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Classroom-Based Narrative and Vocabulary Instruction (Gillam et al., 2014)

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posted on 01.07.2014, 00:00 by Sandra Laing Gillam, Abbie Olszewski, Jamison Fargo, Ronald B. Gillam
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.

Funding

Work reported in this article was supported in part with funds from the Institute for Educational Sciences awarded to Sandra Laing Gillam and Ronald B. Gillam and to Utah State University, Logan, Utah (R324A100063). The authors would like to thank Jason Anthony, Anthony Wheeler, Natalie Nelson, Julise Nelson, Brittney Lamb, Amanda Frandsen, Beki Ballum, Dave Long, and the students, faculty, and staff at Bridger Elementary and the Logan City School District who made this work possible.

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