Systematic review: Expository intervention for LLD (Peterson et al., 2020)

Purpose: This systematic review synthesized a set of peer-reviewed studies published between 1985 and 2019 and addressed the effectiveness of existing narrative and expository discourse interventions for late elementary– and middle school–aged students with language-related learning disabilities.
Method: A methodical search of the literature for interventions targeting expository or narrative discourse structure for students aged 9–14 years with group experimental designs identified 33 studies, seven of which met specific criteria to be included in this review.
Results: An 8-point critical appraisal scale was applied to analyze the quality of the study design, and effect sizes were calculated for six of the seven studies; equivocal to small effects of far-transfer outcomes (i.e., generalizability to other settings) and equivocal to moderate near-transfer outcomes (i.e., within the treatment setting) were identified. The most effective intervention studies provided explicit instruction of expository texts with visual supports and student-generated learning materials (e.g., notes or graphic organizers) with moderate dosage (i.e., 180–300 min across 6–8 weeks) in a one-on-one or paired group setting. Greater intervention effects were also seen in children with reading and/or language disorders, compared to children with overall academic performance difficulties.
Conclusions: A number of expository discourse interventions showed promise for student use of learned skills within the treatment setting (i.e., near-transfer outcomes) but had limited generalization of skills (i.e., far-transfer outcomes).

Supplemental Material S1. REDCap Codebook with inclusion/exclusion criteria for full-text screening.

Peterson, A. K., Fox, C. B., & Israelsen, M. (2020). A systematic review of academic discourse interventions for school-aged children with language-related learning disabilities. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_LSHSS-19-00039