WWC review of this study

The impact of instruction in text structure on listening comprehension in preschool age students (Doctoral dissertation).

Bochna, C. R. (2010). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3378045)

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    36
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: April 2015

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Topic - Prompted Recall (dichotomous)

Shared Book Reading vs. Reading without instruction

Posttest

Preschool children;
36 students

0.69

0.32

Yes

 
 
32
 
More Outcomes

Main Idea - Prompted Recall

Shared Book Reading vs. Reading without instruction

Posttest

Preschool children;
36 students

0.84

0.37

No

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Main Idea - Free Recall

Shared Book Reading vs. Reading without instruction

Posttest

Preschool children;
36 students

0.91

0.95

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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    Pennsylvania

Setting

The study was conducted in three Head Start centers in central Pennsylvania.

Study sample

Children ranged in age from 3–5 years at pretest. The children all qualified for full-day, fullyear Head Start services based on their socioeconomic status. Forty-five children attending Head Start at three locations were randomly assigned to either the intervention condition (21 children) or the comparison condition (24 children). Within each condition, small groups were formed to participate in either the shared book reading condition or the comparison condition; there were five groups in each condition. The analytic sample includes 36 children—17 in the intervention condition and 19 in the comparison condition.

Intervention Group

Children in the intervention group participated in 19 shared book reading sessions, each of which lasted approximately 10–12 minutes, with either the study author or one of two trained graduate students. The shared book reading sessions, which involved explicit instruction and questioning, focused on teaching children to identify the topic and main idea in expository texts. The first 10 shared book reading sessions focused on identifying the topic. The adult read one book during each session. A total of five books were read, with each book being read twice. Sessions began with discussion focused on defining what a topic is. During reading, the adult paused periodically to ask children to identify the topic of the current book. After reading, the adult reviewed the definition of topic and asked children to identify the topic of the book. The next nine shared book reading sessions focused on identifying the main idea. One book was read during each session. A total of five different books were read, with four of the five books being read twice. Before reading, there was a discussion of the concept of main idea and a review of what a topic is. During reading, the adult stopped periodically to ask children about the most important information in what was read. After reading, children were asked to identify the topic and main idea in the book.

Comparison Group

Children in the comparison group participated in 19 sessions, in which the same adult read the same books as those in the intervention condition; however, there was no explicit instruction in identifying the topic or the main idea. Each book was read from start to finish without pause for discussion. The focus was on children listening to the books instead of talking about them.

Outcome descriptions

In the comprehension domain, three researcher-developed outcome measures were used to assess children’s understanding of the topic and main idea in expository text. The three outcomes—Main Idea–Free Recall; Topic–Prompted Recall; and Main Idea–Prompted Recall— were collected as part of a individually-administered book read-aloud activity. The assessment involved the author or one of two trained graduate students reading the child an unfamiliar book straight through without discussion. Following the read-aloud, the adult asked the child to tell everything he or she remembered about the story, scoring the number of idea units recalled for the Main Idea–Free Recall measure. Following the free recall, the adult prompted the child to tell the topic of the book for the Topic–Prompted Recall measure, and prompted the child to tell “what the book mostly tells about [topic]” for the Main Idea–Prompted Recall measure. The assessments were administered prior to the start of the intervention (pretest) and immediately following the 19 reading sessions (posttest). For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

No training was provided for implementing the intervention.

 

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