|Title:||Language for Reading: Building Vocabulary Through Engaged Learning|
|Principal Investigator:||Hirsh-Pasek, Kathryn||Awardee:||Temple University|
|Program:||Cognition and Student Learning [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||3 years (8/1/2015-7/31/2018)||Award Amount:||$1,498,679|
|Type:||Development and Innovation||Award Number:||R305A150435|
Co-Principal Investigators: Collins, Molly (Vanderbilt University), Dickinson, David (Vanderbilt University), Golinkoff, Roberta (University of Delaware)
Purpose: The research team will develop and pilot test an intervention designed to foster vocabulary development among preschool children from low-income homes. Low-income children typically have smaller vocabularies than their middle-income peers, and these vocabulary disparities directly contribute to the achievement gap. This project will extend the research team's previous Development and Innovation project (Increasing Vocabulary in Preschoolers: Using Cognitive Science to Guide Pedagogy), where they developed and pilot tested an intervention that combines shared book reading with guided play. The research team will extend this work in the current project by creating a toolkit of shared book reading activities combined with adult supported play in the form of large group games, board games, digital games, songs, and socio-dramatic play.
Project Activities: During Years 1 and 2, the research team will work with a Design Team that includes teachers and will use an iterative method to create four thematically coherent units that will support language learning in preschool classrooms. Each unit will include shared book reading and five types of playful learning experiences. In Year 2, the research team will test combinations of book reading plus play components as part of the design process. In Year 3, the research team will conduct a pilot test to assess the promise of the intervention for improving students' learning of target words and general vocabulary, taking into account fidelity as well as student and teacher demographic factors that may affect learning.
Products: This project will result in a fully developed intervention designed to foster vocabulary development among preschool children from low-income homes and peer-reviewed publications.
Setting: This project will take place in urban areas in Tennessee and Pennsylvania.
Sample: In Years 1 and 2, eight preschool teachers will participate on the design team along with nearly 200 preschool students (96 each year). In Year 2, 10 preschool teachers will participate in the Year 2 design study along with approximately 120 preschool students. In Year 3, 30 teachers (10 of whom participated in the Year 2 design study) will participate in the pilot study along with approximately 360 preschool students. Teachers and their students will vary in racial background and home language (approximately 13–15% of the students will be English Learners).
Intervention: The intervention will consist of four thematically coherent units that will support language learning in preschool classrooms. Each unit will teach 30 words as books are read, with reinforcement provided by activities. There are two unit components: (1) shared book reading and (2) five types of playful learning experiences (PLEs), intended for use at different times of the day. Group games and music will be for large group use; socio-dramatic play will be for large or small teacher-led groups; board games will be for small teacher-led groups; and digital games will be for children to use with friends with minimal teacher presence. The intervention will include classroom materials, professional development, coaching methods, and a progress monitoring system to help teachers employ the intervention's language learning principles.
Research Design and Methods: In Years 1 and 2, the Design Team will develop four units, professional development workshops, training videos, and methods for progress monitoring. As materials are developed, teachers will try them in their classrooms and provide feedback. In Year 2, the research team will test the effectiveness of each PLE by having teachers read core instructional books and use only activities from a particular type of PLE. Qualitative information collected from teachers and coaches will be used to determine feasibility of use. Assessments of children's receptive and expressive knowledge of taught words will test the effectiveness of each book reading and PLE pair. The research team will develop and test tools to track fidelity to the intervention for each PLE. In Year 3, the research team will conduct a pilot test to examine the extent to which the fully developed units and support materials are effective in improving students' vocabulary. Teachers will be randomly assigned to either implement the intervention or to the control condition. Of those teachers implementing the intervention, half will be new implementers and half will have participated in the Year 2 design study in order to look at how experience implementing the intervention affects fidelity of implementation and student outcomes. Students will be given pre- and post-tests to assess their vocabulary knowledge.
Control Condition: In the pilot study, control group teachers will receive the same books as those in the intervention group, but will not be given guidance in book reading or play activities.
Key Measures: Children's receptive knowledge of control, exposure, and target words as well as their expressive vocabulary knowledge will be assessed using researcher developed tests. General vocabulary knowledge will be assessed using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test—Fourth Edition. Demographic factors (i.e., teacher education/experience, children's language status, parental support for language/literacy/play) will be assessed using questionnaires. Fidelity of implementation will be assessed using a self-report system that teachers will use twice a week. Additionally, teachers will log children's attendance and participation on tablets.
Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will look for main effects of condition on vocabulary gains; demographics as moderators of condition effects; and fidelity of implementation effects on vocabulary gains. The data analytic strategy will involve linear mixed modeling, and all analyses will take the clustered nature of the data into account.
Related IES Project: Increasing Vocabulary in Preschoolers: Using Cognitive Science to Guide Pedagogy (R305A110128)
Journal article, monograph, or newsletter
Golinkoff, R.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Grob, R., and Schlesinger, M. (2017). "Oh, the Places You'll Go" by Bringing Developmental Science Into the World! . Child Development, 88(5): 1403–1408.
Hassinger-Das, B., Ridge, K., Parker, A., Golinkoff, R.M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., and Dickinson, D.K. (2016). Building Vocabulary Knowledge in Preschoolers Through Shared Book Reading and Gameplay. Mind, Brain, and Education, 10(2): 71–80.
Hassinger-Das, B., Toub, T.S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., and Golinkoff, R.M. (2017). A Matter of Principle: Applying Language Science to the Classroom and Beyond. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 3(1): 5–18.