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Early literacy practice: strategies for Preschool. Kathleen J. Marshall, Ph.D. University of South Carolina http:// kjmarshall.wikispaces.com /. Foundations of Literacy: Developmental Model. 0-15 mos = Preliteracy ( prelanguage /nonverbal)

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early literacy practice strategies for preschool

Early literacy practice: strategies for Preschool

Kathleen J. Marshall, Ph.D.

University of South Carolina


foundations of literacy developmental model
Foundations of Literacy: Developmental Model
  • 0-15 mos = Preliteracy (prelanguage/nonverbal)
  • 12-42 mos = Emergent literacy (literacy development)
  • 36-60 mos = Early literacy (metalanguage development, reading & writing)
foundations of literacy oral language
Foundations of Literacy: Oral Language
  • Schooling effects on language
    • Syntactic skills
    • Phonological skills
    • Word definitions
foundations of early literacy
Foundations of Early Literacy
  • Teacher effects on language
    • High adult to child ratios (children hear more adult speech) result in better performance on cognitive & language measures.
    • Preschool teachers with more complex sentence structure result in children with more complex sentence structure
foundations of literacy oral language1
Foundations of Literacy: Oral Language
  • Oral Language and Literacy
    • Literacy and human nature
      • Reading builds on oral language
    • Phonological skills - predictor of early reading
    • Vocabulary - predictor of later reading
      • The more words you know, the more you will understand
      • Good readers have better vocabularies

Children with oral language disorders typically have reading problems

direction of literacy practice in preschool classrooms
Direction of literacy practice in preschool classrooms

The focus of classroom practice is moving from familiarization with language/literacy activities – learning to love language and books – to prevention of later reading and language difficulties

emphasis of practice
Emphasis of practice
  • Naturalistic Practice
  • Developmentally Appropriate Practices
  • Behavioral Practice
  • Unified Theory of Practice (Odom & Wolery,2003)
research in early childhood literacy
Research in early childhood literacy

Research origins


Synthetic phonics

Embedded instruction

Storybook instruction

No instruction

  • Special education
  • Speech and language pathology
  • Reading
  • Early childhood education
  • Early childhood special education
what we know
What we know!
  • Prediction:
    • Early literacy skills particularly in the area of vocabulary and phonological awareness predict later reading ability (Puolakanaho, Ahonen, Aro, Eklund, Leppanen, Piokkeus, Tolvanen, Torppa, & Lyytinen, 2008; Storch & Whitehurst, 2002; Torgesen, 1998).
    • Intervention prior to first grade can be very beneficial to young readers by significantly improving performance on early literacy measures and later reading or (Arnold, 1994; McIntosh, Crosbie, Holm, Dodd, & Thomas, 2007; Scanlon, 2005, Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998; Vadusy, 2006).
one challenge but
One challenge – but…
  • Little research examines the differential effects of specific interventions for students placed at higher risk for reading disabilities because of developmental delay, SES, or speaking English as a second language (Lonigan, Schatschneider, & Westberg, 2008b).
  • Children who do not perform well in measures of early literacy, regardless of the reason, appear to respond positively to the same body of evidence-based practices (Arnold, 1994; Lonigan, Schatschneider, & Westberg, 2008b; Roberts, 2009).
another challenge so
Another challenge – so….
  • Variability of the qualifications and preparation of the preschool faculty (Buysse, & Hollingsword, 2009; Hsieh, Hemmeter, McCollum, & Ostrosky, 2009).
  • Many of the research-based interventions are being translated into relatively specific protocols to facilitate a degree of uniformity in implementation (e.g.,Zucker, Ward, & Justice, 2009).
projects to review early childhood programs nelp
Projects to review early childhood programs (NELP)
  • National Early Literacy Panel (NELP) by the National Institute for Literacy (2002) .
  • Six skill areas in early literacy as moderate to high predictors of later reading ability: alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, rapid automatic naming (RAN) of numbers, RAN of objects or colors, writing name or writing in general, and phonological memory (remembering spoken information).
  • . The panel also examined curricula.
    • Could not analyze many
    • Curricula that included interventions designed to teach specific skill elements with outcomes in related skills, such as teaching letter names and children learning letter names were most successful
    • Shared reading activities that were interactive in nature appeared stronger that those that were not interactive.
preschool curriculum evaluation research project
Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research Project
  • Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research project (PCER)(2002)
    • . 14 preschool curricula were reviewed
    • Many current curricula were not evaluated in this project, but of the 14 evaluated, only one curriculum, DLM with Open Court Reading PreK, had significant impact on measures of reading, phonological awareness, and language.
problem what to use for tier 1
Problem – what to use for tier 1?
  • Although many sources identify the necessary underpinnings and elements of evidence-based curricula, few sites will recommend specific programs
  • few evidence-supported curricula exist
  • What Works Clearinghouse (www.whatworks.org) currently lisst a few categories of instruction as evidence-based (e.g. interactive shared reading, phonological awareness training) but very few curricula
  • . Other research sites focused on early literacy, such as the Center for Early Literacy Learning (http://www.earlyliteracylearning.org/), summarize and conduct research on general instructional categories or activities rather than specific curricula
other curriculum options
Other curriculum options?
  • Many preschool curricula not evaluated.
  • Many of these curricula are being used in preschools across the country
    • state-wide program evaluations
    • based on recommendations of the NRP or the ECLP (e.g., Imagine-It : SRA/McGraw Hill, 2007)
    • little available curriculum-specific experimental or quasi-experimental research.
supplemental or specialized curricula
Supplemental or specialized curricula
  • NELP: 83 studies that examined the effects of code-based programs on measures of early literacy (Lonigan, Schatschneider,, & Westberg, 2008b).
  • positive effects of programs offering specific instruction in phonological awareness on early and later literacy skills.
  • Much of the research continues to focus on children at kindergarten age or higher (Horn, Stoolmiller, & Chard, 2008; Kamps, Abbott, Greenwood, Wills, Veerkamp, & Kauffman, 2008: Simmons, Coyne, Kwok, McDonagh, Ham, & Kame’enui, 2008),
  • neither age, nor SES, nor other risk factors appear to ameliorate the effects of code-based interventions on later reading performance (Lonigan, Schatschneider,, & Westberg, 2008b).
importance of explicit programs
Importance of explicit programs
  • the most directive programs with the most explicit code-emphasis orientation were the most effective in increasing early literacy skills
  • explicit programs were more effective with the lowest achieving children
  • children showed improvement mainly in the skills they were taught
supplemental curricula with evidence base
Supplemental Curricula with evidence base
  • preschool/kindergarten
    • Lindamood Bell Learning Program
    • Justice and Pullen (2003)
      • Ladders to Literacy (Notari-Syverson, et al, 1998; O’Connor et al., 1988)
      • Phonemic Awareness in Young Chidlren (Adams, Foorman, Lundberg & Beeler, 1998)
      • Road to the Code: Aprogra of Early LIteracy Activities to Develop Phonological Awareness (Blachman, Ball, Black, & Tangel, 200)
      • Sound Foundations (Byrne, & Fielding-Barnsley, 1991).
supplemental curricula with evidence base1
Supplemental curricula with evidence base
  • Kindergarten children (Kamps, et.al, 2008)
    • Reading Mastery (1995 Edition)
    • Early Intervention Reading (Mathes & Torgeson, 2005)
    • ReadWell (Sprick, Howard, & Fidanque, 1998
supplemental alternative with evidence
Supplemental – alternative with evidence

