Early Vocabulary Connections
Study: Nelson et al. (2011)

Summary

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.

Target Grades:
K, 1, 2, 3
Target Populations:
  • Students with disabilities only
  • English language learners
  • Any student at risk for academic failure
Area(s) of Focus:
  • Phonics/word study
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling
Where to Obtain:
Cambium Learning Sopris
4185 Salazar Way Frederick, CO 80504
800-547-6747
www.cambiumlearninggroup.com
Initial Cost:
$4.74 per student
Replacement Cost:
Free

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. Initial cost pricing assumes 25 students per teacher. Initial cost per student for implementing program:  25 Students/1 Teacher: $4.74/student (Cost include all student and teacher materials)  5 Students/1 Teacher: $23.60/student (Cost include all student and teacher materials)

Staff Qualified to Administer Include:
  • Special Education Teacher
  • General Education Teacher
  • Reading Specialist
  • Math Specialist
  • EL Specialist
  • Interventionist
  • Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
  • Paraprofessional
  • Other:
Training Requirements:
Training not required

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


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

Access to Technical Support:
Professional development can be provided at request of school district, but it is not required.
Recommended Administration Formats Include:
  • Individual students
  • Small group of students
Minimum Number of Minutes Per Session:
20
Minimum Number of Sessions Per Week:
5
Minimum Number of Weeks:
36
Detailed Implementation Manual or Instructions Available:
Yes
Is Technology Required?
  • Computer or tablet

Program Information

Descriptive Information

Please provide a description of program, including intended use:

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.

The program is intended for use in the following age(s) and/or grade(s).

not selected Age 0-3
not selected Age 3-5
selected Kindergarten
selected First grade
selected Second grade
selected Third grade
not selected Fourth grade
not selected Fifth grade
not selected Sixth grade
not selected Seventh grade
not selected Eighth grade
not selected Ninth grade
not selected Tenth grade
not selected Eleventh grade
not selected Twelth grade


The program is intended for use with the following groups.

selected Students with disabilities only
not selected Students with learning disabilities
not selected Students with intellectual disabilities
not selected Students with emotional or behavioral disabilities
selected English language learners
selected Any student at risk for academic failure
not selected Any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: Please indicate the academic area of focus.

Early Literacy

not selected Print knowledge/awareness
not selected Alphabet knowledge
not selected Phonological awareness
not selected Phonological awarenessEarly writing
not selected Early decoding abilities
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Language

not selected Expressive and receptive vocabulary
not selected Grammar
not selected Syntax
not selected Listening comprehension
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Reading

not selected Phonological awareness
selected Phonics/word study
not selected Comprehension
selected Fluency
selected Vocabulary
selected Spelling
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Mathematics

not selected Computation
not selected Concepts and/or word problems
not selected Whole number arithmetic
not selected Comprehensive: Includes computation/procedures, problem solving, and mathematical concepts
not selected Algebra
not selected Fractions, decimals (rational number)
not selected Geometry and measurement
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Writing

not selected Handwriting
not selected Spelling
not selected Sentence construction
not selected Planning and revising
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Please indicate the behavior area of focus.

Externalizing Behavior

not selected Physical Aggression
not selected Verbal Threats
not selected Property Destruction
not selected Noncompliance
not selected High Levels of Disengagement
not selected Disruptive Behavior
not selected Social Behavior (e.g., Peer interactions, Adult interactions)
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Internalizing Behavior

not selected Depression
not selected Anxiety
not selected Social Difficulties (e.g., withdrawal)
not selected School Phobia
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Acquisition and cost information

Where to obtain:

Address
4185 Salazar Way Frederick, CO 80504
Phone Number
800-547-6747
Website
www.cambiumlearninggroup.com

Initial cost for implementing program:

Cost
$4.74
Unit of cost
student

Replacement cost per unit for subsequent use:

Cost
$0.00
Unit of cost
Duration of license

Additional cost information:

Describe basic pricing plan and structure of the program. Also, provide information on what is included in the published program, as well as what is not included but required for implementation (e.g., computer and/or internet access)

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. Initial cost pricing assumes 25 students per teacher. Initial cost per student for implementing program:  25 Students/1 Teacher: $4.74/student (Cost include all student and teacher materials)  5 Students/1 Teacher: $23.60/student (Cost include all student and teacher materials)

Program Specifications

Setting for which the program is designed.

selected Individual students
selected Small group of students
not selected BI ONLY: A classroom of students

If group-delivered, how many students compose a small group?

