STAR Read-Aloud Practices are based on print referencing and have been developed over two decades of research.
Selected Citations: 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. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1044/1058-0360.0901.36
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. doi: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0903.257
Authors: Jaclyn M. Dynia, Ph.D., Senior Research Specialist, Taylor Schwartz, Research Assistant, Marilyn Rogers, Research Assistant
Efficacy Studies: In one of the first investigations of print referencing, Ezell and Justice (2000) examined the effects of a print-referencing intervention on adult and four-year-old children’s discussions about print. Results showed that without specific training, adults rarely make references to print while reading with children, but their references significantly increased after watching a training video. Building upon these findings, Justice and colleagues completed two studies on caregivers using print referencing. Ezell, Justice, and Parsons (2000) examined the efficacy of print referencing with four caregivers and their preschoolers with a language or phonological disorder. Caregivers implemented a 5-week print-referencing program that included weekly group professional development sessions as well as individual training. Results showed that children’s print-concept knowledge increased by the end of the program. Justice and Ezell (2000) investigated a home-based print-referencing intervention with 28 caregivers and their typically developing preschool-aged child. At the end of the intervention, children in the print-referencing group made significant gains on words in print, word segmentation, and print concepts. These early print-referencing studies were the foundation of STAR read-aloud practices. Additional efficacy studies have been completed with children living in poverty, children with developmental disabilities, and children with language impairment. Results from these studies have shown that print referencing can be beneficial for increasing children’s print knowledge in a variety of settings. Click here to find out more about these special populations.
Effectiveness Trials: The effectiveness of the STAR Read-Aloud Practices have been examined in three large-scale studies. Justice and colleagues (2009) examined the impact of a print-referencing intervention in publicly funded early childhood classrooms over an academic year. At the end of an academic year, children in the treatment classrooms had made significant gains on print-concept knowledge and alphabet knowledge compared to those in the control group when controlling for classroom quality. In a follow-up study of the STAR Read-Aloud Practices, Justice and colleagues (2010) examined the effects of print referencing on a larger sample of teachers and children as well as possible moderators of the treatment. When controlling for children’s scores in the fall, child age, and classroom quality, children in the treatment group made considerably greater gains on a print-knowledge composite than children in the control condition. Taken together, these two studies illustrate that the print-referencing intervention can be administered by a large number of teachers to a large number of children with a positive impact on measures of print knowledge.
There is one effectiveness study examining STAR Read-Aloud Practices in early childhood special education classrooms (Justice, Logan, Kaderavek, & Dynia, 2015). Results indicated that children in the treatment group made significantly more gains in a print-knowledge composite than children in the comparison group, indicating that participation in print-focused read-alouds at school resulted in an increase in children’s print knowledge. An examination of possible treatment moderators revealed that children with low levels of nonverbal cognition benefitted more from participation in the classroom and home print-referencing condition than did children with high scores on the performance intelligence measure.
Recent Investigations of STAR Read-Aloud Practices:
- History of STAR: Parent implementation was examined in parent-child dyads recruited at a speech therapy clinic located in a Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
- STAR-Ohio: A large-scale study of STAR Read-Aloud Practices with early childhood special education teachers across Ohio was implemented during the 2016-2017 school year. Teachers in this study completed online professional development modules and monitored their student progress through assessments in the fall and the spring.
- STAR@Home: A pilot study on parent engagement called STAR@Home combined the STAR Read-Aloud Practices in the home and at school using the STAR@Home journal.
- STAR Español: The first examination of STAR Read-Aloud Practices with monolingual Spanish-speaking caregivers and their children.
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., 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)
Piasta, S. B., Justice, L. M., Mcginty, A. S., & Kaderavek, J. N. (2012). Increasing young children’s contact with print during shared reading: Longitudinal effects on literacy achievement. Child Development, 83(3), 810-820. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01754.x