Facilitating language development for inner-city children: Experimental evaluation of a collaborative, classroom-based intervention

Pamela A. Hadley, Alice Simmerman, Michele Long, Michael Luna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This study explores the effectiveness of a collaborative, classroom-based model in enhancing the development of vocabulary and phonological awareness skills for kindergarten and first-grade children in an inner-city school district. Four regular education teachers from the neighborhood school were randomly selected for participation. Children were randomly assigned to classrooms following usual school procedures. Two classrooms served as standard practice controls. In the other two classrooms, a collaborative service delivery model was implemented. One certified speech-language pathologist taught in each experimental classroom 21/2 days per week. The speech-language pathologist and the regular education teachers engaged in joint curriculum planning on a weekly basis. Vocabulary and phonological awareness instruction was embedded into ongoing curricular activities. Additionally, explicit instruction in phonological awareness was planned for a 25-minute small-group activity center weekly. Following the 6-month intervention, superior gains were noted in receptive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, beginning sound awareness, and letter-sound associations for children in the experimental classrooms as compared to children in the standard practice control classrooms. The children in the experimental classrooms also showed greater improvement on a deletion task in comparison to the children in the standard practice classrooms. Importantly, this task was never used as an instructional activity, and thus demonstrated generalization to a novel phonological awareness task. The results are discussed with regard to the positive benefits of collaboration in facilitating the language abilities of inner-city children who are at risk for academic difficulties in the early elementary grades.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-295
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaboration
  • Language delay
  • Language intervention
  • Limited English speaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Facilitating language development for inner-city children: Experimental evaluation of a collaborative, classroom-based intervention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this