Authors: Sanabria AA, Restrepo MA, Walker E, Glenbergb A
Title: A Reading Comprehension Intervention for Dual Language Learners with Weak Language and Reading Skills
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2022 65(2): 738-759
Year: 2022
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: N/A
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Purpose: We evaluated the efficacy of a reading comprehension intervention with dual language learners (DLLs) with documented English reading comprehension difficulties, half of whom had a developmental language disorder. The intervention EMBRACE (Enhanced Moved by Reading to Accelerate Comprehension in English) required children to move images on an iPad to both improve and demonstrate understanding of multichapter stories. Additionally, we determined the characteristics of students who most benefit from the intervention. Method: Fifty-six participants in second to fifth grades were randomly assigned to one of two groups: (a) Spanish support intervention or (b) Spanish support control. Outcome measures included performance on comprehension questions related to the intervention texts, two transfer texts with no strategy instruction, and the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests--Fourth Edition Reading Comprehension subtest administered pre- and post-intervention. Results: Multilevel hierarchical linear models were used to account for nesting of question within child within classroom. For this group of DLLs, the overall intervention effect was not statistically significant. However, the intervention was most effective with narrative (vs. expository) texts and easy (vs. more difficult) texts. DLLs with lower initial English reading abilities (decoding and comprehension) benefited more from the intervention than those with stronger reading skills. Conclusions: The EMBRACE intervention has promise for use with DLLs with low baseline decoding and comprehension skills, particularly in early elementary grades. Future research should aim to match text difficulty with child skills when introducing new comprehension strategies to maximize benefit from the intervention.

Access: Open Access