Report  |   October 2010
Print-Focused Read-Alouds in Preschool Classrooms: Intervention Effectiveness and Moderators of Child Outcomes
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura M. Justice
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Anita S. McGinty
    University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Shayne B. Piasta
    The Ohio State University
  • Joan N. Kaderavek
    University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
  • Xitao Fan
    University of Virginia
  • Contact author: Laura Justice, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University, 231 Arps Hall, 1945 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43210. E-mail: justice.57@osu.edu.
Development / School-Based Settings
Report   |   October 2010
Print-Focused Read-Alouds in Preschool Classrooms: Intervention Effectiveness and Moderators of Child Outcomes
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools October 2010, Vol.41, 504-520. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/09-0056)
History: Accepted 19 Jan 2010 , Received 03 Aug 2009
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools October 2010, Vol.41, 504-520. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/09-0056)
History: Accepted 19 Jan 2010 , Received 03 Aug 2009

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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