Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: Sit Together and Read: Early Childhood Special Education
Center: NCSER Year: 2008
Principal Investigator: Justice, Laura Awardee: Ohio State University
Program: Early Intervention and Early Learning in Special Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 6/1/2008 to 5/31/2012 Award Amount: $3,866,519
Goal: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R324A080037
Description:

Purpose: Children who exhibit primary language impairment in preschool often fail to become good readers. In fact, more than half of these children exhibit a reading disability in second grade. Reading proficiently is a vital skill for academic success and gainful employment. Current practices for preschoolers with language impairment focus on teaching language skills such as vocabulary or grammar. These traditional practices are largely inadequate for improving these children's pre-literacy skills. Therefore, alternative practices, such as print-referencing, need to be tested to determine whether they improve the language and pre-reading skills of preschool children with language impairment.

Researchers are addressing this need by examining the efficacy of a fully-developed, print-referencing intervention for improving pre-reading skills of preschoolers who have a primary language impairment and are educated in early childhood special education classrooms. They will also determine the extent to which children's pre-reading skills are accelerated by combined use of print-referencing in the classroom by teachers and at home by parents.

Project Activities: Print-referencing employs the adult-child shared storybook-reading context to accelerate children's pre-reading skills. Each year, 30 classrooms will be randomly assigned to one of two print-referencing interventions or instruction as usual. The two print-referencing interventions differ on who implements print-referencing strategies. In the first intervention, teachers will implement print-referencing strategies while parents continue to read to their children using their typical reading style. In the second intervention, both teachers and parents will implement print-referencing strategies. To determine intervention impacts, a variety of statistical analyses ranging from basic descriptive analyses to multi-level modeling of children's pre-reading outcomes will be used.

Products: The products of this project include evidence of the efficacy of two print-referencing interventions, published reports, and presentations.

Setting: The research will occur in Ohio.

Population: Approximately 90 classrooms in Ohio will participate in this study. Researchers estimate that four children in each classroom will meet their criteria for having a language impairment. While the research focuses on children with a language impairment, data will also be collected on typically developing children as well as children who have disabilities other than a language impairment.

Intervention: The efficacy of two print-referencing interventions will be examined. Print-referencing employs the adult-child shared storybook-reading context to accelerate children's pre-reading skills. It features adult's use of explicit verbal and nonverbal references to specific print features during repeated reading interactions.

Both interventions will be implemented over a 30-week period using a set of 30 books that were selected for their print salient features, such as speech bubbles, font changes and accentuated words. All teachers will read each book to the class four times per week. In addition, parents will be asked to read the book to their children twice a week.

The two print-referencing interventions differ on who implements print-referencing strategies. In the first intervention, teachers will implement print-referencing strategies during the 30 week intervention period. Parents will continue to read using their typical reading style. In the second intervention, both teachers and parents will implement print-referencing strategies.

Research Design and Methods: A cohort model with three sequential cohorts of 30 classrooms will be utilized. Each year, 30 classrooms will be randomly assigned to one of the two interventions or to the control condition. Data on pre-reading skills of children with language impairments will be collected during the fall and spring of the intervention year and a year after intervention implementation.

Control Condition: In the control condition, teachers and parents will read the same set of storybooks using their typical reading style.

Key Measures: Assessments include measures of children's alphabet knowledge, name-writing ability, and print concepts. In addition, the researchers will collect data on children's social and behavior skills, book-reading engagement, speech and language services, teacher beliefs, and home and classroom environments. Finally, data will be collected on the quality and fidelity of intervention implementation.

Data Analytic Strategy: To determine intervention impacts, a variety of statistical analyses ranging from basic descriptive analyses to multi-level modeling of children's pre-reading outcomes will be used. Analyses will also include variables that might moderate or mediate the effect of the interventions on children's pre-reading outcomes.

Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Dinnebeil, L. A., Sawyer, B., Cancio, E., Dynia, J., & Justice, L. (in press). Congruence between parents' and teachers' ratings of the social skills and problem behavior of preschoolers with disabilities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly.

