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Nebraska kindergarten teachers' perceptions of language and literacy development, speech -language pathologists, and language interventions

Anne Marie Shaughnessy, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study investigated Nebraska kindergarten teachers' perceptions of early childhood language and literacy development, speech-language pathologists' roles and responsibilities, and teacher-delivered interventions that support language development. The survey instrument, created for this study, included multiple choice items probing teachers' demographic and professional background; Likert-scale items referring to language and literacy development, speech-language pathologists, and interventions; and open-ended questions allowing participants to provide additional information and comments. Questionnaires were mailed to the population of Nebraska kindergarten teachers (N = 1036); replies were received from a self-selected sample of 484 respondents, an overall response rate of 46.68%. ^ Results supported the use of this instrument and suggested refinements in specific items. Findings indicated that kindergarten teachers were familiar with numerous aspects of typical and delayed language development during early childhood, and knowledgeable of interventions to support students' linguistic growth. These results contradicted previous allegations in the scholarly literature that teachers of young children have little, if any, understanding of oral language development and its implications for literacy development (Fillmore & Snow, 2000; Kavale & Reese, 1991; Moats, 1994; Moats & Lyon, 1996; Nolen, McCutchen, & Berninger, 1990; Snow, Scarborough, & Burns, 1999). Furthermore, participants' comments and descriptive statements yielded insights into their experiences and beliefs about language and literacy development, and the roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists. Recommendations for future research were drawn from both qualitative and quantitative analyses. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Health Sciences, Speech Pathology|Education, Early Childhood|Education, Teacher Training

Recommended Citation

Shaughnessy, Anne Marie, "Nebraska kindergarten teachers' perceptions of language and literacy development, speech -language pathologists, and language interventions" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3092595.