PLLL is home to a variety of federally funded research projects concerning the education of and intervention for children experiencing risk due to adverse environmental or developmental issues.
Sit Together and Read in Early Childhood Special Education (STAR-2) involves a randomized clinical trial to test the short- and long-term impacts associated with reading regularly to preschool children with disabilities in early childhood special education (ECSE) classrooms. In this study, 90 teachers working in ECSE classrooms are implementing a 30-week reading program featuring 4 whole-class readings each week; parents of children enrolled in the study are reading the same titles at home with their children. Parents receive home visits to support their reading practices at home. In total, about 1,000 preschool-aged children are participating in periodic assessments to study the relations between home- and classroom-based reading practices and children's development over time. The study is supported by Institute of Education Sciences PR/Award # R324A080037. Project administrators include Rashaun Geter (Ohio State University) and Aileen Hunt (University of Toledo).
Preschool Experiences in Rural Classrooms (PERC) involves a randomized clinical trial to test the short- and long-term impacts associated with implementing of the supplemental curriculum Read It Again-PreK! in rural classrooms within a three-state Appalachian region. In this study, 90 teachers working in targeted enrollment preschool classrooms are implementing a 30-week supplemental classroom curriculum featuring two lessons per week. Some teachers are completing a supplemental professional development experience to assess its influence on the quality of Read It Again-PreK! implementation. In total, about 450 preschool-aged children are participating in periodic assessments to study the relations between exposure to Read It Again-PreK! and their language and literacy development over time. Curriculum materials are available for download at myreaditagain.com. The study is supported by Institute of Education Sciences PR/Award # R305F050006. Project administrators include Laura Slocum (Ohio State University) and Amy Sofka (University of Virginia).
Speech Therapy Experiences in Primary Schools (STEPS) intent is to identify characteristics of school-based language intervention that are positively associated with the language gains of elementary students with language impairment. This four-year study will conduct primary data collection to carefully study three characteristics of language intervention (i.e., dosage, technique, and context) delivered by 90 Speech Language Pathologists and received by 450 early elementary students with language impairment. The research team will track language interventions with students over the course of one academic year. A mixed model data analytic approach will be used to identify specific features of language intervention that are associated with children's language gains, while trying to estimate and control for possible therapist and school-level effects. The results of this research will provide explicit guidance for future development and efficacy projects that develop and test specific approaches to language interventions in schools. The study is supported by Institute of Education Sciences PR/Award # R324A090012. The project administrator is Karie Wilson (The Ohio State University).
Children and Teachers Together (CHATT) involves a randomized clinical trial to test an innovative approach to improving teacher-child conversations within the preschool classroom to promote children's early language, literacy, and social competencies. The innovative approach, derived largely from the Learning Language and Loving It program of the Hanen Centre, reflects the current state of scientific knowledge concerning the role of teacher responsiveness and sensitivity as a critical process in facilitating children's development. The clinical trial was implemented with 49 teachers working in targeted enrollment preschool programs during the years 2005-2007, and a randomly selected subset of about 350 children within their classrooms were followed for 2 years. Analyses are underway. The study is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences PR/Award # R305G050005. Current project staff: Sonia Cabell (University of Virginia) and Shayne Piasta (The Ohio State University).
Sit Together and Read (STAR1) involves a randomized clinical trial to test the short- and long-term impacts associated with reading regularly to preschool children in the classroom. In this study, 84 teachers working in targeted enrollment preschool programs across two states implemented a 30-week reading program featuring 2-4 whole-class readings each week. Teachers regularly videotaped their reading practices and submitted these to research staff; we are coding the way teachers read with children in an effect to link their practices to children's short- and long-term outcomes in language, literacy, and social competencies. A randomly selected subset of about 550 children are being followed through first grade; data collection will be complete in Spring, 2009. The study is supported by Institute of Education Sciences PR/Award # R305G050057. Current project staff: Amy Sofka (University of Virginia), Sonia Cabell (University of Virginia), Anita McGinty (University of Virginia), Joan Kaderavek (University of Toledo), and Aileen Hunt (University of ToledoSee: Justice, L. M., Kaderavek, J., Fan, X., Sofka, A., & Hunt, A. (2009). Accelerating preschoolers' early literacy development through teacher-child storybook reading. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40, 67-85.
The Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER) Program is a 4-year scientific evaluation of the efficacy of currently available preschool curricula. The Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has funded 12 grantees nationwide to implement and evaluate one or more preschool curricula. Each grantee will randomly assign children or classrooms to the experimental condition of the tested preschool curriculum or to a control condition using the existing classroom curriculum. Two National Coordinators were selected by IES will coordinate data collection and analysis across all grantees. As a funded grantee, Dr. Laura Justice, and the University of Virginia are evaluating the efficacy of The Language Focused Curriculum (Bunce, 1995).
Early Literacy Intervention (ELI) is a randomized clinical trial is examining the effects of home-based parent-child storybook reading on the literacy development of 60 preschoolers with language impairment. Parent-child dyads were randomly assigned to one of several conditions, and completed 48 storybook reading sessions over a 12-week period. Samples of parent-child reading practices were collected periodically to examine the quality of parent-child reading interactions. We are investigating the effects of various approaches to storybook reading on children's literacy gains. In addition, we are examining data available on children and families descriptively to understand influences on literacy achievement among children with language impairment. This research was supported by grant DC04933-01A2 from the National Institutes of Health.
Language Therapy in Elementary Settings involves the examination of language therapy practices within elementary schools, particularly how specific features of therapy (intensity, group size, targets) are associated with the magnitude of language growth among children in therapy. In total, 480 kindergarten through second grade pupils with language impairment are participating, selected from among the caseload of 90 school-based speech-language pathologists. Intensive observations are being conducted of each child's therapy experiences so that features of therapy can be modeled in relation to children's growth over time. This study is supported by Institute of Education Sciences PR/Award # R324A090012.See: Stanton-Chapman, T., Justice, L. M., Skibbe, L. E., & Grant. S. (2007). Social and behavioral characteristics of preschoolers with specific language impairment. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 27, 98-109.