   3-6

Program administration time

Minimum number of minutes per session
20
Minimum number of sessions per week
5
Minimum number of weeks
36
not selected N/A (implemented until effective)

If intervention program is intended to occur over less frequently than 60 minutes a week for approximately 8 weeks, justify the level of intensity:

Does the program include highly specified teacher manuals or step by step instructions for implementation?
Yes

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Is the program affiliated with a broad school- or class-wide management program?

If yes, please identify and describe the broader school- or class-wide management program:

Does the program require technology?
Yes

If yes, what technology is required to implement your program?
selected Computer or tablet
not selected Internet connection
not selected Other technology (please specify)

If your program requires additional technology not listed above, please describe the required technology and the extent to which it is combined with teacher small-group instruction/intervention:

Training

How many people are needed to implement the program ?

Is training for the instructor or interventionist required?
No
If yes, is the necessary training free or at-cost?

Describe the time required for instructor or interventionist training:
Training not required

Describe the format and content of the instructor or interventionist training:
Training not required. Training is can be provided at the request of the school district.

What types or professionals are qualified to administer your program?

selected Special Education Teacher
selected General Education Teacher
selected Reading Specialist
selected Math Specialist
selected EL Specialist
selected Interventionist
selected Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
not selected Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist or Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
selected Paraprofessional
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Does the program assume that the instructor or interventionist has expertise in a given area?
No   

If yes, please describe: 


Are training manuals and materials available?
No

Describe how the training manuals or materials were field-tested with the target population of instructors or interventionist and students:
The training manual/materials were based on Early Vocabulary Connections field trials in which high levels of treatment validity were obtained with paraeducators.

Do you provide fidelity of implementation guidance such as a checklist for implementation in your manual?

Can practitioners obtain ongoing professional and technical support?
Yes

If yes, please specify where/how practitioners can obtain support:

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

Summary of Evidence Base

Please identify, to the best of your knowledge, all the research studies that have been conducted to date supporting the efficacy of your program, including studies currently or previously submitted to NCII for review. Please provide citations only (in APA format); do not include any descriptive information on these studies. NCII staff will also conduct a search to confirm that the list you provide is accurate.

Study Information

Study Citations

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(2) 184-211.

Participants Full Bobble

Describe how students were selected to participate in the study:
EL kindergarteners were recruited for participation in this study. No student repeated kindergarten during the study; and recruitment, enrollment, assignment, intervention, and testing procedures were identical across cohorts. 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 (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., students whose parents provided active consent); in Cohort 2, n=93 children from 12 classrooms were initially enrolled.

Describe how students were identified as being at risk for academic failure (AI) or as having emotional or behavioral difficulties (BI):
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., students whose parents provided active consent); in cohort 2, n=93 children from 12 classrooms were initially enrolled. In sum, standard scores of 73.73 for treatment and 76.40 for control on PPVT indicate 4th-5th percentile. Furthermore, all students meet EL status per the district-administered criteria.

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • below the 30th percentile on local or national norm, or
  • identified disability related to the focus of the intervention?
%

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • emotional disability label,
  • placed in an alternative school/classroom,
  • non-responsive to Tiers 1 and 2, or
  • designation of severe problem behaviors on a validated scale or through observation?
%

Specify which condition is the submitted intervention:
Early Vocabulary Connections was used in the treatment condition.

Specify which condition is the control condition:
The control condition was based on interactive book reading (Wasik & Bond, 2001; Wasik et al., 2006) and was employed primarily to control for instructional time and consistency. Pictures, child friendly definitions, and guiding prompts were used in the control condition to introduce the target words, engage and motivate students, support expanded explanations, and support independent use of word meanings. Materials were similar to those included in the prop boxes used in studies of interactive book reading (see Wasik et al., 2006). We selected storybooks for the control condition that contained the target treatment curriculum words (e.g., bank, nap) and tutors used a three-step instructional sequence with these books.

If you have a third, competing condition, in addition to your control and intervention condition, identify what the competing condition is (data from this competing condition will not be used):

Using the tables that follow, provide data demonstrating comparability of the program group and control group in terms of demographics.

Grade Level

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Age less than 1
Age 1
Age 2
Age 3
Age 4
Age 5
Kindergarten 93 92 0.00
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

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
African American
American Indian
Asian/Pacific Islander
Hispanic 93 92 0.00
White
Other

Socioeconomic Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Subsidized Lunch
No Subsidized Lunch

Disability Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Speech-Language Impairments
Learning Disabilities
Behavior Disorders
Emotional Disturbance
Intellectual Disabilities
Other
Not Identified With a Disability

ELL Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
English Language Learner 93 92 0.00
Not English Language Learner

Gender

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Female 45 43 0.02
Male 48 49 0.02

Mean Effect Size

0.01

For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences between groups in the descriptions below, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not demographic characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.

