Program

Jun 09, 2010

OVERVIEW

Early Literacy Skills Builder (ELSB) is a school-based curriculum designed to
improved literacy skills among children experiencing significant developmental
disabilities. Results of a randomly assigned experimental evaluation showed
that students participating in the ELSB program had significantly improved
nonverbal literacy, phonemic awareness, and early literacy skills.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Elementary school students with developmental
disabilities.

Early Literacy
Skills Builder (ELSB)is a school-based curriculum designed to improved
literacy skills among children experiencing significant developmental
disabilities. The program is conducted by special education teachers on a
one-on-one basis with students or with small groups of 2 to 4 students. There
are thirteen objectives in the ELSB. The first objective is for students to
read vocabulary sight words through flash card drills. The second objective is
to point to sight words to complete sentences through a system of decreasing
prompts. The third and fourth objectives are to have students point to words as
the teacher reads them and to point to words to fill in a story line through a
system of least prompts. The fifth objective is for students to respond to a
question about the story by selecting the correct picture through teacher
scaffolding. The sixth and seventh objectives are to demonstrate understanding
of segmentation by clapping syllables and tapping phonemes. The eighth
objective is to identify sound-letter correspondence. He ninth and tenth
objectives are to identify first and last sounds in words and to find pictures
that begin and end with those sounds. The eleventh and twelfth objectives are
to point to letters in segmented words and to point to pictures that represent
those segmented words. The thirteenth objective is to point to pictures of
spoken words. Teachers receive training on each objective of the Early Literacy
Program prior to implementation. Depending on student pace, teachers can repeat
lessons on a two-, four-, or ten-day cycle. Students do not move onto the
succeeding lesson until they have 75% correct responses. The lessons take
place through the school year.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Browder, D. M.,
Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Courtade, G., Gibbs, S. L., & Flowers, C. (2008).
Evaluation of the effectiveness of an early literacy program for students with
significant developmental disabilities. Council for Exceptional Children, 75(1),
33-52.

Evaluated population: Twenty-three students in kindergarten through
fourth grade from a large urban school district in the southeast United States
were nominated by special education teachers as students that met the following
criteria: (1) An IQ below 55 or severe deficits in intellectual functioning; (2)
Enrolled in Grades K through 4; (3) Reading below first grade level; (4)
Adequate hearing and vision; (5) Responsive to ongoing English instruction; and
(6) Parental consent. Approximately 50% of the students were male, 50% were
African American, 33% were White, and 25% received free or reduced lunch from
school.

Approach:
Students were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group and
pretested at the beginning of the school year. The control group participated
in a a sight word or picture instruction. The control group used a whole-word
approach as opposed to a phoneme approach in the ELSB. Students were assessed
on nonverbal literacy, conventions of reading, phonics and phonemic awareness,
early literacy skills, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), and the Woodcock
Language Proficiency Battery (WLPB), which measures receptive vocabulary and
oral language, reading, and written language.

Results: At
post-test, there were significant increases in the intervention group students’
scores on nonverbal literacy (small effect size of 0.14), phonics and phonemic
awareness (small effect size of 0.23), and early literacy skills (small effect
size of 0.15) when compared with the control group students. There were also
significant increases in the intervention group students’ scores on the PPVT
(small effect size of 0.15) and memory for sentences (small effect size of
0.18). There were no significant differences between the groups on conventions
of reading, WLPB total score, or letter-word identification.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Browder, D. M.,
Ahlgrim-Delzell, L., Courtade, G., Gibbs, S. L., & Flowers, C. (2008).
Evaluation of the effectiveness of an early literacy program for students with
significant developmental disabilities. Council for Exceptional Children, 75(1),
33-52.

KEYWORDS:
Children, Kindergarten, Elementary, Co-ed, White/Caucasian, Black/African
American, School-based, Early Childhood Education, Urban, Reading.

Program
information last updated 6/9/10

 

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Child Trends 2004