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×
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: Accepted 31 Oct 2011 , Received 03 Jan 2011 , Revised 22 Jun 2011
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology February 2012, Vol.21, 47-63. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2011/11-0002)
History: Accepted 31 Oct 2011 , Received 03 Jan 2011 , Revised 22 Jun 2011

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.

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