Early Vocabulary Connections

Study: Nelson, Vadasy, & Sanders (2011)

Nelson, J.R., Vadasy, P.F., & Sanders, E.A. (2011). Efficacy of a Tier 2 supplemental root word vocabulary and decoding intervention with kindergarten Spanish-speaking English learners. Journal of Literacy Research, 43, 184-211.
Descriptive Information Usage Acquisition and Cost Program Specifications and Requirements Training

Early Vocabulary Connections is a supplemental reading vocabulary program designed to simultaneously promote the reading, vocabulary and decoding skills of kindergarten through third grade students who are learning the English language or who have significant literacy deficits. The program comprises two primary components:

  • Early Vocabulary Connections: First Words to Know and Decode (Level 1): Designed for students who are just learning to read, this component pairs explicit instruction in both decoding and vocabulary. The vocabulary words in this part of the program are arranged based on letter sounds.
  • Early Vocabulary Connections: Important Words to Know and Spell (Level 2): Designed for students with significant vocabulary deficits, this component builds directly on Level 1. This is designed for students who are already in the process of consolidating their decoding skills. The vocabulary words in this part of the program are arranged in themes, for example, Numbers and Shapes, Daily Living, Citizenship, and Life on Earth.

 Together, the Early Vocabulary Connections programs teach 564 high-frequency and widely occurring vocabulary words that, although familiar to most English-speaking students, may not be known by ELLs and students from impoverished language backgrounds.

 

Early Vocabulary Connections is intended for use in Kindergarten through third grade. It is designed for use with students with disabilities (including learning disabilities), English language learners and any student at risk of academic failure. The academic area of focus is reading (phonics/word study, comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, and spelling).

Based on an analysis of customers who have purchased this product, 13 districts across 10 different states represent some of the primary implementers.

 

Where to obtain:
4093 Specialty Place

Longmont, CO 80504

Phone: 800-547-6747

Web Site:
www.cambiumlearninggroup.com

Cost:

  • 25 Students/1 Teacher: $4.74/student (Cost includes all student and teacher materials)
  • 5 Students/1 Teacher: $23.60/student (Cost includes all student and teacher materials)

Replacement cost per student for subsequent use: $0

Additional Cost Information: Early Vocabulary Connections is sold in a Level 1 Set or a Level 2 Set. Each set comprises an Instructor’s Manual, a Teacher Presentation Manual, a CD-ROM with blackline masters, and Mastery Measures. Because the sets include blackline masters, there are no on-going student costs.

For the most up-to-date pricing, please visit our webstore: http://store.cambiumlearning.com/

Early Vocabulary Connections is designed for use with individual students or small groups of three to six students.

Early Vocabulary Connections takes 20 minutes per session with a recommended five sessions per week for an entire school year.

The program includes a highly specified teacher’s manual. No technology is required.

 

Training is not required. Training can be provided at the request of the school district.

Instructors must be professionals or paraprofessionals.

Professional Development embedded teacher materials; there are no specific training manuals or materials.

The training manual and materials were based on Early Vocabulary Connections field trials in which high levels of treatment validity were obtained with paraeducators.

Professional development can be provided at request of the school district, but it is not required.

 

 

Participants: Convincing Evidence

Sample size: 185 kindergarten students across six schools (93 students in the treatment group and 92 students in the control group)

Risk Status: Students were considered EL if their performance fell within the limited or non-English speaker levels of the Oral Language component of the norm-referenced, district-administered Pre-Literacy Language Assessment Scales 2000 (pre-LAS 2000) (DeAvila & Duncan, 2000). Further, all EL children came from families who spoke Spanish in the home. In cohort 1, n=117 children from 14 classrooms were initially enrolled in the study (i.e., whose parents provided active consent); in cohort 2, n=93 children from 12 classrooms were initially enrolled.

Demographics:

 

Program

Control

p of chi square

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Grade level

  Kindergarten

 93

100% 

92 

100% 

 

  Grade 1

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 2

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 3

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 4

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 5

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 6

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 7

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 8

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 9

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 10

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 11

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 12

 

 

 

 

 

Race-ethnicity

  African-American

 

 

 

 

 

  American Indian

 

 

 

 

 

  Asian/Pacific Islander

 

 

 

 

 

  Hispanic

93

100%

92

100%

 

  White

 

 

 

 

 

  Other

 

 

 

 

 

Socioeconomic status

  Subsidized lunch

 

 

 

 

 

  No subsidized lunch

 

 

 

 

 

