卓越實證概述 Best Evidence in Brief

Language Development

Effects of a multitiered system of language support on kindergarten oral and written language

Petersen and colleagues conducted a large-scale randomized controlled trial, aiming to examine the effects of a multitiered system of language support (MTSLS) on kindergarten children’s oral and written language. Participants included 686 kindergarten students from 4 school districts in the Upper Midwest region. Researchers randomly assigned 28 full-day kindergarten classrooms to treatment (n=337 students) or control (n=349 students) conditions. The treatment group received 14 weeks of oral narrative language instruction using Story Champs, a contextualized language intervention and a discourse-based oral language curriculum. After 4 weeks of large group (Tier 1) Story Champs intervention, a random sample of students who did not make adequate progress in Tier 1 intervention (n=49 students) received supplemental small group (Tier 2) intervention. Results were showed below. Students in the treatment group had significantly higher scores on all outcome measures (i.e., narrative retell, personal story generation, expository retell, and narrative writing) compared to those in...

26 08 2022
Does storytelling matter for preschoolers?

A research team in New York University evaluated a classroom-based oral storytelling program called Reading Success Using Co-Constructive Elaborative Storytelling Strategies (R-SUCCESS). R-SUCCESS is composed of three phases: pre-telling, which builds key content knowledge and vocabulary; telling, which involves specific strategies to scaffold children’s active listening skills and engagement; and post-telling, which supports children’s comprehension skills. The program was delivered at least twice a week for a 6-month period.   A total of 185 children within 12 classrooms participated in the study. The program was implemented in a Head Start program serving immigrant children with Latin American backgrounds. Among 12 participating lead teachers, six teachers in the intervention group were trained to deliver R-SUCCESS. The remaining six teachers, who served as a comparison group, were trained to have regular book reading sessions using the same techniques used in the pre-telling and post-telling phases in the intervention group. The key differences...

30 07 2022
Parental text messaging

The use of parental text messaging to positively influence children’s educational behaviors has gained popularity. A recent study conducted by Catherine and colleagues hypothesized that a text message intervention using the MORE@Home app would be beneficial to enhancing parents’ engagement, and the specific content of text messages could affect students’ academic behaviors. Three components were examined: personalization of messages; reading view differences; and the use of goal setting. The research design tested each possible combination of the intervention components by involving 5172 second and third-grade students (4993 families) and their parents from thirty elementary schools in the research study. The results from the study showed that personalized messages were more effective than non-personalized messages (ES = +0.08, p < 0.05), spending an extra 1.6 minutes using the app (ES = +0.11, p < 0.01), and completing 0.7 books (ES = +0.12, p < 0.01). It also showed that the combination...

08 07 2022
Can language minority students benefit from an app-based morphology program?

Recently, Bratlie et al. conducted a study of a second-grade Norwegian morphology program. Even though this digital game-based program was not used specifically with Language Minority (LM) students, the researchers sought to examine the differences between LM students and Language Majority (LMA) students’ performances in the program as well as the initial language literacy and context’s influences on students’ performance. To understand the differences and relationships, researchers studied 717 second-grade students from 12 schools across 3 municipalities in Norway via three data collection points: before the training, within 3 weeks after the training, and approximately 6 months after the training. Among the studied population, 26% of the participants had a LM background, while the majority of students (61%) had both parents as native Scandinavian language speakers. In general, the 8-week long morphology program significantly influenced students’ morphological word learning no matter their language background. In addition, the influence of the...

30 06 2022
Learning English as a foreign language during early childhood: A burden or a boost?

In modern China, and also around the world, there is a wave of educational policies mandating an early start on learning English as a foreign language (EFL) in order to better prepare children for the globalized world. What makes China different in this wave is that, while the government encourages an earlier start on EFL, it also sets a ban on public elementary schools going too early in order to “protect” children’s development of their native language and prohibits English being taught before third grade. The general public think otherwise, however, which has created an unprecedented passion in society to have children starting EFL very early on at private institutions:   'Earlier is better’. Chinese parents believe early exposure to English will help children learn the language better, and want their children to master the language before hitting the critical period;Instrumental motivation. Competence in English is considered to be a vital...

14 06 2022
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
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