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The Efficacy of Recasts in Language Intervention (Cleave et al., 2015)

posted on 01.05.2015, 00:00 by Patricia L. Cleave, Stephanie D. Becker, Maura K. Curran, Amanda J. Owen Van Horne, Marc E. Fey
Purpose This systematic review and meta-analysis critically evaluated the research evidence on the effectiveness of conversational recasts in grammatical development for children with language impairments.
Method Two different but complementary reviews were conducted and then integrated. Systematic searches of the literature resulted in 35 articles for the systematic review. Studies that employed a wide variety of study designs were involved, but all examined interventions where recasts were the key component. The meta-analysis only included studies that allowed the calculation of effect sizes, but it did include package interventions in which recasts were a major part. Fourteen studies were included, 7 of which were also in the systematic review. Studies were grouped according to research phase and were rated for quality.
Results Study quality and thus strength of evidence varied substantially. Nevertheless, across all phases, the vast majority of studies provided support for the use of recasts. Meta-analyses found average effect sizes of .96 for proximal measures and .76 for distal measures, reflecting a positive benefit of about 0.75 to 1.00 standard deviation. Conclusion The available evidence is limited, but it is supportive of the use of recasts in grammatical intervention. Critical features of recasts in grammatical interventions are discussed.


The meta-analysis work was supported by a grant from the ASHFoundation to Amanda J. Owen Van Horne. Frank L. Schmidt provided advice and support for the within-subject calculations of effect size for the meta-analysis. Paul Yoder and Anne Tyler provided unpublished information on Yoder et al. (2011) and Tyler et al. (2003). Preliminary results from the research were presented at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Philadelphia, PA, in November 2010; the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders in Madison, WI, in June 2014; and the 2014 DeLTA Day at the University of Iowa.