WWC review of this study

Effective early literacy skill development for young Spanish-speaking English language learners: An experimental study of two methods [Literacy Express in English only vs. business as usual (HighScope)]

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 
    63
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: July 2022

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Language outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Definitional Vocabulary subtest

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

47.45

41.23

No

--
More Outcomes

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Receptive Vocabulary

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

30.62

28.33

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Receptive Vocabulary Subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

24.58

23.79

No

--

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Definitional Vocabulary Subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

25.90

25.74

No

--
Reading & Literacy Related outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Elision subtest

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

7.96

6.37

No

--
More Outcomes

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Blending subtest

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

14.31

12.69

No

--

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Print Knowledge subtest

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

20.11

16.61

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Elision Subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

5.94

5.52

No

--

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Blending Subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

11.13

10.59

No

--

Preschool Comprehensive Test of Phonological and Print Processing (P–CTOPPP) Print Knowledge Subtest (Spanish)

Literacy Express in English only vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English-only condition versus comparison;
63 students

13.14

12.83

No

--


Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 100% English language learners

  • Female: 46%
    Male: 54%

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    California
  • Race
    Other or unknown
    100%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    100%

Setting

The study was conducted in 10 classes in a Head Start preschool program located in a Los Angeles neighborhood. The intervention was delivered in separate classrooms near the children's regular classrooms and was delivered in small groups. The comparison students received instruction in their regular classrooms.

Study sample

The characteristics of the sample pertain to the overall sample of children that was randomly assigned to one of the three conditions (this review focused on only the 31 children who were assigned to the English-only version of the intervention and the 32 children who were assigned to the comparison condition). The sample included 43 girls and 51 boys and all of students were Spanish speaking. The authors report that all of the children's parents had Mexican or Central American ancestry but does not provide racial or ethnic breakdowns for students. The authors also report the mother’s educational levels which ranged from less than 6th grade to college degree.

Intervention Group

The students in the High/Scope Curriculum and the Literacy Express Preschool Curriculum in English only intervention received the small group activities in groups of 4 to 5 in separate classrooms for approximately 20 minutes, 4 times per week for about 21 weeks. This was addition to their regular instructional activities from the High/Scope Curriculum. Children participated in different small groups depending on their availability. The groups were led by trained assistants, who also conducted the transitional intervention group. During the reading activities, the instructors used scaffolding techniques (such as asking specific types of ‘‘Wh-’’ and open-ended questions, modeling, using expansions and repetitions) to encourage children to discuss the pictures in the book and the narrative. The scaffolding shifted from simple to more complex over time. The phonological awareness activities involved word games that used picture-puzzles and other manipulatives, and followed the developmental sequence of phonological awareness. The print knowledge activities involved pictures, letters, and writing to teach the alphabet (letter names and letter sounds), and later included the sounds associated with letters. Aside from these pullout sessions, the children were instructed using High/Scope.

Comparison Group

The students in the comparison condition received their business as usual High/Scope Curriculum in their regular classrooms.

Support for implementation

Over 2 months, one of the authors trained four bilingual graduate research assistants to implement the intervention. The instructors also received a curriculum guide.

 

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