Providing extra supports for language and literacy development to struggling learners in preschool
Preschool teachers face increasing pressure to ensure that all children acquire the competencies they need to start on the path to becoming successful readers in the early grades, including children who may enter preschool with exceptionally weak skills. This article describes efforts to provide individually tailored supports to relatively high-risk learners in classrooms that participated in a federal Early Reading First project. It presents methods used to identify and monitor the progress of
struggling learners, provide additional supports to these children, and support teachers in their work with high-risk learners. The article also presents findings from the project evaluation that suggest the potential benefits of targeted supports, coupled with a high-quality curriculum, for high-risk learners' language and literacy development and factors that may contribute to children's response to extra learning supports. Last, the article discusses both promising and challenging features of the interventions used and directions for future research that is needed to refine and rigorously assess this model. (author abstract)
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