WWC review of this study

The effects of adult-interactive behaviors within the context of repeated storybook readings upon the language development and selected prereading skills of prekindergarten at-risk students (Doctoral dissertation).

Mautte, L. A. (1991). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 9115887) Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED344186

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    38
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: April 2015

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Language development outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Preschool Language Scale (PLS)

Shared Book Reading vs. Reading without interaction

Posttest

4-year-old preschool children;
38 students

65.01

61.30

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Preschool Language Scale (PLS)

Shared Book Reading vs. Reading without interaction

Posttest

Developmentally delayed 4-year-old preschool children;
21 students

60.10

54.45

Yes

 
 
36
Reading achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Test of Early Reading Ability (TERA)

Shared Book Reading vs. Reading without interaction

Posttest

4-year-old preschool children;
38 students

8.47

9.90

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

Test of Early Reading Ability (TERA)

Shared Book Reading vs. Reading without interaction

Posttest

Developmentally delayed 4-year-old preschool children;
21 students

7.00

6.00

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 51%
    Male: 49%

  • Urban
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    Florida
  • Race
    Black
    87%
    White
    9%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    4%
    Not Hispanic    
    96%

Setting

The study was conducted in one early childhood education center in the Hillsborough County School System in the inner-city section of Tampa, Florida.

Study sample

The study focused on all 4-year-old children in the prekindergarten classes in the At-Risk Program, which serves children based on educational and economic need (i.e., families receiving federal assistance) or identified as suffering from abuse and neglect. The center had six prekindergarten classes with a total of 148 children, aged 2–4 years old. All 66 children who were 4 years old were included in the sample at baseline. The sample was grouped according to developmental level. Those above the median score on the district’s Children’s Inventory of Learning Development (CHILD) Test were considered “Average Development Level,” and those below the median were considered “Delayed Development Level.” Within each level, children were randomly assigned to either repeated storybook reading with adult interaction (intervention), repeated storybook reading without adult interaction (Comparison 1), or business-as-usual prekindergarten classroom instruction (Comparison 2). At random assignment, there were 22 children in each of the three conditions. At posttest, there were 18 children in the intervention group, 20 children in the Comparison 1 group, and 15 children in the Comparison 2 group. This sample was comprised of 27 girls and 26 boys; 87% of the children were African American.

Intervention Group

The shared book reading intervention, referred to as “adult-interaction repeated storybook reading” by the study author, was implemented as a pull-out program. The intervention involved the author reading Big Book storybooks aloud to children, one book each week, for a total of 20 weeks. The same Big Book was read three times during the week. Interaction occurred before, during, and after the book reading. Before reading, the author introduced the book, encouraged children to generate predictions about the story based on title and pictures, asked questions that related the children’ lives and the story, and established a purpose for listening to the story. During the reading, the author showed illustrations, indicated the correspondence between spoken and written words with a pointer, clarified or explained the text, asked inferential questions or questions related to the purpose for listening, and encouraged children to generate predictions about the story content. After reading, the instructor encouraged discussion, asked questions to generate evaluative responses, and related the story concepts to children’s lives. On subsequent readings, the children were asked to recall key aspects of the story and to participate in the reading (chanting refrains or filling in predictable phrases). Each session lasted for a maximum of 25 minutes and was conducted in the morning during the prekindergarten classrooms’ large block of activity time.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition was repeated storybook reading without adult interaction, which was a pull-out program in which the author read the same 20 Big Book storybooks used in the intervention condition. Big Book storybooks were read as written, without adult interaction. Books were read three times per week, one book per week, for 20 weeks. Each session lasted a maximum of 25 minutes and was conducted in the morning during the prekindergarten classrooms’ large block of activity time. The author did not comment, ask questions, or answer questions before or during book reading. Although the author did not initiate any interaction with children, the author would answer children’s questions after the reading was completed.

Outcome descriptions

In the language development domain, the author used the PLS, a standardized measure of language development. In the general reading achievement domain, the author used the TERA, a standardized test of prereading, including environmental contexts, vocabulary, listening comprehension, alphabetics, and print awareness. Posttest assessments were administered at the end of the 20-week intervention period. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

The intervention and comparison storybook reading conditions were both implemented by the author, who audio-recorded each reading session and reviewed the tapes to monitor consistency of reading style in all small groups within each condition. In addition, reading instructors at the University of South Florida reviewed the tapes to assess fidelity to procedures and scripts.

 

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