Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2021

Document Type

Thesis (699 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Kris Vossler


language, literacy, development, milestones, kindergarten, teachers


In the United States, 68 percent of four-year-old children and 86 percent of five-year-old children were enrolled in a preprimary program in 2017 (Institute of Education Sciences [IES], 2019). Preprimary programs are defined as programs that provide educational instruction and childcare, which includes both preschool and kindergarten. Because children entering kindergarten have a diverse array of experiences due to their home environments and previous experience in childcare, they have varying abilities when it comes to skills in language and literacy. Language can be defined as the words that are used to share information and how they are used to communicate, whereas literacy refers to the use and understanding of written language (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association [ASHA], n.d.a). Kindergarten teachers are tasked with the evaluation and teaching of language and literacy skills each year. In order to understand the experience of kindergarten teachers in evaluating and teaching language and literacy skills, as well as how expectations and performance of children have changed over time, the researcher conducted one-on-one semi-structured interviews with kindergarten teachers who have been teaching for five years or longer. Results revealed that kindergarten teachers’ expectations for language and literacy skills upon entrance to kindergarten have increased over the last 10 years, and teachers perceive that their students, particularly students of the 2019-2020 school year, have a wide range in skills and abilities when it comes to language and literacy, causing milestones to be met inconsistently.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.