The National Early Literacy Panel: A Research Synthesis on Early Literacy Development National Association of Early Childhood Specialists/SDE Annual Meeting Anaheim CA November 9, 2004. Family Partnership in Reading. Coordinated by: National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) Funded by:
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The National Early Literacy Panel: A Research Synthesis on Early Literacy DevelopmentNational Association of Early Childhood Specialists/SDEAnnual MeetingAnaheim CANovember 9, 2004
Family Partnership in Reading Coordinated by: • National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) Funded by: • National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) In consultation with: • National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) • U.S. Department of Education • Head Start Bureau, Department of Health and Human Services Coordinated by:
Family Partnership in Reading Create and disseminate professional development materials for programs providing family literacy services that summarize the scientific reading research.
Instructional strategies will be identified based on the scientific research that will enable staff in Head Start, Even Start and other programs providing family literacy services to: Help young children develop the foundational skills they need to become good readers, Equip parents to support their children’s literacy development, and Improve reading instruction for parents in family literacy programs.
Family Partnership in Reading Task 1: Identify and support a panel of researchers to synthesize the findings of scientific research studies on early literacy development in children, ages 0-5, including parental and home effects on that development. Task 2: Identify instructional strategies to help children, ages 0-5, and in kindergarten through grade three to learn to read.
Family Partnership in Reading Task 3: Create and provide professional development and materials on the findings of scientific literature about how adults learn to read and how parents and caregivers can help children learn to read. Task 4: Develop a plan for piloting the professional development components and materials from Tasks 1, 2, and 3 that leads to full-scale implementation into NCFL’s family literacy training.
Dr. Timothy Shanahan (Chair), University of Illinois at Chicago • Dr. Anne Cunningham, University of California at Berkeley • Dr. Christopher J. Lonigan, Florida State University • Dr. Kathy Escamilla, University of Colorado at Boulder • Dr. Victoria Molfese, University of Louisville • Dr. Janet Fischel, State University of New York at Stony Brook • Dr. Chris Schatschneider, Florida State University • Dr. Susan H. Landry, University of Texas—Houston • Dr. Dorothy Strickland, Rutgers University
Background • Increase the use of research as the basis for educational decision-making and debate • Report of the National Reading Panel • Need for comparable information on early literacy and family literacy
Benefits for Instruction • Help children develop the foundational skills they need to become good readers • Equip parents to support their children’s literacy development
Benefits of a Research Synthesis • The aggregation of research allows for an accounting and weighing of research evidence in support of a research question.
Multiple studies will employ different methods and different measures which should increase the robustness of a particular finding • Research syntheses can provide a rich source of ideas for needed research.
Limits to a Research Synthesis • Limited most by the availability and quality of research on a particular question. Generalizations made from a synthesis must stay within the bounds of the research.
Overview of the Questions Addressed by the Research Synthesis
1. What are young children’s (ages birth through five years) skills and abilities that predict later reading, writing and spelling outcomes? 2. What environments and settings contribute to or inhibit gains in children’s skills and abilities and are linked to later outcomes in reading, writing and spelling? 3. What child characteristics contribute to or inhibit gains in children’s skills and abilities and are linked to later outcomes in reading, writing and spelling? 4. What programs and interventions contribute to or inhibit gains in children’s skills and abilities and are linked to later outcomes in reading, writing and spelling?
Synthesis Questions • What programs and interventions contribute to or inhibit gains in children’s skills and abilities and are linked to later outcomes in reading, writing and spelling?
Synthesis Questions • What are the skills and abilities that are linked to later outcomes in reading, writing and spelling?
Emergent Literacy Emergent literacy involves the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are developmental precursors to conventional forms of reading and writing (Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998).
Emergent Literacy Emergent literacy skills are the basic building blocks for learning to read and write.
Emergent Literacy Interventions in the preschool period need to focus on emergent literacy skills because children are not yet engaging in conventional forms of literacy.
Emergent Literacy Questions that need to be answered about emergent literacy interventions: • What skills constitute the domain of emergent literacy? • What are effective ways to intervene on those skills? • Are these skills necessary to develop conventional literacy skills (if not, why not just teach conventional literacy skills)?
Emergent Literacy What skills constitute the domain of conventional literacy skills? • Receptively • Decoding (accuracy and fluency) • Reading Comprehension
Emergent Literacy What skills constitute the domain of conventional literacy skills? • Although decoding is not all there is to skilled reading, it is a critical component. • You can decode what you cannot comprehend, but… • you cannot comprehend what you cannot decode.
Emergent Literacy What skills constitute the domain of conventional literacy skills? • Expressively • Spelling • Composition
Emergent Literacy How to define emergent literacy • Two conditions need to be satisfied for something to be considered an emergent literacy skill: (a) Must come before conventional literacy skills. (b) Must be related to (i.e., predictive of) conventional literacy skills.
Identifying Emergent Literacy Skills • Many candidate emergent literacy skills have been suggested, including • oral language • concepts about print • environmental print • alphabet knowledge • phonological processing skills • visual-perceptual skills • emergent (pretend) reading • emergent (pretend) writing
Emergent Literacy Identifying Emergent Literacy Skills: The Evidence
Identifying the Studies for RQ1 • Using a list of search terms in nine categories, electronic searches in both PsychINFO and ERIC were conducted • 6700 citations were generated
These 6700 publications were screened against initial criteria • Published in English • Published in a refereed journal • Empirical research • Include children between the ages of 0 and 5 or kindergarten children
1825 studies passed this initial screening and abstracts were reviewed for relevance. • 685 studies passed this second screen and full text articles reviewed for relevance.
275 passed the full text review. • 41 of the 275 were later rejected because of insufficient information to code. • All effect sizes in these 234 studies were coded and summarized.
These 234 studies involved a predictive relation between a skill measured during preschool and a convention literacy outcome measured at some later point in time (i.e., from kindergarten forward).
Identifying Emergent Literacy Skills • Within meta-analyses, there must be a minimum of three studies contributing an effect size to allow interpretation. • Correlations of .30 or higher mean that at least 9 percent of the variance in a conventional literacy outcome can be predicted from the emergent literacy variable.
A number of variables have strong and consistent relations with later convention literacy outcomes in a relatively large number of studies with a relatively large number of children (meaning they are sizable, reliable, and stable):
Strong Predictors: • Alphabet Knowledge • Concepts About Print • Phonological Awareness • Invented Spelling • Oral Language • Writing Name • RAN (Rapid Automatic Naming/Lexical Access)
Other variables have a smaller effect or have been examined in fewer studies with fewer children: • Phonological STM • Visual Motor Skills • Visual Perceptual Skills
Variables that are not in the table have not yet been demonstrated to be predictive of later conventional literacy skills. • A very important interpretive caution for these findings is that these values reflect zero-order correlations. • Correlations may reflect third variables. • Variables may share predictive variance.
Greater confidence of the importance of a variable would be obtained if that variable contributed unique predictive variance to an outcome once other important variables were controlled. • For example, does a variable predict a reading outcome above and beyond variance shared with IQ or language skill?
Examination of multivariate studies (i.e., studies in which the predictive utility of variables is examined in the context of other variables) indicates that several of these univariate predictors provide independent predictive information.
Unique predictors from the multivariate studies • Alphabet Knowledge • Phonological Sensitivity • Invented Spelling • Oral Language
Some Finer-Grained Questions: • Does Age of Assessment Matter? • Does Age of Outcome Matter? • Does Type of PA Skill Matter? • Does Type of Oral Language Skill Matter? • Does Type of Memory Matter?