Application of the DECOLE programme in a natural classroom situation: effects on emergente literacy skills




Emergent literacy, intervention, phonological awareness, kindergartners, oral language


This quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of the DECOLE Program, applied by a teacher in natural classroom conditions, on preschoolers' emergent literacy skills. Fifty-three Brazilian children attending a public preschool participated (average age: 5 years and 7 months; standard deviation: 3.9 months), separeted into an Experimental Group (n=30) and a Control Group (n=23). Before and after the intervention, participants’ phonological awareness, vocabulary, oral comprehension, and letter knowledge skills were assessed. The results indicate that the groups were equivalent in the pre-test regarding the skills assessed. In the post-intervention, significant differences were observed in favor of the Experimental Group, which participated in the intervention, in phonological awareness, oral comprehension and vocabulary. The results suggest the effectiveness of the DECOLE Program, when applied in a natural classroom situation, for the development of emergent literacy skills considered highly relevant for learning to read and write.


Almeida, A., Prust, A. P., Zauza, G., Batista, L.S., Seabra, A. G., Dias, N. M. (2018). Educação Infantil e Desempenho Cognitivo e Socioemocional. Revista Psicopedagogia, v. 35, n. 108, p. 281-95.

Andrade, C. R. F.; Béfi-Lopes, D. M.; Fernandes, F. D. M.; Wertzner, W. H. (2016) ABFW: Teste de linguagem infantil nas áreas de Fonologia, Vocabulário, Fluência e Pragmática. Carapicuiba (SP): Pró–Fono.

Barrera, S. D., Ribeiro, I., Viana, F. L. (2019). Efeitos de intervenções em Letramento emergente: uma revisão bibliográfica na base Scielo. Psicologia: Teoria e Pesquisa, 35. Befi-Lopes, D. M.; Andrade, C. R. F.; Fernandez, F. D. M.; Wertzner, H. F. (2000) . ABFW - Teste para Avaliação de Linguagem Infantil. 1a. ed. São Paulo: Pró - Fono Editora, 89p. DOI:

Bleses, D. et al., (2018). Effective language and literacy instruction: Evaluating the importance of scripting and group size componentes. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42(1), 256-269. Capovilla, A; Capovilla, F. (2000) Problemas de Leitura e Escrita: como identificar, previnir e remediar, numa abordagem fonológica. São Paulo, SP: Memnon.

Capovilla, F. C. & Seabra, A. G. (2013). Teste Contrastivo de Compreensão Auditiva e de Leitura. In: A. G. Seabra, & N. M. Dias (Orgs.), Avaliação Neuropsicológica Cognitiva: Leitura, escrita e aritmética, (Vol. 3, pp. 29-5). São Paulo: Memnon. Catts, H. W., Herrera, S., Nielsen, D. C., & Bridges, M. S. (2015). Early prediction of reading comprehension within the simple view framework. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 28(9), 1407–1425. DOI:

Dale, P. S., Logan, J., Bleses, D., Højen, A., Justice, L. (2018). Individual differences in response to a large-scale language and pre-literacy intervention for preschoolers in Denmark. Learning and Individual Differences, 68, 51-60. DOI:

Ecalle, J., Labat, H., Le Cam, M., Rocher, T., Cros, L., Magnan, A. (2015). Evidence-based practices to stimulate emergent literacy skills in kindergarten in France: A large-scale study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 5, 102- 113. DOI:

Ehri, L. C., Nunes, S. R., Willows, D. M., Schuster, B. V., Yaghoub-Zadeh, Z., & Shanahan, T. (2001). Phonemic Awareness Instruction Helps Children Learn to Read: Evidence From the National Reading Panel's Meta-Analysis. Reading Research Quarterly, 36(3), 250-287. Foorman, B. R., Herrera, S., Petscher, Y., Mitchell, A., & Truckenmiller, A. (2015). The structure of oral language and reading and their relation to comprehension in Kindergarten through Grade 2. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 28(5), 655–681. DOI:

Gatto, R. K. S., & Barrera, S. D. (2022). Aplicação do Programa DECOLE em pré-escolares: efeitos positivos sobre consciência fonológica e compreensão oral. In: H. V. Corso e T. C. Pollo (Orgs.) Intervenções com foco na aprendizagem: clínica e escola (pp. 13-22). São Paulo, Vetor. Gough, P. B., & Tunmer, W. E. (1986). Decoding, reading, and reading disability. Remedial and special education, 7(1), 6-10. DOI:

Hjetland, H. N., Brinchmann, E. I., Scherer, R., & Melby‐Lervåg, M. (2017). Preschool predictors of later reading comprehension ability: A systematic review. Campbell Systematic Reviews, 13(1), 1-155. DOI:

