Date of Award

Winter 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Disorders & Special Education


Early Childhood Education

Committee Director

Stephen W. Tonelson

Committee Member

Linda Bol

Committee Member

Angela Eckhoff

Committee Member

Peter Baker


Facets of emergent literacy such as phonological awareness (PA) and alphabet knowledge (AK) are precursors to later conventional literacy (Dockrell, Stuart & King, 2010; Neuman & Dwyer, 2009; NELP, 2008). Interactive reading techniques such as dialogic reading (Whitehurst et al., 1988) and explicit print referencing (Piasta et al., 2012; Justice et al., 2010) have been used effectively with printed text to enhance emergent literacy. This quasi-experimental study was designed to determine the extent to which interactive reading techniques combined with the viewing of educational television may enhance facets of emergent literacy such as PA and AK. A convenience sample of 19 preschool children between the ages of 31- and 44-months were assigned randomly to an intervention group (n = 8) or a control group (n = 11). During a 6-week period, the intervention group viewed episodes of the educational television program Word World with their teacher, who implemented scaffolding in the form of interactive reading techniques, while the control group viewed the same episodes with no scaffolding. Before and after the intervention, students from both groups were assessed for PA and AK. Results of ANCOVAs controlling for pre-test differences indicated that children in the intervention group scored higher than did students from the control group. These differences were statistically significant. Recognizing the study's limitations, the researcher recommends combining interactive reading techniques with the viewing of educational television in preschool settings to enhance emergent literacy.