Dr. Howard Goldstein Awarded $1.5 Million Grant to Examine Intervention for Young Children with Language Delays

Dr. Howard Goldstein, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of South Florida, was recently awarded a $1.5 million grant from the U. S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.  The project, “Explicit Vocabulary Instruction in Automated Listening Centers for Young Children with Language Delays,” will develop a supplemental vocabulary and comprehension curriculum for young children at-risk for reading difficulties. Designed to fit into a multi-tiered system of support with a focus on children with limited oral language skills, teachers and teachers’ aides in childcare and Pre-K classrooms in Tampa, Florida and Columbia, Missouri will implement this curriculum. 

Initially developed through the Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood (CRTIEC), a multi-site center funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, Story Friends is a small-group intervention in which vocabulary and question-answering lessons are embedded in a series of storybooks.  It is an effective and easy means of teaching academic vocabulary 4 days per week, 15 minutes per day and does not require a teacher to design or deliver instructions.  Using the Story Friends curriculum, vocabulary instruction is embedded within carefully constructed books designed for preschoolers. Classroom and home extension activities provide additional learning opportunities for vocabulary and comprehension.

Dr. Goldstein has extensive experience improving the communication and social skills of children with autism and other developmental disabilities.  His recent work addresses language and literacy development of students in high poverty schools who are at most risk for language and reading disabilities.  He said, “The long-term goal of this project is to reduce preventable reading disabilities by improving oral language skills of preschool children.  By identifying at-risk children early, we should be able to individualize instruction in feasible ways that will prepare them for school success.”

For more about Dr. Goldstein’s work, see his website or contact him at hgoldstein@usf.edu.

Serving nearly 48,000 students, the University of South Florida is one of the largest public universities in the nation, and among the top 50 universities, public or private, for federal research expenditures. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders offers undergraduate programs and nationally ranked graduate programs in audiology, speech-language pathology, and sign language interpreting to prepare students to practice as certified professionals in the field.