STAR Read-Aloud Practices are based on print referencing. Print referencing is an evidence-based read-aloud practice that is designed to boost children’s print knowledge. Although print referencing can help develop emergent-literacy skills for all preschoolers, these techniques have been shown to be particularly beneficial for special populations including children living in poverty, children with developmental disabilities, and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Authors: Jaclyn M. Dynia, Ph.D., Senior Research Specialist, Taylor Schwartz, Research Assistant, Marilyn Rogers, Research Assistant
Selected Citations: Pratt, A. S., Justice, L. M., Perez, A., & Duran, L. K. (2015). Impacts of parent-implemented early-literacy intervention for Spanish-speaking children with language impairment. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 50(5), 569-579. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12140
Justice, L. M., Skibbe, L. E., Mcginty, A. S., Piasta, S. B., & Petrill, S. A. (2011). Feasibility, efficacy, and social validity of home-based storybook reading intervention for children with language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 54(2), 523-538. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0151)
Background: The extant literature has shown that print referencing techniques are an evidence-based practice (Ezell & Justice, 2000; Ezell, Justice, & Parsons, 2000; Justice & Ezell, 2000, 2004). Recent research has also found that print referencing can be successfully implemented with special populations including: (a) children in poverty, (b) children with developmental disabilities and language impairments, and (c) children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Children in Poverty: Studies have shown that children from low-income households are at a higher risk to develop language and literacy related problems (Justice & Ezell, 2002; Lonigan, Anthony, Bloomfield, Dyer, & Samwel, 1999). Justice and Ezell (2002) examined the effects of print referencing with 30 children enrolled in Head Start. Results showed that children the print-focus group made significantly more gains in measures of word in print, print recognition, and alphabet knowledge. More recently, a large randomized-controlled trial in publicly funded early childhood centers found that print referencing was an effective practice for increasing children’s print knowledge (Justice, Kaderavek, Fan, Sofka, & Hunt, 2009; Justice, McGinty, Piasta, Kaderavek, & Fan, 2010)
Children with Developmental Disabilities and Language Impairment: Print referencing may be the most beneficial for children with developmental disabilities and language impairment (Justice, Logan, Kaderavek, & Dynia, 2015; Justice, Skibbe, McGinty, Piasta, & Petrill, 2011; Lovelace & Stewart, 2007; van Bysterveldt, Gillon, & Moran, 2006). van Bysterveldt and colleagues (2006) examined the effects of using print-referencing techniques during shared book reading with seven preschool-aged children with Down syndrome. Results indicated that the children with Down syndrome made significant increases in phonological awareness and print concepts. For children with language impairment, Lovelace and Stewart (2007) introduced print concepts to five preschool children with language impairment during language therapy; results showed that children’s print knowledge improved by the end of the intervention. Similarly, a study by Justice and colleagues (2011) investigated print referencing with 62 preschool children with significant language impairment. Results showed that the children in the print-referencing group made significant gains on measures of print-concept knowledge.
Children from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds: A few studies have focused on culturally diverse regions such as Appalachia and Mexico (Justice, 2000; Justice & Ezell, 2002; Pratt, Justice, Perez, & Duran, 2015). Justice and Ezell (2000, 2002) found that when print-referencing interventions were used across Appalachia, children made significant improvement in their print-concept knowledge skills. Pratt, Justice, Duran, and Perez (2015) completed the first print-referencing study on a monolinguist Spanish population in Mexico. Thirteen Spanish monolinguist primary caregivers and their children participated in this study. Results showed that children who participated in the book-reading program saw significant gains in print-concept knowledge and alphabet knowledge.
Ezell, H. K., & Justice, L. M. (2000). Increasing the print focus of adult-child shared book reading through observational learning. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 9(1), 36-47.
Ezell, H. K., Justice, L. M., & Parsons, D. (2000). Enhancing the emergent literacy skills of pre-schoolers with communication disorders: A pilot investigation. Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 16(2), 121-140. doi: 10.1177/026565900001600202
Justice, L. M., & Ezell, H. K. (2000). Enhancing children’s print and word awareness through home-based parent intervention. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 9(3), 257-269.
Justice, L. M., & Ezell, H. K. (2002). Use of storybook reading to increase print awareness in at-risk children. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11(1), 17-29. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2002/003)
Justice, L. M., & Ezell, H. K. (2004). Print referencing: An emergent literacy enhancement strategy and its clinical applications. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 35(2), 185-193. doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2004/018)
Justice, L. M., Kaderavek, J. N., Fan, X., Sofka, A. E., & Hunt, A. (2009). Accelerating preschoolers’ early literacy development through classroom-based teacher-child storybook reading and explicit print referencing. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40(1), 67-85. doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2008/07-0098)
Justice, L. M., Logan, J. A., Kaderavek, J. N., & Dynia, J. M. (2015). Print-focused read-alouds in early childhood special education programs. Exceptional Children, 81(3), 292-311. doi: 10.1177/0014402914563693
Justice, L. M., Mcginty, A. S., Piasta, S. B., Kaderavek, J. N., & Fan, X. (2010). Print-focused read-alouds in preschool classrooms: Intervention effectiveness and moderators of child outcomes. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 41, 504-520. doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2010/09-0056)
Justice, L. M., Skibbe, L. E., Mcginty, A. S., Piasta, S. B., & Petrill, S. A. (2011). Feasibility, efficacy, and social validity of home-based storybook reading intervention for children with language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 54(2), 523-538. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2010/09-0151)
Lonigan, C. J., Anthony, J. L., Bloomfield, B. G., Dyer, S. M., & Samwel, C. S. (1999). Effects of two shared-reading interventions on emergent literacy skills of at-risk preschoolers. Journal of Early Intervention, 22(4), 306-322.
Lovelace, S., & Stewart, S. R. (2007). Increasing print awareness in preschoolers with language impairment using non-evocative print referencing. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 38(1), 16-30. doi: 10.1044/0161-1461(2007/003)
Pratt, A. S., Justice, L. M., Perez, A., & Duran, L. K. (2015). Impacts of parent-implemented early-literacy intervention for spanish-speaking children with language impairment. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 50(5), 569-579. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12140
Van Bysterveldt, A. K., Gillon, G. T., & Moran, C. (2006). Enhancing phonological awareness and letter knowledge in preschool children with down syndrome. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 53(3), 301-329. doi: 10.1080/10349120600847706