卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Language Development

Effects of an SEL and literacy development program

Harvard University’s Stephanie Jones and colleagues examined 2-year experimental impacts of a school-based intervention in social-emotional learning and literacy development, called the 4Rs, on children’s social-emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning. The 4Rs program, an intervention unique in its integration of literacy practices and social-emotional skill-building, has two components: literacy-based curriculum delivery in social-emotional learning and teacher training. Subjects were from 18 public New York City inner-city elementary schools (n= 9 treatment schools and 9 Control schools; treatment students =630 students, control students =554 students). The treatment group received both components of the intervention from 3rd to 5th grade. Results suggested that: Children in the intervention schools showed improvements in several non-cognitive domains: self-reports of hostile attributional bias, aggressive interpersonal negotiation strategies, depression, teacher reports of attention skills, and aggressive and socially competent behavior.While there were no main effects of the intervention on teacher reports of children’s academic skills, those who were at...

13 01 2021
Are computer-supported literacy interventions effective for young children?

Computer-assisted learning (CAL) is gaining popularity due to its promise of cost-effectiveness, individualized approach, and enhanced engagement. However, before incorporating CAL in traditional classrooms, it is important to understand the effectiveness of CAL. Recent research, published in Educational Research Review, presents a meta-analysis on computer-supported early literacy interventions in preschool and kindergarten settings to provide some insights into the overall effect and determinants of CAL. Including only randomized trials and quasi-experimental designs, Ludo Verhoeven and his colleagues selected 59 qualified and rigorous studies, which involved a total of 6,786 preschool and kindergarten students. The outcomes of interest were children’s phonological awareness and reading-related skills in alphabetic languages. Statistical analysis showed that Computer-supported early literacy interventions, on average, had small but positive and statistically important effects on learning outcomes (ES = +0.28). This effect size was smaller than those found in previous meta-analyses that investigated teacher-supported early literacy interventions, which lends evidence to...

13 01 2021
The relationship of bilingualism and cognitive advantage

Compared to monolingual people, bilingual people are generally considered to have a cognitive advantage related to executive function (EF). A recent meta-analysis conducted by Gunnerud and colleagues investigated whether bilingual children had an advantage in EF by examining different components of inhibition, switching, attention, monitoring, working memory, and planning. 100 publications (between 1980 to 2017) were identified, which included 143 group comparisons and 583 effect sizes. The bilingual advantage was statistically significant in overall EF (ES=+0.06). The study further performed a moderator analysis to investigate whether a cognitive advantage could occur under certain conditions. Regarding sample characteristics, the results showed that: Socioeconomic status (SES) difference was a significant moderator variable, and middle-class SES children had a greater bilingual advantage than lower-class children (β=0.235; p =.017) and upper-middle-class children (β=0.230; p =.046). Also, results from one lab showed a significantly larger effect than the studies from other labs (β=0.153; p =.011). In terms...

30 12 2020
Poor literacy skills hold poorer students back in science

A report, published by the Education Endowment Foundation in the UK and the Royal Society, has reviewed existing studies to identify interventions and teaching approaches that have a positive impact on student learning in science, particularly for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The researchers from the University of Oxford analyzed data in the National Pupil Database in England to measure the extent of the gap in the performance between economically disadvantaged students (students who have been entitled to free school meals at least once in the last six years) and students from higher socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds on national science tests. This analysis confirmed that disadvantaged students had much lower scores and made poorer progress in science, at every stage of their school career, than students from higher SES backgrounds. The gap first becomes apparent at Key Stage 1 (ages 5 – 7) and only gets wider throughout primary and secondary school....

09 09 2020
Should we be differentiating literacy instruction?

