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.
Article Information
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: Received August 3, 2009 , Accepted January 19, 2010
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2010, Vol. 41, 504-520. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/09-0056)
History: Received August 3, 2009; Accepted January 19, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

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.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We are grateful to the many administrators, teachers, children, and families who contributed to this project. Members of our research team requiring special mention include Xitao Fan, Amy Sofka, Aileen Hunt, Elizabeth Cottone, Tricia Zucker, and Jill Pentimonti, among others. Funding was provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, Grant R305G050057. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Institute of Education Sciences, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education.
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