卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Effective Teaching Approach

Digital game-based learning enhances children’s language learning

Incorporating educational content into digital games and using those games as part of the elementary school curriculum to deliver traditional subjects has become a recent trend. Yu and Tsuei have launched a quasi-experimental study in digital game-based learning, examining its effect on the learning progress of elementary school students in Chinese language-arts. The authors recruited 126 4th graders (aged 9–10 years) from six classes in an elementary school in Taipei, Taiwan, with four classes as experimental group, and two classes as control group. Throughout a six-week experimental period, while the control-group classes read e-books on personal computers for 20 minutes each week, two experimental-group classes were assigned to play the game Legendary Beast Rescue I (EG I), and the other two classes, the game Legendary Beast Rescue II (EG II) for the same time span as the students’ learning of Chinese language-arts. The two games differ in their rewards mechanisms,...

02 05 2022
Texting families to improve student vocabulary

Emily K. Snell and colleagues recently conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a texting-based vocabulary program for prekindergarten students within an urban school district. The study consisted of 346 students (173 assigned to the treatment group and 173 assigned to the control group) in 49 classrooms (24 assigned to the treatment group and 25 assigned to the control group) and took place over 7 months, with 5 of those months devoted to the intervention and 1 month at both the beginning and end devoted to testing. Teachers in the treatment group received training and were instructed to send text messages to parents each week with four vocabulary words being targeted for the week, as well as links to child-friendly definitions, images, and ideas for activities. A comparison of post-test and pre-test scores revealed that children in the treatment group demonstrated significantly greater vocabulary learning than those...

01 04 2022
Reading stories of struggle improves growth mindset of young adults-to-be

Individuals with a firm growth mindset hold the belief that their intelligence can be changed and developed through their own efforts. Such an attitude enables them to be more motivated to work hard, be more persistent in the face of setbacks, and leads them to higher achievements in academic learning. Du and colleagues are interested in whether adopting a story-based approach – asking students to read stories of role models – as a mindset intervention would be effective in enhancing the growth mindsets of young adults-to-be. In Du et al.’s study, they invited high school, undergraduate and postgraduate students to read stories of role models in a single session, and their mindsets were measured before and after reading the stories. The students were asked to read five short stories, in a row in one session, about great scientists, including physicists, mathematicians, biologists and therapists. The stories were about the important...

01 04 2022
Using songs to teach vocabulary

A recent study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly by Lawson-Adams and colleagues explores the value of sung songs and rhythmically spoken songs in teaching vocabulary to preschool students. The researchers used a within-subjects design with a total of 56 students (mean age = 4.8 years old) from 4 preschool classrooms within a district. The intervention was administered 3 times to each class over the course of 2 weeks, with each intervention lasting approximately 15 minutes. Each intervention consisted of 3 activities: a picture-card only activity a picture-card plus sung song activity a picture-card plus rhythmically spoken song activity Each activity consisted of 6 targeted vocabulary words that were spoken by the teacher 4 times each during the activity. For the song activities, each word was spoken twice and then appeared in the song twice, while in the picture-card only activity each word was spoken 4 times. The students took...

25 02 2022
Let children talk to voice-assistant!

A number of studies have found that children engage in natural conversation with artificial intelligence (e.g., robots, voice assistants) which indicates the feasibility of voice agents as social partners for children.  Moreover, dialogic reading, which includes asking open-end questions to stimulate children’s thinking and providing feedback, has been identified as amplifying the benefits of storybook reading for children. Xu and colleagues compared the effects of dialogic reading with a human and dialogic reading with a non-human agent on promoting children’s language skills. Researchers recruited 117 children (mean age = 58.1 months; 31% Asian) from five childcare centers serving middle-class communities in US and data were collected from Feb to Aug 2019. A two-by-two factorial design was adopted with human vs agent with voice only interface (Google Home Mini device), and dialogic reading (i.e., conducting the narrative reading and engaging children in dialogue by asking questions and providing feedback) vs non-dialogic...

21 01 2022
The longitudinal effects of SPELL

Language and literacy skills during the preschool years are the foundations for children’s future reading achievement. A recent follow-up study by Bleses and colleagues investigated the longitudinal effectiveness of an early childhood language and literacy intervention, SPELL, on reading skills through second grade in Denmark. SPELL, short for Structured Preschool Efforts in Language and Literacy, was adapted from a whole-class shared book reading intervention, called Read It Again-PreK, targeting four domains of language and literacy skills: vocabulary, narrative, print knowledge, and phonological awareness. The SPELL intervention was adapted to the Danish context and language, involving 20-week small-group sessions, twice a week. The original SPELL randomized controlled trial involved 561 teachers and 7,076 children in a total of 144 childcare centers. The childcare centers were randomly assigned to four conditions: SPELL, SPELL + professional development (PD), SPELL + HOME, and business-as-usual (BAU). In this follow-up study, the sample was limited to...

17 12 2021
Efficacy of Zoology One, a science and literacy program for kindergartners

  Gray and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania examined the effects of Zoology One, an integrated science and literacy curriculum, on Philadelphia kindergarteners’ literacy skills and reading motivation. As shortages of students entering STEM careers grow larger, an emergent body of literature supports the need for engagement in science instruction early on in schooling. Young students who naturally show an appetite for scientific inquiry, this motivation for science tends to be weakened as they get older. As such, early science exposure offers the roots for scientific understanding that can be developed in later grades and serve as a motivating force for science learning. The researchers employed a randomized control trial design in 71 classrooms of 21 schools, randomly assigning classrooms to treatment or control conditions. Treatment classrooms implemented Zoology One in place of regular literacy instruction for 2 hours per day throughout the entire school year. The curriculum’s four...

03 12 2021
Enhancing expressive language of second-language learners in kindergarten

A study published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness reports on the efficacy of an intervention to improve kindergarten second-language learners’ general language skills (vocabulary, grammar, language expression, and comprehension) in their second language (L2). The study included 115 children (mean age = 5.5) for whom Norwegian was their second language (L2) and who attended kindergartens in Norway. Eligible children were randomly assigned to control group (n=57) and intervention group (n=58). Students in the intervention group attended 54 instruction sessions over a total of 18 weeks (3 session per week) conducted by kindergarten teachers. The instruction program targeted general language skills using a broad scope of activities, including training in vocabulary, grammar, and narratives, and focusing more on expressive rather than receptive language due to second-language learners’ higher needs on the former. The intervention was constructed so that the levels of difficulty could be adapted to the initial...

05 11 2021
Order of instruction

A recent meta-analysis performed by Sinha and Kapur utilized 53 studies from around the world comparing the order of instruction for a range of learners, primarily focused on 2nd graders through undergraduate students.  The focus of the meta-analysis was to investigate outcomes for students exposed to learning that introduces problem solving prior to instruction (PS-I) compared with students exposed to learning that introduces instruction prior to problem solving (I-PS).  Arguments in favor of PS-I designs emphasize the acquisition of higher-order thinking skills developed by allowing students to grapple with concepts they have not yet formally studied, while arguments supporting I-PS designs suggest that direct instruction is needed to enable students to focus on the most important aspects of the material.  Within the broader category of PS-I designs, the authors focused on the effects of productive failure (PF), where the problem-solving portion of the lesson is specifically designed to result in...

17 09 2021