Bridging the Research to Practices Gap
Tracy L. Masiello, Ph.D.
Carol M. Trivette, Ph.D.
Carl J. Dunst, Ph.D.
Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute
Presentation prepared for an Office of Special Education Programs meeting,
Washington, DC, November 16, 2006.
Major Aims
• Synthesize available research evidence on effective early literacy
learning interventions
• Identify and develop evidence-based practices from this
research
• Implement and evaluate the use of these evidence-based
practices
• Conduct general and specialized technical assistance promoting
the adoption and sustained use of evidence-based early literacy
learning practices
CELL Model
The CELL model divides early language and
literacy development of young children into
five overlapping age ranges and three phases
of literacy development, which occurs
through both formal and informal contexts
and experiences.
Informal
LITERACY CATEGORIES
Formal
Print-Related
Competencies
Linguistic
Processing
Competencies
Infant
Toddler
Preschool
PERIOD OF DEVELOPMENT
Framework for Organizing Early Literacy Learning Practices
Phases of Literacy Learning
• Preliteracy Development
• Emergent Literacy Development
• Early Literacy Development
Preliteracy Development
The communication and social skills acquired before language
onset that form the foundation for language acquisition and
emergent literacy skills. The preliteracy period is from birth to
approximately 12 to 15 month of age developmentally.
Emergent Literacy Development
The verbal and nonverbal skills that are the foundation for the
process of learning to read, write, and develop other literacyrelated abilities. Emergent literacy period is from 12-15 to 30
months of age.
Early Literacy Development
The acquisition and mastery of the fundamentals of reading,
writing, and other literacy-related skills. Early literacy period is
from approximately 30 months of age to five years.
Six Domains of Early Literacy
• Alphabetic and print awareness
• Written language
• Reading comprehension
• Phonological awareness
• Oral language
• Listening comprehension
Categorization of the Literacy Domains
• Print related competencies (alphabetic and print awareness,
written language, and text comprehension)
• Linguistic processing competencies (phonological awareness,
oral language, and listening comprehension)
Key Factors Influencing Literacy Learning
Literacy Rich
Experiences
Instructional
Practices
Literacy
Skills
Child
Interests
Child Interests
• Children’s personal interests are a combination of their
stored knowledge based on previous experience with objects
of interest and stored value deriving from their experience.
• Children’s situational interests are triggered by features of
the environment that capture their attention and encourage
engagement.
• CELL activities will include procedures for identifying
children’s interests and using this information to involve
children in interest-based literacy learning opportunities.
Literacy Rich Experiences
• The environmental arrangements, material availability, and
experiences that promote literacy learning opportunities for
children, as well as literacy related curricular activities.
• Include both formal experiences (early intervention,
preschool special education, and other preschool
experiences) and informal experiences as part of everyday
family and community life.
Instructional Practices
• Teachers and other early childhood educators typically use
more structured, formal instructional practices (e.g., explicit
instruction).
• Parents/caregivers typically use less formal styles of
interaction (e.g., responsive parenting styles).
Categorization Scheme of CELL’s
Instructional Practices
Informal
Formal
Implicit Instruction
Explicit Instruction
Caregiver Responsiveness
Contingent Responsiveness
Responsive Teaching
Incidental Teaching
Response Elaboration
Embedded Instruction
Imitation
Modeling
Parent Scaffolding
Practitioner Scaffolding
Parent-Mediated Child Learning
Teacher-Mediated Child Learning
Research to Practice Toolkits
• Promote print-related and linguistic processing
competencies for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers using
formal and informal literacy learning opportunities.
• Include printed material, videos, and CD-ROMs,
PowerPoint presentations, and other curricular activities.
Practice Guide Interventions
• Promote literacy rich learning opportunities that are
contexts for skill acquisition
• Include the instructional practices that can be used to
promote early literacy learning
• Include specialized practices for supporting the literacy
learning of children with disabilities or learning difficulties
who require more specialized interventions
Developing Literacy Practice Guides
• What is the practice?
• What does the practice look like?
• How do you do the practice?
• How do you know the practice worked?
Hierarchy of Early Literacy Learning
Early Childhood Intervention Practices
Specialized
Practices
Instructional Practices
Literacy Rich Learning Opportunities
Conclusion
The CELL framework is based on the successful approach
used by the RTC to bridge the research-to-practice gap. CELL
will yield an increased understanding of the effective early
literacy learning interventions and the positive outcomes of
these intervention for young children with identified disabilities
or developmental delays.
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