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 the control group.
- Analyses of outcomes from the Tier 2 intervention group (n=49 students) also had higher scores when compared with a matching sample of at-risk control students.
However, these outcome measures were developed by the authors of the intervention, so further work is needed using independent measures to confirm that oral and written language outcomes could be improved significantly with MTSLS both for students identified as having typical language learning skills and for students identified as at risk.
Source: Petersen, D. B., Staskowski, M., Spencer, T. D., Foster, M. E., & Brough, M. P. (2022). The effects of a multitiered system of language support on kindergarten oral and written language: A large-scale randomized controlled trial. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 53(1), 44–68. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_LSHSS-20-00162