Dinnebeil, L., Sawyer, B., Logan, J., Cancio, E., Dynia, J., and Justice, L.M. (2013). Influences on the Congruence Between Parents' and Teachers' Ratings of Young Children's Social Skills and Problem Behaviors. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(1): 144–152. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2012.03.001

Dynia, J. M., Brock, M. E., Logan, J. A., Justice, L. M., and Kaderavek, J. N. (2016). Comparing Children with ASD and Their Peers' Growth in Print Knowledge. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(7): 2490–2500. doi:10.1007/s10803–016–2790–9 Full text

Dynia, J.M., and Justice, L.M. (2015). Shared-Reading Volume in Early Childhood Special Education Classrooms. Reading Psychology, 36(3): 232–269. doi:10.1080/02702711.2013.843065

Dynia, J.M., Lawton, K., Logan, J.A.R., and Justice, L.M. (2014). Comparing Emergent-Literacy Skills and Home-Literacy Environment of Children with Autism and Their Peers. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 34(3): 142–153. doi:10.1177/0271121414536784

Glenn-Applegate, K., Justice, L. M., and Kaderavek, J. (2016). How Do Caregivers Select Preschools? A Study of Children with and without Disabilities. Child & Youth Care Forum, 45(1): 123–153. doi:10.1007/s10566–015–9322–1

Glenn-Applegate, K., Pentimonti, J., and Justice, L.M. (2011). Parents' Selection Factors When Choosing Preschool Programs for Their Children With Disabilities. Child and Youth Care Forum, 40(3): 211–231. doi:10.1007/s10566–010–9134–2

Guo, Y., Dynia, J.M., Pelatti, C.Y., and Justice, L.M. (2014). Self-Efficacy of Early Childhood Special Education Teachers: Links to Classroom Quality and Children's Learning for Children With Language Impairment. Teaching and Teacher Education, 39: 12–21. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2013.11.005

Guo, Y., Sawyer, B.E., Justice, L.M., and Kaderavek, J.N. (2013). Quality of the Literacy Environment in Inclusive Early Childhood Special Education Classrooms. Journal of Early Intervention, 35(1): 40–60. doi:10.1177/1053815113500343

Justice, L. M., Logan, J. A., Itan, S., and Saškes, M. (2016). The Home-Literacy Environment of Young Children with Disabilities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 37: 131–139. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2016.05.002 Full text

Justice, L., Logan, J., Kaderavek, J., Schmitt, M.B., Tompkins, V., and Bartlett, C. (2013). Empirically Based Profiles of the Early Literacy Skills of Children With Language Impairment in Early Childhood Special Education. Journal of Learning Disabilities. doi:10.1177/0022219413510179

Justice, L.M., Logan, J.A.L., Kaderavek, J.N., and Dynia, J. (2015). Print-Focused Read-Alouds in Early Childhood Special Education Programs. Exceptional Children, 81(3): 292–311. doi:10.1177/0014402914563693

Justice, L.M., Logan, J.A.R., Lin, T.J., and Kaderavek, J.N. (2014). Peer Effects in Early Childhood Education: Testing the Assumptions of Special Education Inclusion. Psychological Science, 25(9): 1722–1729 . doi:10.1177/0956797614538978

Kaderavek, J.N., Guo, Y., and Justice, L.M. (2012). Validity of the Children's Orientation to Book Reading Rating Scale. Journal of Research in Reading, 0: 1–20. doi:10.1111/j.1467–9817.2012.01528.x

Kaderavek, J.N., Pentimonti, J.M., and Justice, L.M. (2014). Children With Communication Impairments: Caregivers' and Teachers' Shared Book-Reading Quality and Children's Level of Engagement. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 30(3): 289–302. doi:10.1177/0265659013513812

Pelatti, C. Y., Dynia, J. M., Logan, J. A., Justice, L. M., and Kaderavek, J. (2016). Examining Quality in Two Preschool Settings: Publicly Funded Early Childhood Education and Inclusive Early Childhood Education Classrooms. Child & Youth Care Forum, 45(6): 829–849. doi:10.1007/s10566–016–9359–9

Pentimonti, J. M., Murphy, K. A., Justice, L. M., Logan, J. A., and Kaderavek, J. N. (2016). School Readiness of Children with Language Impairment: Predicting Literacy Skills from Pre-Literacy and Social-Behavioural Dimensions. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 51(2): 148–161. doi:10.1111/1460–6984.12193

Pentimonti, J.M., Justice, L.M., and Kaderavek, J.N. (2014). School-Readiness Profiles of Children With Language Impairment: Linkages to Home and Classroom Experiences. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 49(5): 567–583. doi:10.1111/1460–6984.12094

Petrill, S.A., Logan, J.A., Sawyer, B.E., and Justice, L.M. (2012). It Depends: Conditional Correlation Between Frequency of Storybook Reading and Emergent Literacy Skills in Children With Language Impairments. Journal of Learning Disabilities. doi:10.1177/0022219412470518

Sawyer, B., Justice, L.M., Guo, Y., Logan, J.A.R., Petrill, S.A., Glenn-Applegate, K., Kaderavek, J.N., and Pentimonti, J.M. (2014). Relations Among Home Literacy Environment, Child Characteristics and Print Knowledge for Preschool Children With Language Impairment. Journal of Research in Reading, 37(1): 65–83. doi:10.1111/jrir.12008


Back