Disability status

  Speech-language impairments

 

 

 

 

 

  Learning disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

  Behavior disorders

 

 

 

 

 

  Intellectual disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

  Other

 

 

 

 

 

  Not identified with a disability

 

 

 

 

 

ELL status

  English language learner

93

100%

92

100%

 

  Not English language learner

 

 

 

 

 

Gender

Female

45

48%

43

47%

 

Male

48

52%

49

53%

 

Training of Instructors: All paraeducator tutors/tutor teams (paraeducators) were recruited from their school communities based on their interest in working with children, prior tutoring and school volunteer experience, and scheduling flexibility. The assignment of small groups to tutors was wholly determined by a combination of classroom scheduling, paraeducator availability, and the number of eligible students within classrooms within sites. Each tutor was trained in only one of the treatment conditions (i.e., treatment or control, not both), and most provided tutoring to 5 small groups (range was 4 to 6 small groups per tutor) across two sites. The participating paraeducators were female and mostly non-minority (75%), and varied in their age, educational levels (88% had secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent), and general tutoring experience (50% had previous experience as a paraprofessional).

We used a five-step process to train tutors to implement the respective instructional components for the treatment and control conditions components correctly (i.e., > 98 percent): 1) a trainer provides an overview of the theory, research base, rationale, and implementation format for the programs; 2) a trainer models and practices the implementation activities with staff; 3) simulated practice conditions are conducted to ensure that a high level of skill performance is obtained by staff; 4) a trainer provides structured feedback to staff on their proficiency; and 5) the data collectors monitor treatment fidelity and a trainer provides ongoing instruction and modeling when applicable to ensure high-quality implementation. Initial training was four hours in length. The primary focus of the initial training session was to insure tutors could implement each of the treatment conditions and their separate components with integrity. Once the intervention began, the first three lessons that were delivered by tutors were observed by project staff who provided corrective feedback to insure treatment fidelity.  The tutors were then observed by project staff on six additional occasions to assess treatment fidelity. Following each observation, if needed, project staff provided additional corrective feedback to the tutors.

Design: Convincing Evidence

Did the study use random assignment?: Yes.

If not, was it a tenable quasi-experiment?: Not applicable.

If the study used random assignment, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures used as covariates or on pretest measures also used as outcomes?: Yes.

If not, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures central to the study (i.e., pretest measures also used as outcomes), and outcomes were analyzed to adjust for pretreatment differences?: Not applicable.

Were the program and control groups demographically comparable at pretreatment?: Yes.

Was there attrition bias1 ?: No.

Did the unit of analysis match the unit for random assignment (for randomized studies) or the assignment strategy (for quasi-experiments)?: Yes.

1 NCII follows guidance from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) in determining attrition bias. The WWC model for determining bias based on a combination of differential and overall attrition rates can be found on pages 13-14 of this document: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/reference_resources/wwc_procedures_v2_1_standards_handbook.pdf

 

Fidelity of Implementation: Partially Convincing Evidence

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Each tutor was observed delivering instruction to their small groups onsite by research staff monthly on six equidistant occasions. Two types of fidelity were recorded by research staff using criteria on general teaching behaviors (comparable across conditions) and intervention component behaviors (specific to each condition). For general delivery, tutors were rated on a 5-point rating scale (0=never to 4=proficient) on three criteria: (a) whether book/props were visible to all children, (b) whether all children were responsive during the session, and (c) whether the children were appropriately kept on task. For treatment, the following component behaviors were rated on a 5 point behavior rating scale: word blending and spelling, word meaning, fast read passage, sentence completion, word meaning match, and say a sentence.

Provide documentation (i.e., in terms of numbers) of fidelity of treatment implementation: No differences among small groups (treatment, M = 3.81, SD = 0.19; control, M = 3.73, SD = 0.15) were detected between conditions, t(55) = 1.75, p > 0.05. For intervention component behaviors, tutors were rated on instructional components corresponding to their specific intervention condition, and thus ratings are not directly comparable. For treatment, components included Word Blending and Spelling, Word Meaning, Fast Read Passage, Sentence Completion, Word Meaning Match, and Say a Sentence; small groups averaged M = 3.87 (SD = 0.10) on the 5-point component behavior rating scale. For control, components included vocabulary introduction, interactive book reading, and extension activity; small groups averaged M = 3.74 (SD = 0.12) on the [same] 5-point component behavior rating scale. Given the maximum value of 4 on the behavior rating scales, we note that fidelity – both general and component – was extremely high: Converted into a percentage, general fidelity averaged 95% and 93% for treatment and control, respectively, and for component fidelity, the corresponding averages were 97% and 94%. Interrater reliability was conducted one time per instructional group. The interrater reliability (Pearson’s r) for the treatment and control groups were 0.94 and 0.97, respectively.

