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 and Spanish 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

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Language outcomes—Statistically significant positive 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 and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

52.28

41.23

Yes

 
 
27
 
More Outcomes

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

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

31.79

28.33

Yes

 
 
26
 
Show Supplemental Findings

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

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

27.03

23.79

Yes

 
 
24

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

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

32.66

25.74

No

--
Reading & Literacy Related outcomes—Statistically significant positive 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) Print Knowledge subtest

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

23.90

16.61

Yes

 
 
32
 
More Outcomes

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

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

8.04

6.37

Yes

 
 
23
 

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

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

14.43

12.69

Yes

 
 
20
 
Show Supplemental Findings

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

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

7.40

5.52

Yes

 
 
29

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

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

12.71

10.59

Yes

 
 
22

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

Literacy Express in English and Spanish vs. Business as usual

0 Days

English/Spanish condition versus comparison;
63 students

16.54

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/Spanish 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 intervention was taught for approximately 20 minutes a day, 4 times a week for roughly 21 weeks. The authors created parallel Spanish-language versions of the core small-group activities and materials from the Literacy Express Preschool Curriculum. Instruction started in Spanish; during week 9, instruction was transitioned from Spanish to English instruction over 3–4 weeks (12–16 training sessions). During the transition, the instructors reviewed each of the lessons that had been previously given in Spanish, and delivered them in English. Beginning around week 14, all lessons were delivered in English. 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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