Explicit and Intentional Vocabulary and Early Literacy Interventions in PreschoolNASP, 2011 • Lisa H. Stewart • Minnesota State University Moorhead • Ruth Kaminski • Dynamic Measurement Group, Center for RTI in Early Childhood • Kate Horst • PreK Minnesota Reading Corps Coordinator and Trainer • Scott McConnell • Univ. of Minnesota, Center for RTI in Early Childhood
Increasing Vocabulary Knowledge in Preschoolers through Repeated Read Alouds Dr. Lisa H. Stewart, Sara Heimdahl, Tara Hanson, Jessica Remhoff, & Lyndsey Roy Minnesota State University Moorhead firstname.lastname@example.org NASP, February 2011
Why study repeated read alouds? • Vocabulary is important! Even before Kindergarten children’s vocabulary growth varies greatly by SES and exposure (Hart & Risely, 1995). • Repeated Reading of the same book across multiple days using dialogic reading techniques may be an effective way of teaching new vocabulary to preschoolers (McGee & Schickedanz, 2007) • Existing research on repeated read-alouds and vocabulary has been done primarily with school-aged children and the type and amount of vocabulary enrichment has not been systematically examined, especially in preschool.
Hypotheses • Repeated read-alouds will lead to gains in story-specific vocabulary in at-risk preschoolers, including ESL children. • Children will benefit more from repeated read-alouds with added vocabulary enrichment compared to typical repeated read alouds. • Vocabulary gains made will be retained over time
Setting & Participants • ½ day Head Start Classrooms • Already used repeated read alouds in small groups in Tier 1 four days a week (M-H) • 69 preschoolers ages ages 3-5 (40 boys, 29 girls, n=18 ESL), low SES families • 5 classrooms, 10 Read Aloud Groups, 9 teachers • 5 lead teachers , 3 asst teachers, 1 Minn. Reading Corps community members • All had SEEDS training and used a (modified 4-day) MRC repeated read aloud checklist
Repeated Read Aloud “lesson plan” Note: Minnesota Reading Corps 2009-10 version, modified to 4 day lesson plan for setting in this study
Materials • 3 Children’s picture books chosen with the help of the Head Start teachers: • Sheep in a Shop, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Dragon Dance • One per week, read Monday-Thursday • ALL teachers were told which 8 words to target • Examiner-made vocabulary tests • Clip art pictures of 15 words per book (n=45 total words) • Words typically unknown by preschoolers, but not too difficult • Standardized directions, prompting and scoring • Similar to the IGDIs Picture Naming Fluency task but with some prompts and no time cut off
Procedure • Two repeated read aloud (RRA) groups • 5 Typical (Moderately Enriched) RRA groups • 5 Highly Enriched RRA groups with training and focus on extra vocabulary enrichment • Training= One 60-90 minute session with examples, role playing, discussion • Enrichment= Increased intentionality and emphasis on the 8 target words across all 4 days of read aloud • Goal = 4 “enrichment” activities per word per day
Vocabulary Enrichment Training Teacher-Led Modeling • Point to it in Illustrations/Picture/Objects • Use a Synonym • Elaborate on Meaning: Explanations/Definitions- can “embed” these just like they are part of the story • Use it in a Sentence; Connect to everyday life with examples • Talk about things that are similar but aren’t the target word and how they are the same and different • Gestures/ “acting” it out • Pausing/emphasizing/repeating • Preview before starting story • Review after story is over
Vocabulary Enrichment Training, Cont’d More Interactive with Kids… • Discussions, Questions, ThinkPairShare • Illustration challenge/ Use of Props • Interactive Word play/comparing word meanings, sounds, etc • Chime in/choral story telling/pronunciation practice • Kids act out words/Draw/Write the pictures and/or words • Preview (What is it? bag, how many words can you remember, show picture/act out, write/say) • Review (Tell me about, story vocab retell, etc)
Procedure, Cont’d • Vocabulary pre-test (approx 45 terms) • 8 target vocabulary terms from each of the three books (lowest number of correct responses on pre-test) • Three weeks of repeated read-aloud • Small groups (approx 6-9 kids) • Typical or with extra vocabulary enrichment • ALL teachers given the 8 target words each week, difference was training and intentional emphasis on increasing vocab enrichment • Each teacher was videotaped once per week • Vocabulary post-test (same as pre-test) • Delayed test at end of the year (4 weeks later)
Results: All RRA Combined • Overall M=49.6 target word enrichment activities per book, range = 30-74. Good level of enrichment even in the “typical” groups. • Significant pre-post gains in target vocabulary, t (68)=9.924, p<.001). Average gain was 3.61 target words. • Book by book analysis indicated statistically significant gains in target vocabulary for each of the three books, showing the results were more likely due to the technique used and were not book or vocabulary specific. • Gains were maintained on delayed post-test. • Overall these results indicate repeated read alouds can have a positive impact on children’s vocabulary. • Limited, pre-post, no-control group design
Example Classroom Pre Post by Kid (Note: 1 Typical and 1 Enriched in this Room)
ESL Results • ESL students made significant gains on target vocabulary from pre (M=4.89, range 0-13) to post (M=7.78, range=0-17) testing, t (17)=4.312, p <.001. Average gain =2.89 words. • Although the ESL children did have lower pre and post test scores compared to non-ESL peers, they benefited from the repeated read alouds. • Reinforces earlier research indicating even children with limited English skills can benefit from a high quality read aloud and there does not appear to be a certain level of English needed before the children can pick up information about the words in the books.
Did extra vocabulary enrichment make a difference? • Originally 5 groups in each condition (typical, enriched) • Video data indicated 1 teacher in the enriched condition was substantially lower on enrichment activities than the others and 1 teacher in the typical condition was substantially higher than the others in that condition • Removed these 2 from the analysis for a more clear test of the hypothesis, leaving 4 groups in each condition
Results by Group * Total represents all 10 Repeated Read Aloud Groups and 69 participants. Group results represent the 4 Highest Enriched Groups compared to the lowest 4 Typical (Moderately Enriched) Groups
Typical vs. Enriched Group Results • Using an ANCOVA with pre-test scores as the covariate, the main effect for extra vocabulary enrichment was significant F(1,54)=4.522, p=.038 • Typical=3.1 words gained • Enriched= 4.8 words gained
Bottom Line 1 We don’t know if repeated read alouds are better or worse than other ways to teach vocabulary BUT Good repeated read alouds meant good things for at-risk preschool kid vocabulary growth in Tier 1!
Bottom Line 2 Providing a small amount of additional training and emphasis on vocabulary enrichment increased vocabulary gains even more Note: 1 Teacher out of 5 did not show as high of a level of Enrichment after Training
Some thoughts… • RRA could also be used in Tier 2 to teach and reinforce early literacy skills including vocab • doing this in PreK and K right now in PreKMinnRdg Corps • How typical was the typical repeated read aloud? • All teachers were provided the target words and knew this was a vocabulary study • All teachers had had SEEDS early literacy training • Did not script or manipulate specific types of vocab enrichment (e.g., embedded vs. extended, Text Talk)- Pro and con? • Did not use RRA as part of a classroom theme • Did the extra vocab enrichment come at the expense of other early literacy activities?