Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: Developing Theory- and Evidence-based Oral Language Intervention: Integrated Multi-Component Oral Development for Literacy (iMODEL)
Center: NCER Year: 2020
Principal Investigator: Kim, Young-Suk Awardee: University of California, Irvine
Program: Literacy      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (07/01/2020 - 06/30/2024) Award Amount: $1,400,000
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305A200312

Purpose: In this project, the research team will develop and examine the feasibility, usability, and potential promise of a multi-component oral language comprehension intervention called iMODEL (Integrated Multi-component Oral Development for Language and Literacy). iMODEL is designed for small group instruction for kindergartners with below-average oral language skills. This intervention targets multiple skills that contribute to listening comprehension such as foundational knowledge (vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, text structure knowledge) and higher order cognitive skills (inference making, comprehension monitoring) for kindergartners. The iMODEL intervention will provide an important platform to improve children's listening comprehension, a critical and necessary skill for reading comprehension.

Project Activities: The research team will use an iterative design process to develop the iMODEL intervention, involving repeated cycles of development, feedback, and revision. At each stage (field trials and pilot), they will use a blocked randomized control trial design in which children are matched on demographics and language skills, and randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions within each matched pair.

Products: Products include a fully developed iMODEL intervention, including all materials and products necessary to implement iMODEL, as well as evidence on the feasibility, usability, and potential promise for kindergartners. Materials will be available on a user-friendly project website and will include scope and sequence, alignments to the Common Core Standards, lesson plans, materials, and information about the cost of the intervention and cost effectiveness. Researchers will present results at researcher and practitioner-oriented conferences, publish findings in peer reviewed journals.

Structured Abstract

Setting: This project will take place in two Elementary School Districts situated in urban locations in southern California.

Sample: The research team will work with elementary schools that predominantly serve children from low-income families (namely, those in which at least 40 percent of students are eligible for the free and reduced lunch program). Kindergartners who are below the 40th percentile on normed language comprehension measures are eligible to participate in the study.

Intervention: The iMODEL intervention will include explicit and systematic instruction on the following language and cognitive skills based on theory and empirical evidence: vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, text structure knowledge, comprehension monitoring, and inference. The intervention will consist of 22 weeks with 4 days of instruction per week (25 to 30 minutes per session) in small groups (3 to 4 students). The 22 weeks will be composed of 4 units of 5 weeks and 2 weeks of cumulative review. Target skills will be aligned with the Common Core State Standards or similar state standards.

Research Design and Methods: To develop the iMODEL intervention, the research team will revise and extend the already established COMPASS (Comprehension Monitoring and Providing Awareness of Story Structure) program. COMPASS focuses on teaching three component skills of reading comprehension—vocabulary, comprehension monitoring, and text structure knowledge. A teacher focus group and consultants will provide feedback throughout the development process. Once the researchers have developed an initial iMODEL program, teachers will implement the program and provide feedback on its usability and feasibility. In Year 3, the research team will conduct a pilot study with teachers to evaluate feasibility, usability, fidelity, and promise of the fully developed iMODEL intervention. Finally, the research team will conduct a follow-up assessment to evaluate potential longitudinal effects of iMODEL on listening comprehension and reading comprehension when children are in Grade 1.

Control Condition: Students in the control condition will receive business-as-usual instruction.

Key Measures: The research team will guide the development by using multiple sources of feedback, including expert consultants, teachers, interventionists, observations, and student assessment data. Student assessment will include targeted language and cognitive skills (vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, text structure knowledge, comprehension monitoring, inference) as well as listening comprehension and reading comprehension in the longitudinal follow-up study. The research team will collect implementation fidelity data in pilot study.

Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will analyze transcripts from advisory board meetings, feedback from teachers and interventionists, and observation field notes for development and revision and for usability and feasibility of iMODEL. In addition, the team will analyze student assessment data in the pilot study using multi-level structural equation modeling to examine the promise of iMODEL on component skills and on listening and reading comprehension using longitudinal follow-up data.

Cost Analysis: The research team will calculate the cost for implementing the pilot study at multiple levels (overall cost for implementation, and per student and class) accounting for expenditures for personnel (including training), facilities, and materials. Costs for teachers who provide instruction in the pilot study and teacher professional development will also be estimated. In addition, the research team will determine cost analysis per component for the five explicitly targeted components in iMODEL (vocabulary, grammatical knowledge, inference, comprehension monitoring, and text structure knowledge) by estimating percentage of these component per instructional session, and by dividing the total cost by the estimated percentage. Intervention costs will be contrasted with those of the comparison group (business-as-usual) which will incur costs for classroom facilities and teachers.

Related IES Project:

What Does It Take to Develop Writing Skills for Spanish-speaking English Learners? A Longitudinal Examination of Co-development of Language, Cognitive, and Writing Skills (R305A180055)

Development of Oral and Silent Reading Fluency and Their Relation with Reading Comprehension in First Through Third Grade Students (R305A120147)

Project Website:


Kim, Y.-S. G., Petscher, Y., Treiman, R., & Kelcey, B. (in press). Letter features as predictors of letter-name acquisition in four languages with three scripts. Scientific Studies of Reading.
ERIC ID: ED609249