote vocabulary and language and to improve its implementation in authentic education environments. The researchers will also develop a coordinated parent and home component to facilitate children's language learning, develop teacher training materials, and develop adaptations necessary for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and do not have access to speech.

Project Activities: Researchers will implement several iterative cycles to design, field test, and revise Foundations for Literacy. Revisions will include expanding the instructional activities, refining progress monitoring measures, and developing professional development and parent training materials. A pilot study will compare the pretest to posttest gains of children who received Foundations for Literacy with a comparison group of eligible children who did not. In addition, single-subject studies and case studies will be used to examine learning by children with no speech perception skills.

Products: Products from this project will include a developed curriculum called Foundations for Literacy. This curriculum will include training materials for teachers and parents and adaptations for children who are deaf or hard of hearing and do not have access to speech. Products also include published reports describing the program's promise for improving outcomes.

STRUCTURED ABSTRACT

Setting: The research will take place in Georgia.

Population: Approximately 70 prekindergarteners who are deaf or hard of hearing and attend specialized classes for children with hearing loss will participate, as will their teachers and parents.

Intervention: Foundations for Literacy is a balanced early literacy program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is designed to be taught during one-hour lessons each day for the full school year. Each week features a series of activities—such as dialogic story book reading, vocabulary instruction, and fluency instruction—that are organized around a simple story designed to teach grapheme-phoneme correspondences and vocabulary. The intervention also includes a parent or home component that fosters language development through shared reading.

Research Design and Methods: An iterative design process will be used to develop, refine, and expand the instructional activities, progress monitoring measures, and professional development protocol. The materials will be refined based on teacher and parent feedback, observations of fidelity and use of instructional strategies, child outcomes, and child engagement. A pilot study will compare the pretest to posttest gains of children who received Foundations for Literacy with a comparison group of eligible children who did not. In addition, single-subject studies and case studies will be used to examine learning by children with no speech perception skills.

Control Condition: Children in the comparison condition will be a historical sample who did not receive Foundations for Literacy.

Key Measures: Information about program implementation and acceptability will be collected through observations of parents and teachers, teacher logs, interviews, and focus groups. In addition, the researchers will collect data on student word identification skills, phonological awareness, alphabetic knowledge, vocabulary, language skills, and theory of mind.

Data Analytic Strategy: Multivariate analysis of variance and multivariate analysis of covariance will be used to determine whether students made significant gains in literacy skills after exposure to Foundations for Literacy.

Related IES Projects:Improving Deaf Preschoolers' Literacy Skills (R324E060035)

Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Beal-Alvarez, J., Lederberg, A.R., and Easterbrooks, S.R. (2012). Grapheme-Phoneme Acquisition of Deaf Preschoolers. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 17(1): 39–60. doi:10.1093/deafed/enr030

Goldberg, H., and Lederberg, A.R. (2015). Acquisition of the Alphabetic Principle in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Preschoolers: The Role of Phonology in Letter-Sound Learning. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 28(4): 509–525. doi:10.1007/s11145–014–9535–y

Lederberg, A .R.. & Easterbrooks, S. E., Tucci, S., Burke, V. & Goldberg, H. (in press). Effective intervention strategies for teaching early literacy skills to deaf children with cochlear implants.Cochlear Implantation International.

Lederberg, A.R., Miller, E.M., Easterbrooks, S.R., and Connor, C.M. (2014). Foundations for Litearcy: An Early Literacy Interveniton for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 19(4): 438–455. doi:10.1093/deafed/enu022 Full text

Lederberg, A.R., Schick, B., and Spencer, P.E. (2013). Language and Literacy Development of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children: Successes and Challenges. Developmental Psychology, 49(1): 15–30. doi:10.1037/a0029558

Miller, E.M., Lederberg, A.R., and Easterbrooks, S.R. (2013). Phonological Awareness: Explicit Instruction for Young Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18(2): 206–227. doi:10.1093/deafed/ens067

Tucci, S., Easterbrooks, S. and Lederberg, A. R., (2016). The Effects of Theory of Mind Training on the False Belief Understanding of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students in Prekindergarten and Kindergarten. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 21(3): 310–325. doi:10.1093/deafed/enw031 Full text

Tucci, S.L., and Easterbrooks, S.R. (2015). A Syllable Segmentation, Letter-Sound, and Initial Sound Intervention With Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and use Sign Language. Journal of Special Education, 48(4): 279–289 . doi:10.1177/0022466913504462

Webb, M.Y, Lederberg, A R., Branum-Martin, L., and Connor, C.M. (2015). Evaluating the Structure of Early English Literacy Skills in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 20(4): 343–355. doi:10.1093/deafed/env024

Webb, M-Y, and Lederberg, A.R. (2014). Measuring Phonological Awareness in Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57(1): 131–142. doi:10.1044/1092–4388(2013/12–0106)


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