For control, components included vocabulary introduction, interactive book reading, and extension activity; small groups averaged M = 3.74 (SD = 0.12) on the [same] 5-point component behavior rating scale. Interrater reliability (Pearson’s r) for the control groups was 0.97.

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Measures Broader: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure Score type & range of measure Reliability statistics Relevance to program instructional content

Curriculum-based (researcher-developed) measure

 

Contains 50 multiple choice items. Testing begins at the first item and is discontinued after 10 consecutive errors or until all items are administered.

 

The sample internal consistencies were 0.93 and 0.82 at pretest and posttest, respectively.

 

Components of instruction include: 1) word blending and spelling; 2) word meaning; 3) fast read passage; 4) sentence completion; 5) word meaning match; and 6) say a sentence.
Broader Measure Score type & range of measure Reliability statistics Relevance to program instructional content

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-IIIA (PPVT-IIIA)

 

Raw score is number correct. Testing is discontinued after a student misses 8 out of 12 items within a grade level set.

 

Reliability reported in the test manual is 0.94 for 5-year-olds. For this sample of English Learner kindergartners, internal consistency was 0.96.

 

Components of instruction include: 1) word blending and spelling; 2) word meaning; 3) fast read passage; 4) sentence completion; 5) word meaning match; and 6) say a sentence.

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised/ Normative Update (WRMT-R/NU) Word Comprehension cluster

 

The Word Comprehension subtest includes three sections: Antonyms, Synonyms, and Analogies. The Antonyms and Synonyms subtests include 67 items arranged in order of difficulty. The Analogies subtest includes 79 items arranged in increasing order of difficulty.

 

Split-half reliability for first graders reported in the manual is 0.95. For this sample, internal consistencies across the three section item totals were 0.51 and 0.61, for pretest and posttest, respectively.

 

Components of instruction include: 1) word blending and spelling; 2) word meaning; 3) fast read passage; 4) sentence completion; 5) word meaning match; and 6) say a sentence.

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised/Normative Update (WRMT-R/NU) Word Attack

 

Word Attack consists of 50 nonwords that increase in difficulty. Testing is discontinued after 6 consecutive incorrect responses.

 

Split-half reliability for first graders reported in the manual is 0.94. For this sample, internal consistency at pretest and posttest were 0.90 and 0.91, respectively.

 

Components of instruction include: 1) word blending and spelling; 2) word meaning; 3) fast read passage; 4) sentence completion; 5) word meaning match; and 6) say a sentence.

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised/Normative Update (WRMT-R/NU) Word Identification

Word Identification consists of 106 words that increase in difficulty (e.g., go, the, me, not). Testing is discontinued after 6 consecutive incorrect responses.

Split-half reliability reported in the manual for first graders is 0.98. For this sample, internal consistency at pretest was 0.94, and at posttest was 0.93.

Components of instruction include: 1) word blending and spelling; 2) word meaning; 3) fast read passage; 4) sentence completion; word meaning match; and 6) say a sentence.

 

Number of Outcome Measures: 3 Reading

Mean ES - Targeted: 0.67*u

Mean ES - Broader: Data Unavailableu

Effect Size:

Targeted Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Reading Proximal reading vocabulary: 50-item definitional vocabulary 0.67***,u

Broader Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Reading Distal reading vocabulary: WRMT-R/NU Word
Reading Word reading: Mean of standard score for WRMT-R/NU Word 0.23u

 

Key
*        p ≤ 0.05
**      p ≤ 0.01
***    p ≤ 0.001
–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes
u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means
†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available

 

Visual Analysis (Single Subject Design): N/A

Disaggregated Data for Demographic Subgroups: No

Disaggregated Data for <20th Percentile: No

Administration Group Size: Small Group, (n=2-5)

Duration of Intervention: 20 minutes, 5 times a week, 20 weeks

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Paraprofessional, Training not required

Reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA: No

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse.

 

Evidence for ESSA

This program was not reviewed by Evidence for ESSA.

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 1 study

Vadasy, P. F., Nelson, J. R., & Sanders, E. A. (2013). Longer Term Effects of a Tier 2 Kindergarten Vocabulary Intervention for English Learners. Remedial and Special Education, 34(2), 91-101.