Helping Young Children Develop Emergent Language and Literacy Skills: The Roles of Curriculum, Training, and Coaching


  • Barbara Gunn Oregon Research Institute
  • Jessie Marquez
  • Natasha Compton
  • Keith Smolkowski


Emergent language and literacy, Professonal development, Coaching


This article discusses the need for accessible, practical, and cost-effective professional development for Head Start teachers in developing emergent language and literacy skills.  We describe the development and components of ABCDuet: teaching materials, professional development and personalized coaching. The program is designed to make training and coaching in language and literacy teaching practices more effective, accessible, user-friendly, and sustainable, using innovative software and video assets. We report findings on the feasibility and efficacy of ABCDuet implementation on teacher and child outcomes from an evaluation of the program in 21 Head Start classrooms. Outcome data indicate the program can be implemented in authentic preschool settings by teachers with varied educational backgrounds and experience, serving children with a wide range of  emergent language and literacy skills.