WWC review of this study

Students in Western Australia improve language and literacy skills: Educator’s briefing.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2007). Oakland, CA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.scilearn.com

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    137
     Students
    , grades
    K-8

Reviewed: September 2016

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: March 2013

Alphabetics outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Queensland University Inventory of Literacy (QUIL)

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

5- to 8-year olds;
63 students

8.6

8.2

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • International

  • Female: 30%
    Male: 70%

  • Urban

Setting

The study was conducted in four public primary schools in the Perth metropolitan area of Western Australia.

Study sample

This randomized study included 63 early elementary school students, who were identified by their teachers as having difficulties with language, literacy, auditory processing, attention, or behavior. The students ranged in age from 5–8. Thirty-two students were randomly assigned to the Fast ForWord® group, and 31 were assigned to the comparison group.

Intervention Group

Students in the Fast ForWord® group used the Fast ForWord® Language, Fast ForWord® Middle & High School, and Fast ForWord® Language to Reading products. The study protocol called for students to use the products for approximately 50 minutes per day, 5 days per week, over a period of 6–10 weeks between either February and April or May and July of 2006.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group received their regular language arts instruction.

Outcome descriptions

For both the pretest and posttest, student outcomes were assessed with Queensland University Inventory of Literacy (QUIL). A composite score was calculated from three subtests: Nonword Spelling, Phoneme Segmentation, and Phoneme Manipulation. For a more detailed description of this outcome measure, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

Teachers were provided information on product research findings, program implementation, and progress monitoring.

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: August 2010

Alphabetics outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Queensland University Inventory of Literacy (QUIL)

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

posttest

Ages 5-14;
137 students

8.49

7.93

No

--
Literacy achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals- Fourth Edition (CELF-4): Expressive Language

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

posttest

Ages 5-14;
137 students

88

85

No

--
More Outcomes

Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals- Fourth Edition (CELF-4): Receptive Language

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

posttest

Ages 5-14;
137 students

91

88.4

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • International

  • Female: 30%
    Male: 70%

  • Urban

Setting

The study took place at four primary schools in the Perth metropolitan area in Western Australia.

Study sample

Students between ages 5 and 14 identified by classroom teachers as having difficulties in language, literacy, auditory processing, attention, and/or behavior were randomly assigned to immediate or delayed treatment conditions, with 72 students in each group. The intervention group that received Fast ForWord® either between February and April or May and July of 2006 was compared to the group of students who had not received Fast ForWord® as of April 2006. In all, 68 students in the Fast ForWord® group and 69 students in the comparison group were included in the analysis sample.

Intervention Group

Fast ForWord® participation was scheduled during class time for most students, generally in place of their language-arts lesson. A few students participated before school and during recess and/or lunch breaks. All Fast ForWord® sessions were monitored by trained parent volunteers under the supervision of the school’s Fast ForWord® coordinator. Participants in the Fast ForWord® group used (1) the 50-minute Fast ForWord® Language protocol or the 48-minute Fast ForWord® Middle and High School protocol and (2) the 50-minute Fast ForWord® Language to Reading protocol. These protocols called for participants to use Fast ForWord® each day, five days a week, for 8 to 12 weeks. The study reported students’ outcomes after three months of program implementation.

Comparison Group

The counterfactual in this study is regular classroom instruction. The comparison group used Fast ForWord® on a delayed schedule, either between May and July or July and September 2006

Outcome descriptions

All tests were administered by speech pathology and occupational therapy students who were trained in the assessment process by qualified speech pathologists. Study students’ skills were measured both before and after use of the intervention. Alphabetic skills were measured by the Queensland University Inventory of Literacy (QUIL), whereas students’ skills in comprehension were measured by the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF)–Fourth Edition. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1 and A2.4.

Support for implementation

Sonic Hearing, a private clinical practice with expertise in the Fast ForWord® programs, provided training for the parent monitors and support for the Fast ForWord® coordinator at each school. All Fast ForWord® sessions were monitored by these trained parent volunteers, under the supervision of the school’s Fast ForWord® coordinator. In addition, the lab supervisors at the schools were trained in current and established findings on the neuroscience of how phonemic awareness and the acoustic properties of speech affect development of language and reading skills, information on the efficacy of the products, effective implementation techniques, and monitoring student progress.

 

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