The purpose of this project is to examine the efficacy of the Teaching Together program for pre-kindergarten (pre-k) children who are at risk of academic difficulties due to limited oral language skills. This project is unique in its focus on oral language supports in both the classroom and home settings. In early childhood classrooms serving low-income students, up to 50% of children may exhibit language difficulties, which are associated with long-term challenges for reading and academic success. Yet evidence demonstrates that early language difficulties can be reduced or ameliorated by providing universal/Tier 1 or targeted/Tier 2 language interventions at school and home. Tiered language supports may ameliorate language difficulties for many pre–k children who need increased opportunities to build language skills, including English learners (ELs).
The 20-week DT classroom intervention includes four Tier 1 whole-group and four Tier 2 small-group lessons per week delivered by the classroom teacher. Teachers will also complete general language support online modules for 3 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) credits. In addition to the classroom supports, the TT family intervention includes:
The interventions emphasize shared book reading, vocabulary explanations, multiple-turn conversations, and language support strategies. Teachers and parents receive aligned, weekly text messages with activity videos and tips to support children’s oral language.