Authors: Justice LM, McGinty AS, Piasta SB, Kaderavek JN, Fan X
Title: Print-Focused Read-Alouds in Preschool Classrooms: Intervention Effectiveness and Moderators of Child Outcomes
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2010 41(4): 504-520
Year: 2010
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 03/10
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 - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Purpose: This study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of teachers' use of a print-referencing style during whole-class read-alouds with respect to accelerating 4- and 5-year-old children's print-knowledge development. It also examined 8 specific child- and setting-level moderators to determine whether these influenced the relation between teachers' use of a print-referencing style and children's print-knowledge development. Method: In this randomized controlled trial, 59 teachers were randomly assigned to 2 conditions. Teachers in the experimental group (n = 31) integrated explicit references to specified print targets within each of 120 read-aloud sessions conducted in their classrooms over a 30-week period; comparison teachers (n = 28) read the same set of book titles along the same schedule but read using their business-as-usual reading style. Children's gains over the 30-week period on a composite measure of print knowledge were compared for a subset of children who were randomly selected from the experimental (n = 201) and comparison (n = 178) classrooms. Results: When controlling for fall print knowledge, child age, and classroom quality, children who experienced a print-referencing style of reading had significantly higher print knowledge scores in the spring than did children in the comparison classroom. None of the child-level (age, initial literacy skills, language ability) or setting-level characteristics (program type, instructional quality, average level of classroom socioeconomic status, teachers' education level, teachers' experience) significantly moderated intervention effects. Clinical Implications: Considered in tandem with prior study findings concerning this approach to emergent literacy intervention, print-focused read-alouds appear to constitute an evidence-based practice with net positive impacts on children's literacy development.

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