Headsprout Early Reading curriculum, listed recently by the What Works Clearinghouse as a program with potentially positive effects for preschoolers in areas of oral language and print knowledge. The program is designed for kindergarten students, but the supporting research was conducted with preschool children (Hoffstettler, 2005)

shared reading and embedded instruction
Shared Reading and Embedded Instruction
  • Shared reading is the hallmark of the early literacy experience at the preschool level
  • generally accepted as an important practice for early literacy classrooms,
  • few studies with student outcome measures (Lonigan, Schatschneider,, & Westberg, 2008b)
  • little standardization in the practice.
considerations for shared reading
Considerations for shared reading
  • Recent research provides some guidelines on how to read books to maximize positive outcomes and what types of books can target specific skills (e.g., Justice & Pullen, 2003).
  • Price, Kleeck, and Huberty (2009) found that when reading expository texts to their young children, the parents talked more, there were more parent/child verbal exchanges, and parents use a much more diverse vocabulary
shared reading
…shared reading
  • parents gave the students twice as much feedback and verbal acknowledgement in the expository reading condition.
  • Roberts (2009) measured the effects of storybook reading on the vocabulary of young children who were English Language Learners. Children were read to by their parents in their native language, and by teachers in English. All students experienced both conditions and, in each condition, storybook reading resulted in significant vocabulary gains in both languages.
characteristics of shared reading
Characteristics of shared reading
  • Shared reading activities that are interactive in are more highly associated with positive outcomes in vocabulary measures than reading that is not interactive (Lonigan, Schatschneider,, & Westberg, 2008b ; What Works Clearinghouse).
  • Although interactive storybook reading is loosely defined, some strategies, like dialogic reading (Whitehurst et al, 1998), include a set of prescribed steps and procedural recommendations.
  • The dialogic reading strategy is identified as an evidence-based practice in many studies and summaries of interactive storybook reading (Isbell, Sobol, Lindauer & Lowrance, 2004; Justice & Pullen, 2003; What Works Clearninghouse).
dialogic reading whitehurst et al 1998 steps for teachers
Dialogic Reading (Whitehurst et al, 1998): Steps for teachers:
  • P: Prompts the child to say something about the book
  • E: Evaluates the child’s response
  • E: Expands the child’s response
  • R: Repeats the initial prompt
  • “What is the mouse doing?
  • “Yes, the mouse is eating”
  • “The mouse is eating a big piece of cheese.”
  • “What is the mouse doing?”
prompts to use for dialogic reading crowd
Prompts to use for dialogic reading: CROWD
  • Completion prompts: the child is asked to complete a sentence in a familiar book – usually used with rhyming books or books with repetitive phrases.
  • Recall prompts: the child is asked about what happened in a story you have read previously, or at the end of story just completed.
  • Open-ended prompts – the child is asked questions about book illustrations that require a descriptive response.
prompts to use for dialogic reading con t
Prompts to use for dialogic reading (con’t)
  • What, when, where, and why prompts: the child is asked targeted questions about illustrations to introduce and develop vocabulary
  • Distancing prompts the child is asked questions designed to help her relate elements of the book to events in her own life.

