Teaching Together: Pilot study of a tiered language and literacy intervention with Head Start teachers and linguistically diverse families
This study examines blending of classroom- and family-based supports within a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). MTSS frameworks typically use primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions to prevent or ameliorate academic difficulties. Preventing reading difficulties should begin in early childhood education (ECE) programs using evidence-based Tier 1 instruction with all children, Tier 2 targeted instruction for children with weak skills, and specialized Tier 3 interventions for children with special needs (Carta & Miller-Young, 2019). The present study focuses on a sample of Head Start children who are both experiencing poverty and scoring below early language and literacy screening benchmarks. MTSS studies in pre-kindergarten (pre-k) classrooms are feasible and promising (e.g., Buysse et al., 2016), yet more information is needed on the intensity of supports children experiencing poverty and children from language minority backgrounds require. These profiles of learners are at elevated risk for longer-term language and literacy difficulties (e.g., Chatterji, 2006; Hoff, 2013; Scheffner Hammer et al., 2014). This study begins to explore which combination of resources are the most parsimonious, yet effective for improving language and literacy skills for such learners. (author abstract)
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