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IES Grant

Title: Evaluating the Efficacy of the CLAVES Intervention: An Intervention Focused on Comprehension, Academic Language, and Vocabulary for English Learner Students
Center: NCER Year: 2020
Principal Investigator: Silverman, Rebecca Awardee: Stanford University
Program: Policies, Practices, and Programs to Support English Learners      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (09/01/2020 - 08/31/2025) Award Amount: $3,298,217
Type: Efficacy Award Number: R305A200095

Co-Principal Investigators: Proctor, Patrick; Harring, Jeffrey

Purpose: This project will test the impact of the Comprehension, Academic Language, and Vocabulary for English Learner Students (CLAVES) program, which is a small-group literacy intervention for 4th and 5th grade English learners to promote academic language and literacy. CLAVES was previously developed and piloted through an IES grant The CLAVES Intervention Project: Developing a Supplemental Intervention for Comprehension, Linguistic Awareness, and Vocabulary in English for Spanish Speakers (R305A140114). The under-powered, quasi-experimental pilot study from this previous grant indicated that CLAVES may improve academic language, reading comprehension, and argument writing. The purpose of the proposed study is to evaluate the intervention in a fully powered multisite student randomized initial efficacy trial.

Project Activities: Researches will conduct a two-level multisite student randomized control trial to determine the efficacy of CLAVES compared to business as usual to determine the impact of the interventions on student outcomes such as English language ability, reading and writing, and reclassification as English proficient. This study will occur over multiple years and will include an implementation study and a cost effectiveness study.

Products: The products of this project will include evidence of the efficacy of CLAVES, information about the cost and cost effectiveness of CLAVES, peer-reviewed publications and presentations, and additional dissemination products that reach education stakeholders such as practitioners and policymakers.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The study will take place in a large, urban school district in California.

Sample: The study will be conducted by interventionists (intended end-users) with small groups of ELs in grades 4 and 5 grades with approximately 5 to 6 students per group. Approximately 30 and 36 students per school (n = 1080) will participate in the study.

Intervention: CLAVES is a supplemental intervention developed to facilitate ELs' English academic language, reading comprehension, and writing skills. It aims to support ELs as they acquire the English language proficiency needed to achieve across content areas and for reclassification as fluent English proficient. CLAVES is a small group intervention delivered by interventionists (such as reading or English language specialists) that includes text-based instruction in language reading comprehension, facilitated language use, and EL supports. Facilitated language use includes strategies the foster discussion such as teacher encouragement to use talk that helps students engage in substantive conversations. EL supports include strategies such as helping students recognize cognates and connections across languages as well as visual scaffolds (pictures, graphic organizers, and multimedia). CLAVES includes a total of 48 lessons (45 minutes each) over 3 instructional units. Units consist of (a) two 5-day text-based lesson cycles culminating in a "big question" dialogic reasoning discussion and (b) a 2-day writing cycle.

Research Design and Methods: Researchers will use a two-level multisite student randomized design with randomization at the student level and students nested in schools. Students within schools will be randomly assigned to the intervention or the business as usual (BAU) control group. Interventionists will be assigned to a condition, either CLAVES or BAU, and they will deliver the intervention to students who may be grouped across classrooms. The researchers will collect data in three waves across each of the schools. In each wave, researchers will collect student data before and after the intervention and will follow the students into the next academic year. During each wave, the researchers will also collect observation data and they will video record intervention sessions and score the sessions for fidelity.

Control Condition: The control condition will be a business-as-usual intervention typically used as a supplemental intervention in school district.

Key Measures: Researchers will collect standardized measures of decoding, academic language, reading comprehension, and writing from students both pre- and post-intervention. They will also collect administrative data, including state/district ELA and EL reclassification data and survey data from students' caregivers and students about home language and literacy proficiency.

Data Analysis: The researchers will use separate two-level multilevel analyses to evaluate whether there is a statistically significant effect of the CLAVES intervention at posttest for proposed outcomes. For the reclassification outcome variable, they will use a multilevel model with a binary outcome. They will also conduct moderation analyses and examine the fidelity of implementation within the CLAVES group.

Cost and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: The researchers will use CostOut to estimate costs of CLAVES and will compare it to the costs of the control condition to calculate the cost per unit of effectiveness.

Related Projects: Investigating Vocabulary Breadth and Depth and Comprehension in English Monolingual and Spanish-English Bilingual Elementary School Students (R305A090152); The CLAVES Intervention Project: Developing a Supplemental Intervention for Comprehension, Linguistic Awareness, and Vocabulary in English for Spanish Speakers (R305A140114); Core Academic Language Skills Instrument: Refining the Assessment to Measure and Monitor English Learners' Progress (R305A190034)