Authors: Justice LM, Kaderavek JN, Fan X, Sofka A, Hunt A
Title: Accelerating preschoolers’ early literacy development through classroom-based teacher-child storybook reading and explicit print referencing
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2009 40(1): 67-85
Year: 2009
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - N
Intention-to-treat analysis - Y
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

PURPOSE: This study examined the impact of teacher use of a print referencing style during classroom-based storybook reading sessions conducted over an academic year. Impacts on preschoolers' early literacy development were examined, focusing specifically on the domain of print knowledge. METHOD: This randomized, controlled trial examined the effects of a print referencing style on 106 preschool children attending 23 classrooms serving disadvantaged preschoolers. Following random assignment, teachers in 14 classrooms used a print referencing style during 120 large-group storybook reading sessions during a 30-week period. Teachers in 9 comparison classrooms read at the same frequency and with the same storybooks but used their normal style of reading. RESULTS: Children whose teachers used a print referencing style showed larger gains on 3 standardized measures of print knowledge: print concept knowledge, alphabet knowledge, and name writing, with medium-sized effects. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The convergence of the present findings with those of previous efficacy studies indicates that print referencing intervention can be used confidently as an approach for facilitating print knowledge in preschool-age children. Speech-language pathologists can serve an important role in supporting preschool educators as they use this evidence-based technique with pupils in their classrooms.

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