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Shayne B. Piasta Florida State University Florida Center for Reading Research IES Pre-doctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program Promoting Preschoolers’

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Presentation on theme: "Shayne B. Piasta Florida State University Florida Center for Reading Research IES Pre-doctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program Promoting Preschoolers’"— Presentation transcript:

1 Shayne B. Piasta Florida State University Florida Center for Reading Research IES Pre-doctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program Promoting Preschoolers’ Acquisition of Alphabet Knowledge: A Comparison of Two Instructional Approaches

2 Overview Introduction Significance of alphabet knowledge/instruction Research aims and supporting literature Study design and research questions Method Basic results and general conclusion Questions

3 Significance of alphabet knowledge Alphabet knowledge refers to knowledge of letter names (LN) and letter sounds (LS) Alphabet knowledge as an essential emergent literacy component (Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998) Provide basic mappings between speech and print Predictor of later reading success/difficulty (e.g., Gallagher et al., 2000; O’Connor & Jenkins, 1999; Scarborough, 1998; Schatschneider et al., 2004; Torrpa et al., 2006) Important component of early literacy instruction (e.g., Early Reading First, Head Start, state curriculum frameworks) Yet, we know relatively little concerning alphabet knowledge development and how it is best promoted Purpose of the present study

4 Statement of the Problem Yet, many children continue to struggle to master alphabetic skills – particularly those from impoverished backgrounds (Administration for Children and Families, 2005, 2006) Why? Beliefs concerning “developmentally appropriate” practices/expectations (REF) Variability in alphabet teaching (Justice et al., 2006) Lack of research (NELP, Piasta & Wagner, 2007) Current project designed to help fill this void Theoretical and practical implications

5 Research Aim 1 Aim 1: Determine the impact of pure alphabet instruction on development of letter name and letter sound knowledge (and other emergent literacy skills) Previous research Essentially no studies of pure alphabet instruction (NELP, Piasta & Wagner, 2007) Strong, perhaps reciprocal, relations among letter name knowledge, letter sound knowledge, and other literacy skills (Burgess & Lonigan, 1998; McBride-Chang, 1999; Scarborough, 1998; Piasta, 2006)

6 Research Aim 2 Aim 2: Compare two types of alphabet instruction LNLS instruction LN and LS reciprocally predictive (Burgess & Lonigan, 1998; Evans et al., 2006; Mann & Foy, 2003; McBride-Chang, 1999) LNs useful for learning LSs via LN structure effect (Evans et al., 2006; McBride-Chang, 1999; Piasta, 2006; Treiman et al., 1998) LS only instruction Only LS knowledge required for reading and spelling LNs merely index other factors such as print exposure (Foulin, 2005; Groff, 1984) LNs confusing (Groff, 1984; McGuinness, 2004; Venezky, 1975, 1979)

7 Research Aim 3 Aim 3: Investigate the letter name-to-sound facilitation effect, including relations with phonological processing Previous research LN and LS reciprocally predictive Letter name structure effect: Letters with associated names and sounds more likely to be known than those with unassociated names/sounds (Evans et al., 2006; Justice et al., 2006; McBride-Chang, 1999; Piasta, 2006; Treiman et al., 1998) Phonological processing as mechanism for effect (Share, 2004; Piasta, 2006) Letter name type: Example: No association H, /h/ Vowel- consonant F, /εf/ Consonant- vowel B, /bi/ >>

8 Research Design Provide letter name and/or sound training to preschoolers with initially low alphabet knowledge Screening (knew fewer than 8 LNs) N = 58 children at 4 preschools 48% female, 72% Caucasian, range of SES 3 experimental conditions LNLS training LS training only Number training (treated control) Pretest, posttest LN and LS production Phonological processing, Letter-Word ID, emergent reading, developmental spelling

9 Assessments Administered by research assistants blind to condition Pretest General verbal ability (ROWPVT) Letter name production, recognition Letter sound production, recognition Phonological awareness (TOPEL subtest) Letter-word identification (Woodcock-Johnson) Number identification Midtest Letter name production, recognition Letter sound production, recognition Posttest Letter name production, recognition Letter sound production, recognition Phonological awareness (TOPEL subtest) Letter-word identification (Woodcock-Johnson) Emergent reading (adapted from Byrne & Fielding-Barnsley, 1991, 1993, 1995) Developmental spelling (Ball & Blachman, 1991; Blachman et al., 1994, 1999) Number identification

10 Current Research Questions RQ1: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on children’s alphabet learning? Is the impact different for LNLS versus LS instruction? RQ2: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on the types of letters children are likely to learn (i.e., CV, VC, NA letters)? RQ3: Are gains in alphabet knowledge, particularly for CV and VC letters, related to phonological processing skill?

