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Interventions to Improve Outcomes for English Language Learners. Principal Investigator: Jorge Gonzalez Co-Principal Investigators: Sharolyn D. Pollard-Durodola Deborah Simmons Texas A&M University.

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interventions to improve outcomes for english language learners

Interventions to Improve Outcomes for English Language Learners

Principal Investigator: Jorge Gonzalez

Co-Principal Investigators:

Sharolyn D. Pollard-Durodola

Deborah Simmons

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University, Department of Educational PsychologyInstitute of Education Sciences 2008 Research Conference, Washington, DC, June 10-12, 2008

acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

Leslie Simmons, Project Coordinator

Kim Williams, Project Specialist

Graduate Students

Morgan Sowell Matt Davis

Sophia Tani-Prado Vivina Rivera

Alicia Darensbourg

education problem
Education Problem
  • A meta-analysis of vocabulary instruction shows a strong effect (ES = .97) for taught vocabulary (Stahl & Fairbanks, 2006)
  • Providing “rich” instruction of vocabulary positively impacts comprehension of texts containing taught words, especially for ELL (Pressley & Fingeret, 2007).
  • Vocabulary is one of the best predictors of reading comprehension for English & ELL (Proctor et al., 2005).
  • Despite improvements there remains a significant vocabulary gap between children whose primary language is English and children who are English language learners (NAEP, 2007).
summary of vocabulary research with ells
Summary of Vocabulary Research with ELLs
  • August & Snow (2007) identified only 7 experimental and quasi-experimental studies targeting vocabulary involving ELLs at the elementary level.
  • Majority of interventions focused on teaching vocabulary in the context of book reading.
  • None involved preschool children.
research questions
Research Questions

1) What is the effect of the WORLD preschool shared-book reading program on standardized measures of receptive and expressive vocabulary?

2) What is the effect of the WORLD preschool shared-reading program on researcher-developed measures of receptive and expressive vocabulary?

design principles to accelerate vocabulary and concept development
Design Principles to Accelerate Vocabulary and Concept Development

Big Ideas: Identify critical concepts based on state and national standards.

Teach: High priority vocabulary directly.

Strategic Integration: Combine inside the book and outside the book opportunities.

Range of Examples: Communicate critical attributes of concepts.

Cumulative Review: Teach words in instructional cycles for entire theme.

Scaffolding: Task difficulty in priority skills result in high levels of success.

intervention building blocks

Lexical Sets

liquid, frozen, snow, garden, plant, leaf

cal Sets

Vocabulary

Sequencing

Retell

Associations

Comprehension

What air can do

How plants help people

Where animals live

Concepts

Informational

Narrative

Books

Water

Light

Air

Seasons

Plants

Animals

Our Body

Topics

Nature

Living Things

Themes

Pre-K Guidelines: Science, Vocabulary, Listening Comprehension

Standards

Intervention Building Blocks
measures
Measures
  • Pre-testing (August, 2006)
  • Post-testing (December, 2006).

Standardized

  • Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III
  • Expressive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Test

Researcher-Developed Vocabulary Measures

  • Receptive Vocabulary Test (RDRVT)
  • Expressive Picture VocabularyTest (RDEPVT)
procedures
Procedures
  • Treatment Group
    • Treatment teachers used the shared-book reading intervention for 12 weeks, 15-20 minutes per day, 5 days per week in groups of 8-10 preschoolers.
  • Comparison Group
    • Comparison teachers engaged in “practice-as-usual” classroom activities around books.
data analysis ancova model pretest and demographic covariates
Data Analysis: ANCOVA Model Pretest and Demographic Covariates

Level-1 (student-level) model:

Posttestij= β0j + β1j Pretestij + β2j Genderij + β3j Ageij + β4j English language Learner Statusij + β5j African_Americanij + β6j Asianij + β7j Hispanicij + β8j Special_Edij + eij

Level-2 (group-level) model:

β0j = γ00 + γ01Interventionj + γ02 School District Aj + γ03School District Bj + γ04Years_of_Experiencej + U0j

results
Results

Note: RDRPVT- Researcher Developed Receptive Picture Vocabulary Test, RDEPVT- R. D. Expressive Picture Vocabulary Test

results16
Results
  • No significant effect for standardized receptive and expressive vocabulary after controlling pre-test, demographic, school and year’s teaching.
  • Significant effect for researcher developed measures of receptive and expressive vocabulary.
  • No interaction effect between treatment and other variables (e.g., entry level vocabulary, ethnicity, ELL status) on standardized or researcher developed measures.
discussion
Discussion
  • Moderate to strong positive effects on researcher developed measures of vocabulary.
  • No statistically significant effects detected on standardized measures of vocabulary.
  • No interaction effect, intervention effective regardless of ethnicity, ELL, SPED and entry level vocabulary
  • On average, all children benefited from the theme-based vocabulary intervention (target words integrated with high priority science content) without differential effect based on student characteristics.
implications
Implications
  • Thematically organized shared book reading with explicit vocabulary instruction and practice can significantly enhance growth on curriculum specific vocabulary.
  • Future research is needed to provide clearer guidance on the effectiveness of specific instructional components of the shared book reading practice.