Date of Award:

5-2010

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Ann M. Berghout Austin

Abstract

Basic communication skills are foundational for children's success in school and are dependent largely on their language experiences early in life. The purpose of this study was to examine two professional development models and family child care providers' use of turn-taking strategies that promote language in young children. The first professional development model consisted of a 10-hour nonformal training focused on supporting early language development. The second included the nonformal training and on-site mentoring. The 48 family child care programs were randomly assigned to one of the professional development models or a control group. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to examine the average increase in the frequency of providers' use of turn-taking strategies over three observations. Results indicate that both forms of professional development support increased use of language promoting turn-taking strategies as compared to a control group. Professional development that includes on-site mentoring support appears to be related to greater increases in providers' use of informational talk and didactic utterances over training only.

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