Information on this page from Whitehurst, G. (1992), Dialogic Reading: Aneffective way to read to preschoolers. Archived article retrieved fromhttp://www.readingrockets.org/article/400.

print referencing during storybook reading justice kaderavek fen sofka hunt 2009
Print-referencing during storybook reading. (Justice, Kaderavek, Fen, Sofka, & Hunt, 2009)

Shared storybook reading is also used as the vehicle for embedded instruction.

Presenting print-referencing activities during shared storybook reading can result in significant gains in measures of print knowledge reported that preschool children had significant gains in measures of print concept knowledge, alphabet knowledge, and name writing after teachers used a series of explicit print-referencing strategies during shared storybook reading.

example of guideline for storybook reading print referencing
Example of guideline for storybook reading: Print referencing
  • Justice and colleagues have developed an outline for teachers to follow for print referencing during reading which provides examples of teacher language for each of 15 specific print targets in the domains of print naming, book and print organization, letters and words (Justice, Sofka, Sutton, & Zucker, 2006; Zucker, Ward, & Justice, 2009). As with the interactive reading protocols, guidelines of this type will facilitate professional development and research.
article get this for print referencing guidelines
Article: get this for print referencing guidelines!
  • Zucker, T.A., Ward, A.E., & Justice, L.M. (2009). Print referencing during read-alouds: A technique for increasing emergent readers’ print knowledge. The ReadingTeacher, 63(1), 62-72
  • Above is reference for following slides on print-referencing techniques
techniques of print referencing
Techniques of Print referencing
  • Questions
    • How many words are on this page?
    • There are words in the wolf’s speech bubble; what do you think they say?
  • Requests
    • Show me where I would start reading on this page
    • Point to a letter that is in your name.
techniques of print referencing1
Techniques of Print Referencing
  • Comments
    • The illustrator wrote the word bus on this yellow school bus.
    • These words are exactly the same
  • Nonverbal techniques
    • Track print from left to right while reading
    • Point to print
print targets addressed in storybook reading
Print Targets addressed in storybook reading
  • Print Meaning Domain
    • Print function: “These words are big because he is shouting.”
    • Environmental Print: “Let’s read this stop sign.”
    • Concept of Reading: “ If I want to find out how they get home, I have to keep reading”
print targets addressed in storybook reading1
Print Targets addressed in storybook reading
  • Book and Print Organization
    • Page Order: “Where is the front of the book?”
    • Title of Book: “The title page tells us the book was published in New York.”
    • Top and Bottom of Page: “I will read the top line and then this line, and then this last line.”
    • Print Direction: (sweep finger under print) “When I read I go this way.”
    • Author’s Role: “The author wrote a dedication to his son.”
print targets addressed in storybook reading2
Print Targets addressed in storybook reading
  • Letters Domain
    • Names of Letters: “Who can find a letter S?”
    • Concept of Letter: “There are three letters in the word can.”
    • Upper and Lower Case Letters: “This is a capital D. Damian has a capital D in his name.”
print targets addressed in storybook reading3
Print Targets addressed in storybook reading
  • Words Domain
    • Concept of Word in Print: “Who can show me just one word?”
    • Short vs. Long Words: “Which word is longer – vegetable or soup?”
    • Letters vs. Words: “This is the letter g. It is in the words grow and garden (pointing to letters).”
    • Word Identification: “This is a picture of a tomato. The word tomato is written beside it.”
embedded phonological awareness
Embedded phonological awareness
  • Phonological awareness is another skill often embedded in other activities in the preschool classroom
  • Recent research looks at embedding explicit phonological awareness into storybooks.
  • During shared storybook reading to preschool children at risk for reading disabilities, Ziolkowski and Goldstein (2008) embedded explicit instruction in rhyming and letter sound recognition. For the intervention, the teacher pointed out and modeled the rhyme or letter sound and the child repeated the response. This relatively simple strategy resulted in gains in rhyming, alliteration, and letter-sound knowledge.