Enhancing emergent literacy performance of Australian students from disadvantaged backgrounds in their first year of school: A preliminary investigation
This paper describes a research-driven initiative aimed at enhancing the emergent literacy skills of students (aged 4;7-5;6 years) from low socioeconomic, culturally diverse backgrounds attending their first (prep) year at a public metropolitan primary school in Queensland. All students (n = 63) from the three prep classes were exposed to their regular classroom literacy curriculum; students in one class received an additional 15 weeks of targeted intervention conducted by the classroom teacher, the speech pathologist, and teacher aides. The intervention consisted of one 30-minute whole class session and one 30-minute small-group session per day, four days a week. The sessions targeted phonological awareness, vocabulary, story grammar, and sentence structure, using scripted session plans. Results indicated that prep students in all three classes made significant progress on measures of spoken language during their first year of school. Following intervention, the students in the intervention class showed greater improvement on a standardised test of phonological awareness than their peers who received regular classroom instruction. This intervention effect was not apparent for any of the other spoken language measures. Implications of the results of this pilot project for the implementation of a larger-scale intervention initiative are reported.
Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology
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Education Assessment and Evaluation
Rehabilitation and Therapy (excl. Physiotherapy)