Early Literacy and Learning Model

An Effective Practice


The Early Literacy and Learning Model (ELLM), developed first in 1994 by the University of North Florida and Duval County Public Schools, seeks to close the literacy gap in pre-kindergarten children from low-income neighborhoods through an enhanced preschool curriculum. The ELLM curriculum has several components, including a print-rich environment, teachers reading aloud from books to their students four times each day, independent reading, and monthly literacy packets. ELLM's rigorous curriculum helps to develop emergent literacy skills, such as reading aloud, print concepts, letters and sounds, oral language, emergent writing, and phonological awareness. Other aspects include one-hour trainings for teachers with literacy coaches, family involvement in the literacy effort with take-home books, and ongoing assessment of current practices.

Goal / Mission

ELLM aims to decrease literacy gaps in the K-12 system by improving emergent literacy skills through preschool curricula interventions, involving a multi-faceted approach of a rigorous classroom curricula, family involvement, a support system for the teachers, and ongoing assessment of current practices.

Results / Accomplishments

In 2002, the U.S. Department of Education awarded the Florida Institute of Education at the University of North Florida a four-year Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research grant. This grant allows for the study of ELLM in a randomized field trial. Researchers followed 466 four-year-old students from low-income families, as well as their teachers and parents, for three years in multiple locations to determine whether participation in ELLM produced higher posttest emergent literacy achievement scores than participation in the traditional curricula without ELLM. ELLM children scored consistently higher in all areas of achievement testing including Test of Early Reading Ability-Third Edition (TERA-3). Post-test analyses indicated that ELLM was more effective than traditional curricula in improving the emergent literacy achievement of the students.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Dr. Madelaine Cosgrove
Education / Childcare & Early Childhood Education
Education / Literacy
Florida Institute of Education
Child Trends
Date of publication
Apr 2006
Date of implementation
For more details
Additional Audience
Preschool Children

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