Authors: Gillam SL, Olszewski A, Fargo J, Gillam RB
Title: Classroom-Based Narrative and Vocabulary Instruction: Results of an Early-Stage, Nonrandomized Comparison Study
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2014 45(3): 204-219
Year: 2014
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - N
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Purpose:This nonrandomized feasibility study was designed to provide a preliminary assessment of the impact of a narrative and vocabulary instruction program provided by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in a regular classroom setting. Method: Forty-three children attending 2 first-grade classrooms participated in the study. Children in each classroom were divided into high- and low-risk subgroups on the basis of their performance on a narrative test. Narrative and vocabulary instruction was provided by an SLP in 1 classroom for three 30-min periods per week for 6 weeks. Results: The children in the experimental classroom made clinically significant improvements on narrative and vocabulary measures; children in the comparison classroom did not. Within the experimental classroom, children in the high-risk subgroup demonstrated greater gains in narration and fewer gains in vocabulary than children in the low-risk subgroup. There were no subgroup differences in the comparison classroom. Conclusion:These preliminary results provide early evidence of the feasibility of implementing a narrative instruction program in a classroom setting. Children at a high risk for language difficulties appeared to profit more from the narrative instruction than from the embedded vocabulary instruction. More extensive research on this instructional program is warranted.

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