Facilitating emergent literacy: efficacy of a model that partners speech-language pathologists and educators.Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2012 Feb; 21(1):47-63.AJ
This study examined the efficacy of a professional development program for early childhood educators that facilitated emergent literacy skills in preschoolers. The program, led by a speech-language pathologist, focused on teaching alphabet knowledge, print concepts, sound awareness, and decontextualized oral language within naturally occurring classroom interactions.
Twenty educators were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. Educators each recruited 3 to 4 children from their classrooms to participate. The experimental group participated in 18 hr of group training and 3 individual coaching sessions with a speech-language pathologist. The effects of intervention were examined in 30 min of videotaped interaction, including storybook reading and a post-story writing activity.
At posttest, educators in the experimental group used a higher rate of utterances that included print/sound references and decontextualized language than the control group. Similarly, the children in the experimental group used a significantly higher rate of utterances that included print/sound references and decontextualized language compared to the control group.
These findings suggest that professional development provided by a speech-language pathologist can yield short-term changes in the facilitation of emergent literacy skills in early childhood settings. Future research is needed to determine the impact of this program on the children's long-term development of conventional literacy skills.