卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Language Development

A meta-analysis of writing in social studies, science, and math

Is writing about classroom content an effective way to learn? Arizona State University's Steven Graham and colleagues at the University of Utah recently performed a meta-analysis on the effects of writing about classroom content in social studies, science, and math. Specifically, they examined if writing increased student achievement, if the results differed among subjects, and if any relationships existed by grade level, activity type, or any other factors.  To be included, studies had to meet quality-indicator criteria including true or quasi-experimental research design, reliability of measures, controlling for teacher effects, multiple classes in the experimental and control conditions, experimental and control group pretest equivalence, and both groups experiencing equal amounts of time learning the same topics. This search yielded 56 studies in 53 documents meeting criteria for inclusion, involving 6,235 students in grades 1-11. Students in experimental groups wrote about classroom content, while most controls did not write at all. Forty-six percent...

19 05 2020
Enhancing the Home Learning Environment for Young Children

Home is an important site where young children grow – a truism especially relevant now until classes resume. The importance of a high-quality early home-learning environment for a child’s educational and life outcomes has been highlighted by a report published for the Department for Education of the UK before. It suggested that the physical home itself and interaction in the home both matter, and parents should understand they have the power to improve them. Specifically, it is crucial for parents to support their children to achieve their milestones of early language and communication development. Following are some extracts of suggested actions for parents of children from age 2 to 5 identified by the National Literacy Trust and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists: 2-3 years Tap out the beat to songs and rhymes. When playing with your child, give a running commentary on what they are doing, using action...

24 04 2020
More time in class benefits the best

Spending more time at school benefits the best-performing students disproportionately, according to a study. The researchers used data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K). The ECLS-K followed the cohort class of 1998-1999 from kindergarten to their eighth grade, while the present study used the data from the autumn and spring semesters in the 1998-99 school year during kindergarten for analysis. This included more than 20,000 children from 1,000 kindergarten programs in schools for children who entered kindergarten in 1998. Children were given math and reading tests in the fall and spring. Because there was essentially random variation in when these tests were delivered, there were variations in the amount of instructional time between the two tests. The researchers used this to analyze the progress made, but also the difference in progress among the different percentiles within the class. They found that: On average, reading scores increase by...

24 03 2020
English vocabulary learning using a mobile app with a self-regulated learning mechanism

Technology-supported learning tools have become more popular in recent years. An article recently published in Computer Assisted Language Learning examined whether a vocabulary learning mobile app with a self-regulated learning (SRL) mechanism can help students with vocabulary learning, as well as improving their self-regulated learning abilities. Forty-six fifth graders from an elementary school in Taiwan participated in this study. They are all EFL (English as a foreign language) students. Twenty-one of them were randomly assigned to the experimental group, while 25 students were designated as the control group. Experimental group students received a vocabulary learning app with a self-regulated learning mechanism containing five components, namely a SRL setting module, an English vocabulary learning module, a quiz module, a note module, and a goal reminder module. Students could set self-regulating goals, acquire vocabulary data and pronunciation files, take notes, take quizzes, and check their goals. Control group students also received a...

10 03 2020
Writing supported by virtual reality

In a recently published article in the British Journal of Educational Technology, Hwang & Chang (2019) examined how the spherical video-based virtual reality (SVVR) approach can support descriptive article writing in Taiwan senior high school writing classes. In traditional language learning activities, as the authors identified, there is usually no chance for students to develop in-depth feelings about the context of topics, resulting in low learning motivations and limited expression in the writing process. To provide in-depth experiences and to facilitate students’ descriptive article writing, the study introduced an SVVR system that used 360-degree photos or videos in a VR environment supporting students before they started to write. Two classes of 11th graders participated in the study, 30 students being allocated to the experimental group and 35 students to the control group. After students understood the writing tasks and read a descriptive article text about the Jade Mountain in Taiwan,...

25 02 2020
The effect of linguistic comprehension training on language and reading comprehension

Kristin Rogde and colleagues from the Campbell Collaboration have completed a systematic review that examines the effects of linguistic comprehension instruction on generalized measures of language and reading comprehension skills. Examples of linguistic comprehension skills include vocabulary, grammar, and narrative skills. The authors searched literature dating back to 1986, and identified 43 studies to include in the review, including samples of both pre-school and school-aged participants. Randomized controlled trials and quasi-experiments with a control group and a pre-post design were included. Key findings of the review were as follows: The linguistic comprehension programs included in the review display a small positive immediate effect on generalized outcomes of linguistic comprehension. The effect of the programs on generalized measures of reading comprehension is negligible. Few studies report follow-up assessment of their participants. According to the authors, linguistic comprehension instruction has the potential to increase children’s general linguistic comprehension skills. However, there is variability in...

25 02 2020
Effects of Word Generation on academic language, vocabulary, and reading comprehension outcomes

A study published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness reports on the impact of Word Generation on academic language, vocabulary, and reading comprehension outcomes for students in grades 4 to 7. Word Generation (WG) is a vocabulary program designed to teach academic vocabulary words through English, math, science, and social studies classroom activities. For this study, 7,725 4th to 7th grade students from 25 schools in the northeast U.S. were randomized within pairs to either treatment or business-as-usual control conditions. In treatment schools, the program was implemented throughout the school year. In grades 4 and 5, this involved 12 ten-day long units of 45-50 minutes per day. For grades 6 and 7, the program was implemented in six-week long units designed to take 45 minutes each day in science and social studies classes. The results showed: At the end of the first year, students in grades 4 and 5 also made...

29 01 2020
Promoting emotional intelligence and positive emotions in foreign language classrooms

A study published recently in Frontiers in Psychology explored whether emotional intelligence and classroom motivation in foreign language classrooms can be improved by positive psychology intervention. This study was conducted in two classes from a high school in China. The two classes, taught by the same English teacher, were randomly assigned as the intervention group consisting of 56 students and the control group consisting of 52 students For the intervention group, a six-week emotional intelligence intervention was implemented, consisting of one hour of ARGUER training of emotional intelligence each week, along with keeping a weekday diary, and reflection. Themes of the six sessions of ARGUER training were: Awareness of feelings and emotions in self and others Recognizing emotions in self and others Generating positive emotions that facilitate thinking Understanding causes and consequences of emotions in self and others Expressing emotions appropriately Regulating emotions in self and others effectively Students’ weekday...

15 01 2020
Play-based curriculum benefits young children and teachers

Findings from a randomized controlled trial of Tools of the Mind (Tools) suggest that the program improves kindergarten students’ academic outcomes in reading and writing, enhances children’s joy in learning and teachers’ enjoyment of teaching, and reduces teacher burnout. The Tools program is a play-based preschool and kindergarten curriculum that emphasizes self-control, language, and literacy skills. The study, published in the journal PLoS One, analyzed the effectiveness of Tools on kindergarten teachers and 351 children (mean age 5.2 years at entry) with diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in 18 public schools in Canada. Schools were paired with closely matched schools and then randomized to either the intervention group or control group. Teachers in the intervention group received a three-day workshop on Tools before the school year began, along with funds for resources. Control group teachers were offered the same amount of training hours and funds for whatever training and resource materials they wanted. The results showed...

30 12 2019