11 Contributors to Alphabet Knowledge Development Individual differences (between-children) contribute to alphabet knowledge skill E.g., oral language, phonological processing, speech perception, home/background factors (Burgess & Lonigan, 1998; Christian et al., 1998; de Jong & Olson, 2004; Lonigan et al., 2000; Treiman & Broderick, 1998; Treiman & Kessler, 2004) Potential reciprocal relations among early literacy skills (Burgess & Lonigan, 1998; McBride-Chang, 1999, Piasta, 2006) Differences across letters (between-letters) contribute to alphabet knowledge skill E.g., effects of child name, consonant v. vowel, alphabetic position, sound articulation, letter name structure (Evans et al., 2006; Justice et al., 2006; McBride-Chang, 1999; Read, 1971; Treiman et al., 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998)  Letter name-to-sound facilitation effect

12 Method 3 instructional conditions (LNLS, LS, Number) Small group (3-5 children) pullout program Random assignment to condition and instructional group Avoided confounding conditions with Centers, teachers, classes, implementers through design No pretest differences among conditions

13 Method 3 instructional conditions (LNLS, LS, Number) Small group (3-5 children) pullout program Random assignment to condition and instructional group Avoided confounding conditions with Centers, teachers, classes, implementers through design No pretest differences among conditions Avoided problems of nesting

14 Instruction Alphabet instruction (LNLS, LS) All 26 uppercase letters taught in random sequence 3-4 letters taught per week (1 lesson/letter, weekly review) Careful to be consistent across letters  Same lesson format/activities for each letter  Same total number of exposures to each letter Same lessons across conditions, with exception of use of letter name in LN/LS condition Number instruction (control) Numbers 0-15 taught Similar lesson format/activities to alphabet conditions High fidelity to scripted lesson plans (M = 97.71%) LN mistakenly given in LS condition during 4 lessons (0.78% of all lessons)

15 Alphabet lessons LN/LS Condition Here is the letter A. It makes the sound /a/. Everyone find a letter A (from pile of magnetic letters in the center of the table). Show me your letter. What is it called? Everyone put your finger on the letter A on your mats. Use your finger to trace the letter. Let me hear you say /a/. What picture is above the letter A? (e.g. Apple) That’s right – apple. Apple starts with the /a/ sound. (Write out apple on whiteboard). It starts with the letter A, see? (Place magnetic A over written A). Let’s play a game. (Put out some picture cards). What is this? (Help children name each picture; e.g., alligator, astronaut, apple, ax). To first child: Show me one that starts with the /a/ sound. That’s right – ax starts with the /a/ sound (write on whiteboard) because it starts with the letter A. Show me the letter A in the word ax (have child place magnetic A over written A). Let me hear you say the /a/ sound. What other word starts with the /a/ sound? (Continue giving each child a turn). LS Only Condition Here is the letter that makes the /a/ sound. Everyone find this letter that makes the /a/ sound (from pile of magnetic letters in the center of the table). Show me your letter. What sound does it make? Everyone put your finger on the letter that says /a/ on your mats. Use your finger to trace the letter. Let me hear you say /a/. What picture is above the letter that says /a/? (e.g. Apple) That’s right – apple. Apple starts with the /a/ sound. (Write out apple on whiteboard; place magnetic A over written A). Let’s play a game. (Put out some picture cards). What is this? (Help children name each picture; e.g., alligator, astronaut, apple, ax). To first child: Show me one that starts with the /a/ sound. That’s right – ax starts with the /a/ sound (write on whiteboard). Put the letter that makes the /a/ sound on the word ax (have child place magnetic A over written A). Let me hear you say the /a/ sound. What other word starts with the /a/ sound? (Continue giving each child a turn).