Hjetland, H. N., Lervåg, A., Lyster, S.-A. H., Hagtvet, B. E., Hulme, C., & Melby-Lervåg, M. (2019). Pathways to reading comprehension: A longitudinal study from 4 to 9 years of age. Journal of Educational Psychology, 111(5), 751–763. DOI:

Hulme, C., & Snowling, M. J. (2013). Learning to read: What we know and what we need to understand better. Child Development Perspectives, 7(1), 1-5. DOI:

Kruse, L. G., Spencer, T. D., Olszewski, A., & Goldstein, H. (2015). Small groups, big gains: efficacy of a tier phonological awareness intervention with preschoolers with early literacy deficits. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24(2), 189-205. DOI:

Lennox M., Westerveld, M. F., & Trembath, D. (2018) Evaluating the effectiveness of PrepSTART, promoting oral language and emergent literacy skills in disadvantaged preparatory students. Int J Speech Lang Pathol., 20(2), 191-201. Lervåg, A., Hulme, C., & Melby-Lervåg, M. (2017). Unpicking the developmental relationship between oral language skills and reading comprehension: It's simple, but complex. Child Development, 89(5), 1821–1838. DOI:

Lyster, S.-A., Snowling, M., Hulme, C., & Lervåg, A. O. (2020). Preschool phonological, morphological and semantic skills explain it all: Following reading development through a 9‐year period. Journal of Research in Reading, 44(1), 175–188. DOI:

Morais, J., Leite, I., & Kolinsky, R. (2013). Entre a pré-leitura e a leitura hábil: Condições e patamares da aprendizagem. Em: M. R. Maluf e C.C. Martins (Orgs.). Alfabetização no século XXI: Como se aprende a ler e escrever (17-48). Porto Alegre, Penso.

NELP (2008). National Early Literacy Panel, developing early literacy: report of the National Early Literacy Panel. Jessup: National Institute for Literacy. Retrieved from

Piasta, S. B. (2014). Assessment-guided differentiated instruction to support alphabet knowledge. The Reading Teacher, 68 (3), 202-201. DOI:

Powell, D. R., Diamond, K. E., Burchinal, M. R., & Koehler, M. J. (2010). Effects of an early literacy professional development intervention on head start teachers and children. Journal of Education Psychology, 102(2), 299-312. DOI:

Ribeiro, I., Costa, H., & Brandão, S. (2014). Avaliação do programa falar, ler e escrever no jardim da infância. In F. L. Viana, & I. Ribeiro (Orgs.), Falar, ler e escrever: Propostas integradoras para jardim de infância (pp.160-183). Lisboa, Portugal: Santillana.

Rohde, L. (2015). The Comprehensive Emergent Literacy Model. SAGE Open, 5(1). Seabra, A. G., & Capovilla, F. C. (2012). Prova de consciência fonológica por produção oral. In A. G. Seabra, & N. M. Dias (Eds.), Avaliação neuropsicológica cognitiva: Linguagem Oral (Vol. 2, pp. 117-122). São Paulo, SP, Memnon. DOI:

Shanahan, T. & Lonigan, C. J. (2010). The National Early Literacy Panel: a summary of the process and the report. Educational Researcher, 39 (4), 279–285. Snow, C. E., Burns, M. S. & Griffin, P. (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. National Academies Press. DOI:

Storch, S. A. & Whitehurst, G. J. (2002). Oral language and code-related precursors to reading: evidence from a longitudinal structural model. Developmental Psychology, 38(6), 934-947. DOI:

Thomas, N., Colin, C. & Leybaert, J. (2020) Interactive Reading to Improve Language and Emergent Literacy Skills of Preschool Children from Low Socioeconomic and Language-Minority Backgrounds. Early Childhood Educ J .48, 549–560. DOI:

Tunmer, W. & Hoover, W. (2019). The cognitive foundations of learning to read: a framework for preventing and remediating reading difficulties. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties. 24, 1-19. DOI:

Viana, F. L. &. Ribeiro, I. (2014). Falar, Ler e Escrever: propostas integradoras para o Jardim da Infância. Lisboa: Santillana.

Viana, F. L., Ribeiro, I. & Barrera, S. D. (2017). Decole – Desenvolvendo Competências de Letramento Emergente: Propostas integradoras para a Pré-Escola. Porto Alegre, Penso. Wesseling, P. B. C., Christmann, C. A., & Lachmann, T. (2017). Shared Book Reading Promotes Not Only Language Development, But Also Grapheme Awareness in German Kindergarten Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 364.

Whitehurst, G. J. & Lonigan, C. J. (2003). Emergent literacy: Development from prereaders to readers. In S. B. Neuman and D. K. Dickinson (Eds). Handbook of Early Literacy Research, 11-29. New York: Guildford.




How to Cite

Domingos Barrera, S., & Kosmoski Silvestre Gatto, R. (2023). Application of the DECOLE programme in a natural classroom situation: effects on emergente literacy skills. Child Studies, (3), 29–46.