|Title:||Improving Language and Literacy Outcomes for Preschool Children at Highest Risk for Reading Problems|
|Principal Investigator:||Kaiser, Ann||Awardee:||Vanderbilt University|
|Program:||Early Intervention and Early Learning [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||6/1/2006 to 5/31/2010||Award Amount:||$2,995,758|
|Type:||Efficacy and Replication||Award Number:||R324E060088|
Purpose: Language and early literacy skills are foundational to reading and school success. Effective early intervention during the preschool years for children at highest risk for school failure may improve their chances of learning to read and learning from reading in the early elementary school years. Children with Individualized Education Plans (IEP), children with very low language, and children with low language and high problem behaviors who are also enrolled in Head Start are of high risk for later reading problems. The purpose of this project is to examine the differential effects of three approaches to improving language and literacy skills in these very risk high children enrolled in Head Start. These approaches are: 1) Opening the World of Learning (OWL); 2) OWL + Enhanced Milieu Teaching (EMT), and 3) Creative Curriculum (CC), a general curriculum model which is widely used in Head Start.
Project Activities: Children will be administered a battery of language, literacy and achievement tests at four time points to determine the immediate and longer term effects of the interventions (i.e.- pre intervention, post intervention, kindergarten follow-up, and first grade follow-up). Teacher reported measures of behavior, social skills, and classroom relationships will be collected. The differential effects will be examined for the (1) OWL (a curriculum specifically designed to provide instruction in early literacy skills); (2) OWL + Enhanced Milieu Teaching (an individualized naturalistic communication intervention designed to teach specific language skills in the context of every day activities); and (3) Creative Curriculum (a general curriculum model which is widely used in Head Start). Data will be analyzed using HLM techniques with a systematic examination of child, teacher, and classroom quality factors that moderate the effects of the interventions. In addition, growth curves for language and early literacy skills will be derived using Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI).
Products: The expected outcomes from this study include:
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to examine the differential effects of three approaches to improving language and literacy skills of children who are enrolled in Head Start and have Individualized Education Plans (IEP), very low language, or low language and high problem behaviors. These approaches are: 1) Opening the World of Learning (OWL); 2) OWL + Enhanced Milieu Teaching (EMT); and 3) Creative Curriculum (CC), a general curriculum model which is widely used in Head Start classrooms.
Setting: The Head Start programs are located in Alabama.
Population: Approximately 480 children in 60 Head Start classrooms will participate in this research. Of these children, 120 will have IEPs; 240 will have very low language as identified by Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT-III) scores two standard deviations below national norms; and120 will have low language and behavior problems as identified by low PPVT scores and high problem behavior scores on the Social Skill Rating System (SSRS) behavior subscale.
Intervention: Two interventions are being evaluated and compared to the Creative Curriculum control condition: (1) Opening the World of Learning (OWL) and (2) OWL + Enhanced Milieu Teaching (EMT).
The OWL intervention is a published curriculum designed for use in preschool classrooms to support all aspects of child development. Language and literacy related skills are central to the content of the curriculum. Daily activities are emphasized in large group book reading, thematically related small and large group activities, and teacher-child interactions during center times, meals, and outdoor play. OWL provides teachers with detailed rubrics for teaching in small groups and centers, guidelines for behaviors to observe during activities, and suggestions for ways to adjust activities to meet individual child needs.
The EMT intervention is a hybrid intervention technique that utilizes principles of environmental arrangement, responsive interaction, and incidental teaching to teach language to children with moderate to severe language delays. In everyday conversational interactions with children, adults arrange the environment to provide activities of interest, promote child engagement and communication, and prompt child production of target language in functional contexts.
Research Design and Methods: A randomized treatment study will be conducted to determine the efficacy of the two interventions as compared to each other and to the Creative Curriculum control condition. Sixty Head Start classrooms will be randomly assigned to one of the three experimental conditions. Teachers will be trained to high levels of treatment fidelity on the curricula during the first year, and treatment will begin in the fall of the second year. Children will be followed each year through first grade. In addition, 240 children will be randomly selected and observed during small group instruction to examine behavior and interactions with teachers and explore variables that may account for differences in the three intervention groups.
Control Condition: Creative Curriculum will serve as the control condition. This curriculum is one of the most widely used in Head Start. While it provides a framework for teachers, it does not provide specific activities or instructional approaches for teaching language or literacy skills.
Key Measures: Children will be administered a battery of language, literacy and achievement measures at four time points (i.e.- pre intervention, post intervention, kindergarten follow-up, and first grade follow-up) to determine the immediate and longer term effects of the three interventions. In addition, data on the fidelity of intervention implementation and teacher reported measures of behavior, social skills, and classroom relationships will be collected.
Data Analytic Strategy: Data will be analyzed using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) techniques with a systematic examination of child, teacher, and classroom quality factors that moderate the effects of the interventions. In addition, growth curves for language and early literacy skills will be derived using the Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI).
Dickinson, D. K., & Darrow, C. (in press). Methodological and practical challenges of broad-gauged language interventions. In T. Shanahan & C. Lonigan (Eds.), Literacy in preschool and kindergarten children: The National Early Literacy Panel and Beyond. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Dickinson, D.K, Freiberg, J.B., and Barnes, E. (2011). Why are so Few Interventions Really Effective? A Call for Fine-Grained Research Methodology. In S.B. Neuman, and D.K. Dickinson (Eds.), Handbook of Early Literacy Research (pp. 337–357). New York: Guilford Press.
Dickinson, D.K. (2012). Approaches to Studying Language in Preschool Classrooms. In E. Hoff (Ed.), Guide to Research Methods in Child Language (pp. 254–270). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444344035.ch17
Kaiser, A.P. (in press). Practical Assessments of Communication in the Classroom. In M. McLean, M.L. Hemmeter, and P. Snyder (Eds.), Essential Elements for Assessing Infants and Preschoolers With Special Needs. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Publishing Co.
Kaiser, A.P., Roberts, M.Y., and McLeod, R.H. (2010). Young Children With Language Impairments: Challenges in Transition to Reading. In D.K. Dickinson, and S.B. Neuman (Eds.), Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Vol III (pp. 153–174). New York: Guilford Press.
McFarland, D., Diehl, D., and Rawlings, C.M. (2010). Methodological Transactionalism and the Sociology of Education. In M.T. Hallinan (Ed.), Frontiers of the Sociology of Education (pp. 87–110). New York: Springer Publishing.
Journal article, monograph, or newsletter
Castro, D., Paez, M., Dickinson, D., and Frede, E. (2011). Promoting Language and Literacy in Young Language Minority Children: Research, Practice and Policy. Child Development Perspectives, 5(1): 15–20. doi:10.1111/j.1750–8606.2010.00142.x
Dickinson, D.K., Golinkoff, R.M., and Hirsh-Pasek, K.K. (2010). Speaking Out for Language: Why Language Is Central to Reading Development. Educational Researcher, 39(4): 305–310. doi:10.3102/0013189X10370204
Kleeck, A.V., Schwarz, A.L., Fey, M., Kaiser, A.P., Miller, J., and Weitzman, E. (2010). Should we use Telegraphic or Grammatical Input in the Early Stages of Language Development With Children who Have Language Impairments? A Meta-Analysis of the Research and Expert Opinion. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 19: 3–21. doi:10.1044/1058–0360(2009/08–0075)