Design Full Bobble

What method was used to determine students' placement in treatment/control groups?
Random
Please describe the assignment method or the process for defining treatment/comparison groups.
Within classroom, students were randomly assigned to one of two small groups (ranging in size from 2 to 5 children per group, with an average of three per group); small groups were randomly assigned to receive small-group instruction in either Early Vocabulary Connections (treatment) or a modified form of interactive book reading (control). (The control condition was used primarily to control for time and quality of instruction.)

What was the unit of assignment?
Other
If other, please specify:
Small Groups

Please describe the unit of assignment:

What unit(s) were used for primary data analysis?
not selected Schools
not selected Teachers
not selected Students
not selected Classes
selected Other
If other, please specify:
Small Groups

Please describe the unit(s) used for primary data analysis:

Fidelity of Implementation Half Bobble

How was the program delivered?
not selected Individually
selected Small Group
not selected Classroom

If small group, answer the following:

Average group size
3
Minimum group size
2
Maximum group size
5

What was the duration of the intervention (If duration differed across participants, settings, or behaviors, describe for each.)?

Weeks
20.00
Sessions per week
5.00
Duration of sessions in minutes
20.00
What were the background, experience, training, and ongoing support of the instructors or interventionists?
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.

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.

What were the results on the fidelity-of-treatment implementation measure?
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 > .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 .94 and .97, respectively.

Was the fidelity measure also used in control classrooms?
See answer to 5 above. 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 .97.

Measures and Results

Measures Targeted : Full Bobble
Measures Broader : Full Bobble

Study measures are classified as targeted, broader, or administrative data according to the following definitions:

  • Targeted measures
    Assess outcomes, such as competencies or skills that the program was directly targeted to improve.
    • In the academic domain, targeted measures typically are not the very items taught but rather novel items structured similarly to the content addressed in the program. For example, if a program taught word-attack skills, a targeted measure would be decoding of pseudo words. If a program taught comprehension of cause-effect passages, a targeted measure would be answering questions about cause-effect passages structured similarly to those used during intervention, but not including the very passages used for intervention.
    • In the behavioral domain, targeted measures evaluate aspects of external or internal behavior the program was directly targeted to improve and are operationally defined.
  • Broader measures
    Assess outcomes that are related to the competencies or skills targeted by the program but not directly taught in the program.
    • In the academic domain, if a program taught word-level reading skill, a broader measure would be answering questions about passages the student reads. If a program taught calculation skill, a broader measure would be solving word problems that require the same kinds of calculation skill taught in the program.
    • In the behavioral domain, if a program taught a specific skill like on-task behavior in one classroom, a broader measure would be academic performance in that setting or on-task behavior in another setting.
  • Administrative data measures apply only to behavioral intervention tools and are measures such as office discipline referrals (ODRs) and graduation rates which do not have psychometric properties as do other, more traditional targeted or broader measures.

Click here for more information on effect size.


What populations are you submitting outcome data for?
selected Full sample
not selected Students at or below the 20th percentile
not selected English language learners
not selected Racial/ethnic subgroups
not selected Economically disadvantaged students (low socioeconomic status)
Targeted Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Broader Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Administrative Data Measure Reverse Coded? Relevance

Posttest Data

Targeted Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Targeted Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P
For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not pretest characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.
Please explain any missing data or instances of measures with incomplete pre- or post-test data.
If you have excluded a variable or data that are reported in the study being submitted, explain the rationale for exclusion:
Describe the analyses used to determine whether the intervention produced changes in student outcomes:
The study design was a cluster randomized design, therefore hierarchical multilevel modeling approach was employed to test for differences between conditions using 3-level models in which student scores (Level 1) as nested within small groups (Level 2), which were in turn nested within school (Level 3). In each model, condition was dummy coded such that 1=treatment and 0=control. In essence, our pretest models are 2-group t-tests, except that we allowed for estimation of random effects due to small groups and schools. See the Analytic Approach section on page 197 for further details and a rationale for the approach used.

Additional Research

Is the program reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA?
No
Summary of WWC / E-ESSA Findings :

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.

How many additional research studies are potentially eligible for NCII review?
1
Citations for Additional Research Studies :
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.

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Most tools and programs evaluated by the NCII are branded products which have been submitted by the companies, organizations, or individuals that disseminate these products. These entities supply the textual information shown above, but not the ratings accompanying the text. NCII administrators and members of our Technical Review Committees have reviewed the content on this page, but NCII cannot guarantee that this information is free from error or reflective of recent changes to the product. Tools and programs have the opportunity to be updated annually or upon request.