A recent meta-analysis explored the impact of differentiated instruction in elementary literacy.  Differentiated instruction is when teachers “modify content, process, and/or products in response to individual student differences in readiness, learning profiles, and interests.”  These modifications may be designed before the instruction takes place, or happen organically as teachers react to students’ learning.  Instruction may also be differentiated by adjusting the content (what students learn), the process (how students learn), and the product (how student demonstrate learning).  This meta-analysis attempted to systematically examine whether differentiation in the general (Tier 1) classroom by a general education teacher is effective, and whether there are any factors that explain differences in that effectiveness.  A total of 18 studies were included in the review. The results were as follows: Across all studies, outcomes were significantly positive for comprehension (ES = +0.09) and letter-word reading (ES = +0.20), but did not reach significance for fluency or...

09 09 2020
Are early reading programs helping young struggling readers?

Does early reading instruction really deliver important outcomes for struggling readers? A review in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness addressed this question by focusing on students in Grades 1-3 who struggle with reading. Researchers systematically reviewed 33 studies conducted between 2002 and 2017 to investigate the effects of reading intervention on word and pseudoword reading, reading comprehension, and passage fluency. In total, 128 effect sizes (n=11,737) ranging from -0.20 to +1.37 were collected: The mean effect size of +0.39 (p<0.001) confirmed the hypothesis that early reading interventions were generally effective, with encoding and writing interventions more effective than phonological awareness interventions. Meta-analytic results also indicated that one-to-one instruction (ES=+0.46) was more effective than small-group instruction (2-5 students) (ES=+0.31). Research results suggest that the position of instructors – researchers, certified teachers, university students, or paraprofessionals – does not have a significant impact on outcomes.   Source: Gersten, R., Haymond, K., Newman-Gonchar, R., Dimino,...

09 09 2020
Technology-mediated vocabulary instruction

The importance of vocabulary for reading comprehension is widely accepted. Evidence-based approaches for improving vocabulary are needed in schools, yet few exist.  Vocabulators, an online tool that can be integrated into the school day to teach students the vocabulary needed to process text, was developed to fill that gap. A new study published in the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness assessed the effectiveness of Vocabulators. The study included third grade students across seven schools in the northeast and southwest United States, six of which received Title I funding. Students identified as reading below average with some risk of reading failure within each class were randomly assigned to either the Vocabulators intervention or to continue their teachers’ normal literacy instruction. The Vocabulators group participated in the program for half an hour a day, three days per week. Students used the program as determined by their teacher, such as during center/station time, intervention block, or...

09 09 2020
High-dosage reading tutoring in public schools as an alternative to charter schools

Amid the heated policy debate on whether to lift the cap on the number of charter schools, people often cite charter schools’ more intensive tutoring and better academic performance to lobby for lifting the cap. A recent paper indicated that public schools with high-dosage after-school tutoring have the potential to be a politically neutral solution to increase student achievement without lifting the cap. Researchers at Harvard University conducted a school-level randomized evaluation to examine the effects of high-dosage reading tutoring on New York City’s middle school students. Using matched-triple randomization procedures, 60 traditional New York City public schools were divided into a treatment group, a control group, and a ‘pure’ control group. During three years of the project, selected students in the treatment group attended one-to-four reading tutoring for 2.5 hours every day, while students in the control and the ‘pure’ control groups had neither tutoring nor other after-school services. Meanwhile, the New York...

27 08 2020
How effective are book giveaway programs in improving children’s literacy?

Preschool intervention programs have been of great interest to educational researchers, since early childhood investments can yield robust long-term benefits. A recent research article, published in the current issue of Review of Educational Research, investigated the effectiveness of book giveaway programs for infants’ families. Researchers focused on three major book giveaway programs: Bookstart in the UK, Reach Out and Read in the USA, and Imagination Library in the USA. Each program has different treatment dosages: Before a child turns five, Bookstart provides up to two books; Reach Out and Read provides up to ten books; and Imagination Library supplies up to 60 books. After filtering through the inclusion criteria, researchers included 44 studies in their meta-analysis: 11 concerning  Bookstart, 18 concerning  Reach Out and Read, and 15 concerning  Imagination Library. By providing easily accessible and age-appropriate books, book giveaway programs aim to motivate parents to begin reading to their children from infancy, which...

12 08 2020