A pilot study exploring the effectiveness of a whole-school intervention targeting receptive vocabulary in the early years: Findings from a mixed method study involving students as part of a practice-based research placement

Hopkins, Thomas and Harrison, Emily and Coyne-Umfreville, Emily and Packer, Melanie (2022) A pilot study exploring the effectiveness of a whole-school intervention targeting receptive vocabulary in the early years: Findings from a mixed method study involving students as part of a practice-based research placement. Child Language Teaching and Therapy. ISSN 0265-6590

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Abstract

Studies that have examined whole-school interventions that target conceptual knowledge, reveal characteristics that are important in the delivery of a deep processing approach to word learning. These consist of explicit instruction, play, and multi-sensory experiences that are situated within and repeated across varied contexts (Marulis & Neuman, 2010; Steele, 2011). Word Aware (WA) is an example of a vocabulary intervention that incorporates such features (Parsons & Branagan, 2016). This study examined the effectiveness of the Early Years version of the WA programme in supporting the development of vocabulary knowledge in a sample of 92 children comparing them to a control group of 31 children who received usual teaching. Student speech and language therapists supported the testing and delivery of a 10-week intervention as part of their clinical placement and were interviewed along with the teachers on their perceptions of the intervention and their experiences collaborating with staff to support the whole school delivery of the programme. Informal and standardised assessment scores of receptive vocabulary showed no significant difference in the overall improvement between both groups despite finding significant improvement within each group on words targeted for intervention. Qualitative thematic analysis revealed positive observations of child engagement with aspects of the programme that aimed to promote a deep processing of word meaning. Students reported an increased sense of confidence in their ability to collaborate with teaching staff and in their willingness to engage in research as part of their clinical practice. The ceiling effects reported in the outcome measures of both the intervention and control group, suggests that the WA programme may be better suited to a sample of younger-aged children. The study provides original insight into the student experience of working in a whole-class environment whilst conducting practice-based research as part of clinical placement. The methodological limitations of this study are discussed along with suggestions for future research.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/02656590221088210
Dates:
DateEvent
27 February 2022Accepted
15 March 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vocabulary, intervention, early years, mixed-method, concepts
Subjects: CAH02 - subjects allied to medicine > CAH02-06 - allied health > CAH02-06-01 - health sciences (non-specific)
CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-03 - developmental psychology
CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-04 - health and social care > CAH15-04-02 - childhood and youth studies
CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-01 - English studies > CAH19-01-02 - English language
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Thomas Hopkins
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2022 16:09
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2022 16:09
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12986

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