卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Language Development

Printed vs digital text: A meta-analysis

A recent meta-analysis in The Journal of Research on Reading has synthesized the findings of studies comparing print and digital text regarding time required to read, reading comprehension, and readers' perceptions of their comprehension. Researcher Virginia Clinton performed a systematic literature review, only including studies using random assignment and that were published between 2008 and 2018, yielding 29 reports of 33 studies for analysis. She found that: Readers require equal amounts of time to read print and digital text, although screen reading negatively impacted reading comprehension (ES= -0.25). Readers were more accurately able to judge their comprehension on paper (ES= +0.20) than on screen. The negative effect on performance for reading text from screens rather than paper did not vary for readers who were adults or children (under 18). However, the author suggests this finding should be interpreted with caution because there were more studies with adult participants (26) than child...

11 09 2019
Teaching secondary students to write effectively

The Institute of Education Sciences has released a What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Educator’s Practice Guide. The guide, Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively, provides evidence-based recommendations for improving the writing skills of middle and high school students. The WWC and a panel chaired by Steve Graham at Arizona State University synthesized existing research on the topic and combined it with insight from the panel to identify the following recommendations, which include a rating of the strength of the research evidence supporting each recommendation: Explicitly teach appropriate writing strategies using a Model-Practice-Reflect instructional cycle (strong evidence) Integrate writing and reading to emphasize key writing features (moderate evidence) Use assessments of student writing to inform instruction and feedback (minimal evidence) To help teachers put the recommendations into practice, the guide describes over 30 specific strategies for the classroom, including sample writing prompts, activities that incorporate both writing and reading, and ways to use...

29 08 2019
Teaching elementary students to be effective writers

A practice guide from the What Works Clearinghouse, Teaching Elementary School Students to Be Effective Writers , offers four strategies for improving elementary students’ writing: Provide daily time for students to write Teach students to use the writing process for a variety of purposes Teach students to become fluent with handwriting, spelling, sentence construction, typing, and word processing Create an engaged community of writers For each recommendation, the guide provides implementation ideas and examples, summaries of supporting research, and solutions to common roadblocks.  It is geared toward teachers, and other educators who want to improve the writing of their elementary students.   Source (Open Access) :Graham, S., Bollinger, A., Booth Olson, C., D’Aoust, C., MacArthur, C., McCutchen, D., & Olinghouse, N. (2012). Teaching elementary school students to be effective writers: A practice guide (NCEE 2012-4058). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of...

29 08 2019
How UK students’ writing has changed since 1980

A Research published by Cambridge Assessment shows how 16-year-old students’ writing in exams has changed since 1980. Aspects of Writing has been published by Cambridge Assessment approximately every 10 years, initially using a sample from 1980. This latest phase of the study focuses on writing samples from 2014. Key findings include: The percentage of spelling errors at the lowest level of achievement is higher in 2014 than in most years. The incidence of spelling errors has changed very little among the mid- and higher-achieving students. There is some evidence that use of “other” punctuation marks such as semi-colons has increased among higher-achieving students but decreased sharply among the lowest-achieving students. There is a cautious indication of a general improvement in the use of commas. There is an increase in the use of simple sentences among higher-achieving students. The researchers observe that these students tended to use simple sentences for literary effect....

29 08 2019
Writing activities and reading comprehension: What’s the link?

An article in Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal presents a meta-analysis on the effects of different writing activities on reading comprehension. A total of 19 studies involving students in grades 1-12 met inclusion criteria, resulting in four comparisons between different writing activities: summary writing versus answering questions, summary writing versus note taking, answering questions versus note taking, and answering questions versus extended writing activities. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant differences for any of the comparisons when effects were averaged over all reading comprehension measures, excluding treatment-inherent measures. However, statistically significant differences were found for two of the comparisons on specific measures: Extended writing enhanced reading comprehension better than question answering on measures where comprehension was assessed via an extended writing activity. Also, summary writing enhanced reading comprehension better than question answering on a free recall measure. According to the authors, these results “provide limited support for the theoretical viewpoint...

29 08 2019
Small class size vs. evidence-based interventions

The Ministry of Education in France instituted a policy in 2002 that reduced class size to no more than 12 students in areas determined to have social difficulties and high proportions of at-risk students, called Zones d’Education Prioritaire (ZEP). In order to evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of this policy, researcher Jean Ecalle and colleagues in France examined the results of the policy-mandated class size reduction on the reading achievement of first graders (Study 1), and compared them to the effects of an evidence-based literacy intervention on the reading achievement of at-risk children in regularly sized classes (20 students) (Study 2). Study 1, reducing class size, involved assigning classrooms to either small (12 students/class n=100 classes) or large (20-25 students/class, n=100 classes) class sizes (with the support of the Ministry). At the start of the 2002-03 school year, 1,095 children were pretested on pre-reading skills and matched at pretest. In Study 2,...

13 08 2019
Using Expressive Writing to Reduce Test Anxiety

Test Anxiety can have negative impacts on students’ performance and psychological health. This study published in PLOS ONE examined whether expressive writing could be beneficial to alleviate test anxiety. Lujun Shen and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial among senior high school students in China who were facing The National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao), which is considered the most important exam of a student’s life. The study randomly selected 200 students from three senior-high schools in Xinxiang city. Students were first assessed for eligibility. A sample of 75 students was recruited into the study for having a high level of test anxiety. Then, 38 of them were allocated into an expressive writing group, and 37 of them were allocated to a control writing group. Students in the expressive writing group were instructed to write for 20 minutes about the positive emotions they had each day, consecutively for 30 days....

02 07 2019
What works for struggling readers?

Amanda Inns and colleagues from Johns Hopkins Center for Research and Reform in Education have completed a research review on effective programs for struggling readers in elementary schools. A total of 61 studies of 48 programs met study inclusion standards. 84% were randomized experiments and 16% quasi-experiments. Results showed that: There were positive outcomes for one-to-one tutoring and positive but not as large for one-to-small group tutoring. There were no differences in outcomes between teachers and teaching assistants as tutors. Whole-class approaches (mostly cooperative learning) and whole-school approaches incorporating tutoring obtained outcomes for struggling readers as large as those found for one-to-one tutoring, and benefitted many more students. However, technology-supported adaptive instruction did not have positive outcomes. The article concludes that approaches mixing classroom and school improvements with tutoring for the most at-risk students have the greatest potential for the largest numbers of struggling readers.   Source (Open Access): Inns, A. J.,...

19 06 2019
Learning Chinese through picture book reading for ethnic minority children in China

Si Chen and colleagues examined the efficacy of a picture book reading intervention on Uyghur children’s first language (Uyghur) and second language (Mandarin Chinese) learning. This study, supported by the Ministry of Education of China, was the first randomized controlled language education intervention conducted in Xinjiang kindergartens. This study published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly followed Uyghur children from 31 classes in 12 kindergartens in two cities of Xinjiang in one year. Among the 265 participating Uyghur children aged 4 to 5 years old, 134 of them participated in the experimental group receiving the Xinjian Project intervention, while 131 of them were allocated to the control group. The intervention design was based on successful strategies learnt from previous book-reading interventions, including using picture books to provide high-quality second language input in reading and discussion, as well as providing a curriculum of vocabulary instruction and teacher training. Chinese-Uyghur bilingual picture books...

19 06 2019