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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effect of a Targeted Early Literacy Intervention for English Learners

  • Author(s): Arellano, Elizabeth Michelle
  • Advisor(s): Vanderwood, Michael L.
  • et al.

This study examined the effectiveness of a targeted early literacy intervention among Spanish-speaking kindergarten English Learners (ELs). Using a Response to Intervention (RtI) framework, participants were screened in English to ensure a need for additional literacy support. Selected students were then screened in Spanish, and students with established Spanish phonological awareness (PA) skills were not included to participate. Twenty students identified as `at-risk' through the screening process were assigned to receive a 9-week supplemental Spanish-only intervention. Forty students not at-risk served as the comparison group. The effect of the intervention was examined using a Regression Discontinuity (RD) design. Results of the study revealed a significant main effect for intervention students' PA skills in both languages. A significant main effect was also found for students' phonics skills in Spanish, but not in English. Results further indicated that there was no significant difference between students' growth on English vs. Spanish measures of PA and phonics. Additionally, treatment integrity was measured for half of the sessions delivered, and the data revealed that the intervention was delivered with a high degree of integrity by both interventionists (i.e., 98% and 97%). Limitations and implications are discussed.

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