卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Language Development

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
Early oral competence linked to literacy

An article published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology describes a three-year longitudinal study exploring the predictive relationship between oral narrative competence at age 5/6 and written narrative competence during the following two years. A total of 80 Italian children participated in the study. They were followed for three years and tested three times: Oral production was assessed at the end of the first year of the study, when the children were at the end of kindergarten. This was in terms of narrative competence (cohesion, coherence, and structure).Written production was assessed at the end of first grade in terms of narrative competence (cohesion, coherence, and structure) and orthographic competence (spelling).Written production was assessed at the end of second grade in terms of narrative competence (cohesion, coherence, and structure). Overall, the study demonstrated that oral narrative competence in kindergarten predicted written narrative competence in the following two years, with orthographic competence (spelling) playing a...

24 04 2019
A review of the evidence on early language development

A review of the evidence on early language development, commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation in the UK in partnership with Public Health England, has examined the most effective ways to support young children with delays in their early language development between birth and five years old. James Law and colleagues looked at the existing evidence to find out which interventions have the greatest potential for boosting young children’s language skills and reducing inequalities in outcomes. They identified 44 intervention studies which focused on language and related skills in preschool. All the studies were randomized controlled trials or quasi-experimental, matched study designs. The findings were as follows: Positive effect sizes were found in relation to receptive language in 29 studies. They found one of the best ways to improve early language development for this group is through training for teachers in early years settings so that they can deliver cost-effective...

24 04 2019
Setting up in-class libraries in rural China

A study published in Reading Research Quarterly examined the effects of installing an in-class library providing students with age-appropriate books on student reading outcomes and achievements in rural China. Most previous studies of the effects of age-appropriate books have been conducted in developed regions. However, in rural China, not only are age-appropriate reading materials scarce, but schools, teachers and parents also believe independent reading will negatively affect students’ performance in high-stakes college entrance examinations. To examine the actual effects in rural China, Yi and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial consisting of 11,083 fourth- and fifth- grade students from 120 schools in Jiangxi province in China. In the treatment schools, an in-class library stocked with 70 extracurricular books was installed in each classroom in the treatment schools. The books were carefully selected based on recommendations of reading specialists and educators. Students received a baseline survey before the intervention and a...

24 04 2019
Using teaching assistants to improve language skills and reading

Two evaluations from the Education Endowment Foundation in England have found that two interventions using paraprofessional teaching assistants (TAs) have positive effects. REACH is a targeted reading support program designed to improve the reading accuracy and comprehension of students with reading difficulties in middle school. It is delivered by specially trained TAs. The evaluation tested two interventions – one based on the original Reading Intervention developed by the University of York, and the other with supplementary material on language comprehension. The evaluation was carried out in 21 schools around Leeds, with 202 students (70 and 69 receiving each intervention; 63 control). Results showed that: There was a positive effect on reading skills for both the Reading Intervention (E.S.= +0.33) and the Reading Intervention with additional material on language comprehension (E.S.= +0.51). The evaluations did not provide evidence that the interventions improved reading comprehension in particular, as opposed to other skills such as...

24 04 2019
How do young children develop agency, literacy, and numeracy?

A new resource from Deans for Impact summarizes current cognitive-science research related to how young children - from birth to age eight - develop skills across three domains: agency, literacy, and numeracy. It aims to give guidance to anyone working in education who is interested in understanding the science of how young children develop control of their own behavior and intentions, how they learn to read and write, and how they develop the ability to think mathematically. For each domain, the report identifies key questions about learning and provides a short list of the principles from learning science that inform the answers to these questions. The resource then connects these principles to a set of practical implications for specific teaching strategies. For example, the report identified children regulate their behaviors by achieving the following:   Remember their goalsSuppress impulses and not respond to distractionsBe able to change how they think and react...

10 04 2019
What does good professional development for teaching language look like?

Research published in AERA Open examines the features needed for effective teacher professional development (PD) aimed at preparing teachers to support their students in mastering language expectations across the curriculum. Eva Kalinowski and colleagues conducted a systematic review of studies of PD programs, published between 2002 and 2015, which aimed to support teachers to improve their students’ academic language ability in different subject areas. Of the 38 studies they reviewed, all but one were carried out in the US. Eighteen studies used quantitative data only, three used a mainly qualitative approach, and 17 used mixed methods. Although the researchers were unable to conclude which elements actually influenced the effectiveness of the programs analyzed, they found that all of the studies were effective to some extent, and shared many characteristics considered to be important in successful teacher PD across different subject areas. The forms of PD likely to show some effect for teachers...

10 04 2019