Authors: Phillips BM
Title: Promotion of syntactical development and oral comprehension: Development and initial evaluation of a small-group intervention
Source: Child Language Teaching and Therapy 2014 30(1): 63-77
Year: 2014
Research Design: Case Series

This article reports on the development and preliminary implementation trials of a modular small-group intervention targeting syntax and vocabulary for children at high risk for reading comprehension difficulties in grades prekindergarten through first. The intervention, delivered by trained paraprofessionals, included 12 weeks of 20-minute lessons that included hands-on activities promoting receptive and expressive acquisition of grade-specific targeted syntax and semantic features such as prepositions, passive sentence structure, and adverbial clauses. Children (n = 354) ranging in age from 40–101 months were screened for inclusion on several standardized language measures and those included in the intervention (64–68 per grade, scoring below the 30th percentile on several measures) were assessed on two proximal measures of intervention-linked syntax and listening-comprehension. Results from the repeated implementation trials in each grade indicate that the intervention shows substantial promise as a method of supporting syntax growth and ultimately improving comprehension skills in young children.

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