Intervention: Ladders to Literacy
Ladders to Literacy is a supplemental early literacy curriculum composed of
more than 70 activities designed to develop children’s print/book awareness,
metalinguistic awareness, and oral language skills. The curriculum, published
in the book Ladders to Literacy: A Preschool Activity Book, Second Edition,
can be used in a variety of early childhood settings and provides guidance on
how teachers can adapt the activities for children with special needs. The
activities are intended as models or suggestions that teachers can adopt within
an existing curriculum. Although a Ladders to Literacy curriculum is also available
for kindergarten students (Ladders to Literacy: A Kindergarten Activity Book),
this intervention report focuses on the preschool curriculum.
One study of Ladders to Literacy that falls within the scope of the Early
Childhood Education review protocol meets What Works Clearinghouse
(WWC) evidence standards, and one study meets WWC evidence standards
with reservations. The two studies included 139 preschool children from 26
preschool classrooms in southern New Hampshire.
Based on these two studies, the WWC considers the extent of evidence for
Ladders to Literacy on preschool children to be medium to large for oral
language and small for print knowledge, phonological processing, and math.
No studies that meet WWC evidence standards with or without reservations
examined the effectiveness of Ladders to Literacy on preschool children in
the early reading/writing or cognition domains.
Ladders to Literacy was found to have potentially negative effects on oral language
and no discernible effects on print knowledge, phonological processing, and math
for preschool children.
1 The descriptive information for this program was obtained from a publicly
available source: the program’s website (http://www.brookespublishing.com/store/books/notari-69131/index.htm, downloaded February 2009).
The WWC requests developers to review the program description
sections for accuracy from their perspective. Further verification of the
accuracy of the descriptive information for this program is beyond the
scope of this review. The literature search reflects documents publicly
available by November 2008.
2 The studies in this report were reviewed using WWC Evidence Standards,
Version 2.0 (see the WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook, Chapter III),
as described in protocol Version 2.0.
3 The evidence presented in this report is based on available research.
Findings and conclusions may change as new research becomes available.
4 These numbers show the average and range of student-level improvement
indices for all findings across the studies.
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