The Effects of In-Service Education to Promote Emergent Literacy in Child Care Centers: A Feasibility Study Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of a 2-day in-service education program for (a) promoting the use of two emergent literacy strategies by early childhood educators and (b) increasing children’s responses to these strategies. Method Sixteen early childhood educators were randomly assigned to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2007
The Effects of In-Service Education to Promote Emergent Literacy in Child Care Centers: A Feasibility Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Luigi Girolametto
    University of Toronto, Ontario
  • Elaine Weitzman
    The Hanen Centre, Toronto, Ontario
  • Pascal Lefebvre
    University of Montréal, Québec
  • Janice Greenberg
    The Hanen Centre, Toronto, Ontario
  • Contact author: Luigi Girolametto, PhD, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, 500 University Avenue, Room 160, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1V7. E-mail: l.girolametto@utoronto.ca
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Normal Language Processing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2007
The Effects of In-Service Education to Promote Emergent Literacy in Child Care Centers: A Feasibility Study
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2007, Vol. 38, 72-83. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/007)
History: Received November 16, 2005 , Accepted May 1, 2006
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2007, Vol. 38, 72-83. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2007/007)
History: Received November 16, 2005; Accepted May 1, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 32

Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine the feasibility of a 2-day in-service education program for (a) promoting the use of two emergent literacy strategies by early childhood educators and (b) increasing children’s responses to these strategies.

Method Sixteen early childhood educators were randomly assigned to an experimental and a control group. The experimental in-service program sought to increase educators' use of abstract utterances and print references. Educators were videotaped with small groups of preschoolers during storybook reading and a post-story craft activity. Pretest and posttest videotapes were coded to yield rates of abstract language, verbal print references, and children’s responses.

Results In comparison to the control group, educators in the experimental program used more abstract utterances that elicited talk about emotions and children’s past experiences during storybook reading. They also used significantly more print references during a post-story craft activity. In addition, children in the experimental group responded more often with appropriate responses to abstract utterances and print references in comparison to children in the control group.

Conclusion A 2-day in-service education program resulted in short-term behavioral changes in educators' use of abstract language and print references. Suggestions for improving instruction include providing opportunities for classroom practice with feedback, modeling the use of strategies in classroom routines, and long-term mentoring of educators to promote retention of gains.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This study was sponsored by a grant from the Canadian Language and Literacy Network. We thank Maureen O’Keefe and Vilia Cox for their help with participant recruitment, Keya Mitra-Selby for her assistance with data collection, and Garth Foote for his careful data transcription. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Laura del Bove for transcription reliability. Above all, we are deeply appreciative of the participation of the child care center supervisors, the early childhood educators, and the children and their families.
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