Florida State University Researchers Receive $3.3 Million Federal Grant


Florida State University Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology Dr. Christopher Lonigan and Associate Professor of Education Dr. Beth Phillips recently received a $3.3 million research grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). IES is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. The grant, titled “Generating Large and Sustained Impacts on Early Language Skills: Evaluation of Timing and Duration of Intervention,” will explore key components of language interventions for struggling preschool and kindergarten students.

Dr. Lonigan explained, “This grant allows us to examine the relative efficacy and sustained impacts of three variations in the timing and dosage of a language intervention for prekindergarten and kindergarten students with weak language skills. Because such language weaknesses place children at increased risk for a host of academic difficulties, an intensive and early intervention approach may be needed to reduce children’s risk for later difficulties.”

The grant will be housed at FSU’s Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) where Dr. Lonigan is a founding Associate Director and Dr. Phillips is a research faculty member. The grant team also includes Professor of Psychology Dr. Christopher Schatschneider, and multiple research faculty and graduate students. FCRR Director Dr. Barbara Foorman described the importance of this study as, “extremely relevant and timely to the national discussion of early childhood education.”

Dr. Phillips summarized, “A substantial amount of research indicates just how important language skills are for children’s later reading comprehension, but unfortunately, too many young children arrive at school without a solid foundation of language ability. Our project is designed to help these children catch up to their more fortunate classmates.”

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. It is independent and non-partisan. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.

The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) is a multidisciplinary research center at Florida State University. FCRR explores all aspects of reading research—basic research into literacy-related skills for typically developing readers and those who struggle, studies of effective prevention and intervention, and psychometric work on formative assessment. For more information, please contact Jimmy Cole, jcole@fsu.edu850-645-1173.