WWC review of this study

Effective early literacy skill development for young spanish-speaking english language learners: An experimental study of two methods.

Farver, J. A. M., Lonigan, C. J., & Eppe, S. (2009). Child Development, 80(3), 703-719. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ840084

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    94
     Students
    , grade
    PK
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: July 2010

Oral language outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Definitional Vocabulary subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Preschoolers;
94 students

49.87

41.23

Yes

 
 
23
More Outcomes

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Receptive Vocabulary subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Preschoolers;
94 students

31.21

28.33

Yes

 
 
21
Show Supplemental Findings

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Definitional Vocabulary subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

52.28

41.23

Yes

 
 
27

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Receptive Vocabulary subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

31.79

28.33

Yes

 
 
26

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Receptive Vocabulary subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

27.03

23.79

Yes

 
 
24

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Definitional Vocabulary subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

47.45

41.23

No

 
 
16

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Definitional Vocabulary subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

32.66

25.74

No

 
 
16

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Receptive Vocabulary subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

30.62

28.33

No

 
 
15

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Receptive Vocabulary subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

24.58

23.79

No

--

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Definitional Vocabulary subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

25.9

25.74

No

--
Phonological processing outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Elision subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Preschoolers;
94 students

8

6.37

Yes

 
 
21
More Outcomes

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Blending subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Preschoolers;
94 students

14.37

12.69

Yes

 
 
19
Show Supplemental Findings

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Elision subtestv (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

7.4

5.52

Yes

 
 
29

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Elision subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

7.96

6.37

Yes

 
 
23

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Elision subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

8.04

6.37

Yes

 
 
23

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Blending subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

12.71

10.59

Yes

 
 
22

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Blending subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

14.43

12.69

Yes

 
 
20

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Blending subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

14.31

12.69

No

 
 
18

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Elision subtestv (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

5.94

5.52

No

 
 
11

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Blending subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

11.13

10.59

No

--
Print knowledge outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Print Knowledge subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Preschoolers;
94 students

22.01

16.61

Yes

 
 
24
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Print Knowledge subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

23.9

16.61

Yes

 
 
32

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Print Knowledge subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

Transitional group;
63 students

16.54

12.83

No

 
 
18

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Print Knowledge subtest

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

20.11

16.61

No

 
 
16

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP): Print Knowledge subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express vs. High/Scope

Posttest

English-only group;
63 students

13.14

12.83

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 100% English language learners

  • Female: 46%
    Male: 54%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    100%
    Not Hispanic
    0%

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    California

Setting

The study was conducted in a Head Start program in inner-city Los Angeles, California

Study sample

Ninety-six Spanish-speaking English language learners in a Head Start program were randomly assigned, balancing for gender, to one of three conditions: (1) the High/Scope curriculum supplemented with small groups using Literacy Express in English only, (2) the High/Scope curriculum supplemented with small groups using Literacy Express beginning in Spanish and transitioning to English, and (3) the High/Scope curriculum only. Children were assigned to conditions within 10 classrooms. During the course of the year, two children moved, resulting in a sample of 94 children (31 in English-only Literacy Express, 31 in the transitional Literacy Express, 32 in the control group). All children were born in the United States and lived in households in which Spanish was the primary language. Children receiving resource help for speech and language delays were not eligible for the study. The children in the sample were age 54.5 months, on average, and 46% were female.

Intervention Group

The intervention consisted of activities in dialogic reading, phonological awareness, and print knowledge. Dialogic reading activities included scaffolding techniques, such as asking “Wh-” and open-ended questions and using expansions and repetitions to encourage children to talk about the book. Phonological awareness involved word games that used picture puzzles to teach children that words were made of smaller sound units. Print knowledge activities taught children about the alphabet, including recognizing letters and their associated sounds. The intervention was delivered to small groups of four to five children in separate classrooms adjacent to the regular classrooms. The groups met for 20 minutes, four times a week, from mid-November to mid-May and were led by trained bilingual graduate students. In the Spanish-transition condition, instruction was in Spanish for the first eight weeks, followed by three to four weeks of transition. All lessons starting around week 14 were delivered in English. Children in the English-only condition received the full 21 weeks of lessons in English.

Comparison Group

The comparison group received the High/Scope curriculum, which was typically offered in the center.

Outcome descriptions

The primary outcome domains assessed were oral language, print knowledge, and phonological processing, all of which were assessed with standardized measures. Oral language was assessed with the Receptive Vocabulary and Definitional Vocabulary subtests from the Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (Pre-CTOPPP). Print knowledge was assessed with the Print Knowledge subtest from the Pre-CTOPPP. Phonological processing was assessed with the Blending and Elision subtests from the Pre-CTOPPP. Pretesting was done in fall of the preschool year, and posttesting was done in spring of the preschool year. Assessments were administered by trained research staff who were not involved in the delivery of the intervention and were blind to the children’s treatment status. Assessments were conducted with all children in English and Spanish; only the English assessments are used in the rating of the intervention. Outcomes for the Spanish assessments are included in Appendix 4.1–A4.3, A4.5, A4.7, and A4.9. For a more detailed description of the outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1–A2.5.

Support for implementation

Four bilingual graduate students were taught to deliver the intervention by one of the study’s authors, who also supervised the intervention. No other information on training is provided.

 

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