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UMDI Researcher presents findings of Chelsea Early Reading First study

As a culmination of the UMass Donahue Institute’s 2007-2011 evaluation of the Chelsea Early Reading First (ERF) project, UMDI Research Manager Paula Quinn, along with colleagues from the project, shared the study findings with Early Childhood Development and Literacy specialists at two recent national conferences.

On November 2, a session titled Using Videos as an Observation Tool in Coaching to Engage Teachers in Self-evaluation of Literacy-promoting Skills with Pre-K Children was held at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference and Expo in Orlando. Highlighting the role that videos played in the project, the session discussed using videos as a tool for not only assessing changes in teacher practice over the course of the project, but also as a way for coaches to enable teachers to reflect on—and improve—their own storybook reading skills. The use of videos as a coaching tool was believed to be one of the factors that contributed to sizeable and statistically significant gains in the receptive vocabulary development of the children in the project.

On December 1, a paper titled Vocabulary Development in English Language Learners and Monolinguals: The Role of Intense and Targeted Professional Development was presented at the 61st Annual Literacy Research Association Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. The paper explained the concentrated and embedded professional development that Chelsea ERF teachers received during the project and revealed how the pre-K children of those teachers demonstrated sizeable gains in receptive vocabulary skill. These gains occurred regardless of whether the children came from homes where only English was spoken, no English was spoken or both English and another language were spoken.

Early Reading First was developed to improve school readiness of young children, particularly those from low-income families, by targeting preschool programs that work with at-risk children, children with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency.

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