Facilitating Emergent Literacy: Efficacy of a Model That Partners Speech-Language Pathologists and Educators Purpose: 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.Method: Twenty ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 2012
Facilitating Emergent Literacy: Efficacy of a Model That Partners Speech-Language Pathologists and Educators
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Luigi Girolametto
    University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Elaine Weitzman
    The Hanen Centre, Toronto
  • Janice Greenberg
    The Hanen Centre, Toronto
  • Correspondence to Luigi Girolametto: l.girolametto@utoronto.ca
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Froma Roth
    Associate Editor: Froma Roth×
  • © 2012 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Normal Language Processing / Research Article
Research Article   |   February 2012
Facilitating Emergent Literacy: Efficacy of a Model That Partners Speech-Language Pathologists and Educators
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2012, Vol. 21, 47-63. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/11-0002)
History: Received January 3, 2011 , Revised June 22, 2011 , Accepted October 31, 2011
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2012, Vol. 21, 47-63. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/11-0002)
History: Received January 3, 2011; Revised June 22, 2011; Accepted October 31, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose: 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.

Method: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusion: 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.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network. We are indebted to Heather Farrell, research coordinator, for her tireless dedication and invaluable assistance with participant recruitment and data collection. We thank research assistants Julie Chris and Lisa Girard for their attention to detail in the transcription and coding of the videotaped data. Last, but not least, we gratefully acknowledge the early childhood educators and children who participated in this study.
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