Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Coats, T. Linda

Committee Member

Prince, Debra

Committee Member

Grace, Cathy

Committee Member

Davis, James

Committee Member

McGrath, Vincent

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education


The purpose of this study was to examine if early childhood teachers can enhance literacy and language development in preschool children and strengthen the literacy with the support of an on-site technical assistant (TA). The present investigation sought to explore two questions: Is there a statistically significant difference between classroom environments for which teaching early literacy skills, as measured by the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation Toolkit (ELLCO) Research Edition of three and four-year-olds participating in the on-site technical assistance model when compared to classroom environments in programs where early childhood teachers did not participate? and Is there a statistically significant difference in language scores of children in classrooms whose early childhood teachers participated in the technical assistance model as measured by the Preschool Language Scale-4th edition (PLS-4) as compared to children whose teachers did not participate? ANCOVA was used to assess differences in mean post-test scores (ELLCO and PLS-4) between treatment and comparison groups. Both the treatment and comparison groups’ pre-test scores were used as covariates. There was a statistically significant difference between the treatment and comparison groups of teachers as measured by the ELLCO.