Contextualized Approach to Language and Literacy (Project CALL): Capitalizing on Varied Activities and Contexts to Teach Early Literacy Skills

Culatta, Barbara; Hall, Kendra; Kovarsky, Dana; Theadore, Geraldine
August 2007
Communication Disorders Quarterly;Aug2007, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p216
Academic Journal
In a federally funded early literacy project, various instructional activities were embedded into an array of classroom contexts to provide supplemental literacy instruction and to contrast children's engagement and participation in different contexts and participant structures. The study was conducted with English- and Spanish-speaking children from four Head Start classrooms. In a crossover project design, children were trained on similar sets of rhyme and letter targets at different times. Three-way ANOVAs with rhyme and letter difference scores as the dependent variables revealed a significant time-of-test effect for rhyming and significant Time × Order × Set interactions for rhyme and letter generation. Children performed better on trained than untrained targets. Observations of children revealed growth in performance and spontaneity of rhyme skills in classroom contexts. Qualitative analyses documented high levels of engagement, illustrating the value of varying activities and contexts for instruction. Both groups demonstrated their ability to gain from concrete instruction and interactive participation.


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