Enhancing head start children's early literacy skills: an investigation of intervention outcomes
The primary purpose of this study was to implement and evaluate two instructional programs designed to enhance early literacy skills of pre-kindergarten 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start. A second goal was to compare literacy task assessment measures of three instructional groups, (1) explicit literacy instruction (ELI; N= 26), (2) shared book reading (SBR; N = 25), and (c) no specialized treatment (NST; N = 29), prior to the onset of treatment and again 15 weeks later. Pre-treatment group differences on measures of early literacy and receptive vocabulary were not significant. Intervention for the ELI group focused on providing explicit, systematic, developmentally appropriate instruction to enhance phonological awareness skills and increase alphabet knowledge. The SBR intervention, which focused on enhancing oral language, involved scaffolding strategies. Children in the two intervention groups received instruction two times per week for 15 weeks. Post-treatment outcome measures obtained for these two groups were compared with each other and also with scores of children in the NST group who received Head Start standard curriculum instruction only. ANOVA results indicated that post-treatment scores for the ELI group were significantly better than those of the other two groups on overall primary literacy measures and for the phonological awareness component, but not for alphabet knowledge. Differences between the SBR and NST groups were not significant for any measures. These results indicate that explicit, systematic early literacy instruction can improve Head Start children's literacy scores.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 79-90)