Embedded Instruction Improves Vocabulary Learning During Automated Storybook Reading Among High-Risk Preschoolers Purpose We investigated a small-group intervention designed to teach vocabulary and comprehension skills to preschoolers who were at risk for language and reading disabilities. These language skills are important and reliable predictors of later academic achievement. Method Preschoolers heard prerecorded stories 3 times per week over the course ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2016
Embedded Instruction Improves Vocabulary Learning During Automated Storybook Reading Among High-Risk Preschoolers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Howard Goldstein
    University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Elizabeth Kelley
    University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Charles Greenwood
    University of Kansas, Kansas City
  • Luke McCune
    University of Kansas, Kansas City
  • Judith Carta
    University of Kansas, Kansas City
  • Jane Atwater
    University of Kansas, Kansas City
  • Gabriela Guerrero
    University of Kansas, Kansas City
  • Tanya McCarthy
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Naomi Schneider
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Trina Spencer
    Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Howard Goldstein: hgoldstein@usf.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Shelley Gray
    Associate Editor: Shelley Gray×
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2016
Embedded Instruction Improves Vocabulary Learning During Automated Storybook Reading Among High-Risk Preschoolers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2016, Vol. 59, 484-500. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0227
History: Received June 26, 2015 , Revised September 4, 2015 , Accepted September 10, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2016, Vol. 59, 484-500. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0227
History: Received June 26, 2015; Revised September 4, 2015; Accepted September 10, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose We investigated a small-group intervention designed to teach vocabulary and comprehension skills to preschoolers who were at risk for language and reading disabilities. These language skills are important and reliable predictors of later academic achievement.

Method Preschoolers heard prerecorded stories 3 times per week over the course of a school year. A cluster randomized design was used to evaluate the effects of hearing storybooks with and without embedded vocabulary and comprehension lessons. A total of 32 classrooms were randomly assigned to experimental and comparison conditions. Approximately 6 children per classroom demonstrating low vocabulary knowledge, totaling 195 children, were enrolled.

Results Preschoolers in the comparison condition did not learn novel, challenging vocabulary words to which they were exposed in story contexts, whereas preschoolers receiving embedded lessons demonstrated significant learning gains, although vocabulary learning diminished over the course of the school year. Modest gains in comprehension skills did not differ between the two groups.

Conclusion The Story Friends curriculum appears to be highly feasible for delivery in early childhood educational settings and effective at teaching challenging vocabulary to high-risk preschoolers.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education through Cooperative Agreement R324C080011, which supported the Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education. We appreciate the assistance of the teaching staff, administrators, and children in early childhood settings in Kansas and Ohio.
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