Accelerating Target Language to Achieve Success (ATLAS)
Generating Large and Sustained Impacts on Early Language Skills: Evaluation of Timing and Duration of Intervention
Drs. Christopher Lonigan, Beth Phillips, and Chris Schatschneider were awarded a four year, $3.3 million research grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The study is designed to examine the timing and dosage of a research-based language intervention for preschool and kindergarten students with weak language skills. More specifically, the goals of are to understand more about which timing and intensity of intervention delivery is the most effective at supporting substantial growth in oral language and comprehension skills for students from backgrounds of poverty and other risk factors. The most important goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of one year of intervention versus two years of intervention.
Participating preschoolers will be screened to determine if they qualify for the intervention. The project design involves randomizing eligible prekindergarten students to either a business‐as‐usual group that does not receive intervention in either grade, or to one of three conditions in which students receive intervention in prekindergarten and kindergarten, in prekindergarten only, or in kindergarten only. Participating students will be individually assessed at the beginning, middle and end of prekindergarten, then again three times during the kindergarten year, and finally at the end of first grade. The language intervention consists of 72 lessons each lasting approximately 25 minutes. Highly trained and closely supervised project personnel will implement the lessons in small groups (3 – 5), four days a week over the course of 18 – 20 weeks.