16 Number lessons Here is the number 3. Let me hear you say the name of this number. What number is this? Everyone find a number 3 (from pile of several number cards). Show me your number. What number is that? Now we’re going to trace a 3 (on handout). You make a 3 by doing this (demonstrate). Now you try. Switch colors. Now let’s trace it again (repeat 5 times). Now let me see you write a 3 all by yourself. Let’s play a game (Place number discs in front of each child. Hand out mat with eight colored circles on it). Find all the 3s that you have in your color and put them on the circles on your mat. You will know when you’re done when you have a 3 for every circle on your mat. Let’s see how fast you are! Ready? Go! (Repeat 2 times).

17 Analysis All analyses controlled for age, implementer RQ1: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on children’s acquisition of alphabet knowledge? Is the impact different for LNLS versus LS instruction? 3 (condition) x 2 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs Planned interaction contrasts for pairwise comparisons RQ2&3: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on the learning of CV, VC, and NA letters, and are these gains related to phonological processing skill? Generalized cross-classified random effect models, crossing letters with children (Raudenbush & Bryk, 2002; Richter, 2006) Correctly partitions the variance and allows for interactions between child (e.g., condition, PA) and letter (e.g., letter name type) factors Gives the probability of having learned a letter (residualized gain)

18 Analysis Two sources of variance Children Letters

19 Analysis Traditional regression equation: Multilevel model equations: Dichotomous DV φ ijk = probability of knowing a letter β 0jk = log-odds of φ ijk θ 0, γ 00 = mean log-odds of knowing any letter Dichotomous DV / CCRE b 00j = random effect of child characteristics c 00j = random effect of letter characteristics

20 Analysis Generalized cross-classified random effects model

21 Letter name structure factor Letter name structure  CV consonants (B, D, J, K, P, T, V, Z)  VC consonants (F, L, M, N, R, S, X)  NA consonants (C, G, H, Q, W, Y)  Vowels

22 RQ1 Results RQ1: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on children’s alphabet learning? Is the impact different for LNLS versus LS instruction?

23 RQ1 Results * * * * * *

24 * * * *

25 Results RQ1: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on children’s alphabet learning? Is the impact different for LNLS versus LS instruction? Within outcomes, the same subscript denotes a significant pairwise comparison.

26 RQ2 Results RQ2: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on children’s acquisition of phonological processing, emergent reading, and developmental spelling skills? Is the impact different for LNLS versus LS instruction?

27 RQ2 Results Gain ScoresPosttest Scores

28 Results RQ2: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on children’s acquisition of phonological processing, emergent reading, and developmental spelling skills? Is the impact different for LNLS versus LS instruction? No significant differences among conditions.

29 RQ2 Results RQ2: What is the impact of alphabet instruction on the types of letters children are likely to learn (i.e., CV, VC, NA letters)?

30 RQ2 Results LN Production Gains

31 RQ3 Results LN Recognition Gains

32 RQ2 Results LS Production Gains *Differences among letter types, within condition * * * * * Differences within letter type * * * * * * * *

33 RQ3 Results LS Recognition Gains

34 Letter sounds learned by condition and letter type Training order: T, J, S, N, M, G, A, V, H, W, P, Z, O, C, Q, E, B, Y, R, K, U, I, F, X, D, L LS Production

35 RQ3 Results RQ3: Are gains in alphabet knowledge, particularly for CV and VC letters, related to phonological processing skill?

36 RQ3 Results Phonological Processing Probability of Correct Response LS Production Gains PA at M +/-1SD * * no diff * * * *

37 Results Phonological Processing Probability of Correct Response LS Recognition Gains RQ4: Are gains in alphabet knowledge, particularly for CV and VC letters, related to phonological processing skill?

38 Conclusions Aim1: Impact of alphabet instruction Reliable LNLS instruction advantage for LS outcomes only, although trends consistently favored LNLS condition No advantage of LS instruction over control No transfer to other emergent literacy skills Aim2: LNLS versus LS instruction Trends favoring LNLS instruction in LS learning Aim3: Letter name-to-sound facilitation Although patterns for LNLS instruction were consistent with hypotheses, LS instruction resulted in atypical patterns Expected pattern of relations with phonological processing for Number condition only Expected pattern of letter learning for LNLS condition that overrode limitations of phonological processing

39 General Conclusion Further research is warranted, particularly studies with greater instructional intensity and statistical power However… Preliminary evidence of advantage in providing combined LNLS instruction Trends consistently favored this condition LS acquisition accelerated but continuing to follow typical developmental patterns

40 Shayne B. Piasta Florida State University Florida Center for Reading Research IES Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training Program Questions?


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