WWC review of this study

Five Minutes a Day to Improve Comprehension Monitoring in Oral Language Contexts: An Exploratory Intervention Study with Prekindergartners from Low-Income Families [Comprehension monitoring vs. business as usual (Creative Curriculum or Houghton Mifflin Pre-K)]

Kim, Young-Suk Grace; Phillips, Beth (2016). Topics in Language Disorders, v36 n4 p356-367. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1118810

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: April 2022

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Language outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Inconsistency detection

Comprehension monitoring vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
70 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 51%
    Male: 49%
  • Race
    Other or unknown


The study was conducted with students from eight prekindergarten classrooms within four public schools. The schools were high poverty, with between 67% and 85% of children eligible for free and reduced-price lunch.

Study sample

The full sample of 75 children included 38 girls and the mean age at baseline was 57.07 months. The sample of children included approximately 56% African Americans, 29% Caucasians, and the rest included Asian, Hispanic, and multiracial children. Children with severe intellectual disabilities were excluded. School records did not include information about children’s English language learner (ELL) status. However, the two interventionists noted that all the children understood directions in the intervention. According to school records, none of the children had any documented hearing difficulties or language impairments.

Intervention Group

This intervention targets children's ability to detect inconsistencies in stories they hear (listening comprehension). The intervention was conducted with groups of four children, five minutes a day, four days a week for eight weeks. Two trained interventionists administered the intervention, with each providing the intervention in two of the four schools. The intervention took place in a classroom, resource room, or library. Each of the four lessons each week used a highly scripted lesson plan based on an I-do, we-do, you-do sequence. Each lesson included children hearing a short story (vignette) and identifying which parts of the story were silly (external inconsistencies) or didn't make sense (internal consistencies). Lessons during the first four weeks focused on vignettes with external inconsistencies containing content that contradicted children's world/general knowledge (for example, "Sally has a pet pig. Her pig is very good at flying in the sky."). Lessons during the latter four weeks focused on vignettes with internal inconsistencies containing contradictions within the vignette (for example, "Giraffes are very tall animals. Giraffes are short animals."). This progression was used because a pilot study indicated that internal inconsistencies were initially too challenging for prekindergartners from low socioeconomic backgrounds. All stories were accompanied by illustrations during the first four weeks, and illustrations were phased out during the latter four weeks. To document fidelity of implementation, an observation checklist was created and each interventionist was observed by two trained research assistants.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition experienced business as usual. Three of the four participating schools used the Creative curriculum and the fourth used the Houghton Mifflin pre-kindergarten curriculum.

Support for implementation

Two interventionists received approximately two hours of training about the intervention. Training included a brief introduction to the theoretical background, intervention procedures and materials, and time to practice.


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