Supplemental early literacy intervention for first grade English language learners in bilingual education: Development and outcomes
Academic success is closely connected to early literacy development. The literature is replete with evidence that early intervention is an effective instructional response for students who struggle in learning to read and write. Current knowledge, however, is based primarily on research conducted with monolingual English language speaking student populations. We know very little about the effectiveness of early literacy interventions for English language learners (ELLs). This information is needed to provide the best start in reading and writing for all students.
The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the outcomes of supplemental early literacy intervention for first grade ELLs in bilingual education through the study of the Descubriendo la Lectura and the Accelerated Reading Instruction models. The research questions guiding this study were as follows: What are the outcomes of first grade supplemental early literacy intervention delivered in Spanish on the literacy development of bilingual students? What are the differences and/or similarities in the outcomes of two interventions: Accelerated Reading Instruction and Descubriendo la Lectura? In order to answer these questions, a post-hoc research approach was used to assess the pre-post outcomes of two interventions. Three independent school districts in the state of Texas provided a setting in which to gather information for 335 students. Archival data were collected on three outcome variable instruments for three intervention groups and a random sample group of students who did not receive an intervention. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistical techniques to examine and compare group and student outcomes.
Results indicate that students who participated in supplemental reading intervention made significant gains. The students who were identified as struggling learners in need of intervention at the beginning of the school year made comparable or better progress than the students who did not need an intervention at the beginning of the year as measured by end of the year assessments. This information provides academicians and practitioners a better understanding of the outcomes of supplemental early literacy intervention in a bilingual education setting.