Master Kristin Rogde

Improving children's linguistic comprehension skills. A systematic review and a randomized controlled trial.

This dissertation, comprised of three papers, examines the effects of linguistic comprehension instruction programs conducted in educational settings. The first paper presents a systematic review (meta-analysis) based on the Campbell protocol covering 42 studies on linguistic comprehension intervention programs. The main objective was to assess whether these programs improve children’s linguistic comprehension skills as measured by generalized outcomes (distal effect). Linguistic comprehension skills are understood to be a prerequisite for later reading comprehension, so the second study aim was to examine possible transfer effects from instruction to general reading comprehension outcomes.

The second paper presents a sub-study of the systematic review investigating different types of vocabulary outcomes commonly used in intervention research: generalized vocabulary outcomes (distal effects) and outcomes representing the effect of specific word instruction (proximal effect). The study aim was to examine the difference in gains from these outcomes and potential moderators that can explain why these outcomes should be differentiated in meta-analyses. The third paper presents a randomized controlled trial of second-language learners in Norway. This study aim to improve second-language learners’ skills before school entry.

The findings from the first paper suggest that it is achievable to use instructional approaches to affect the generalized outcomes of linguistic comprehension. There is, however, no evidence of transfer effects to reading comprehension outcomes from the types of trials included in the synthesis. The findings from the second paper stress the importance of distinguishing between vocabulary tests on instructed words (proximal effects) and generalized vocabulary outcomes in the synthesis of effects in meta-analyses. The third paper demonstrates that linguistic comprehension instruction for children learning a second language can be successfully implemented in kindergarten settings to enhance their expressive language skills before they start school.

The dissertation was conducted in the Department of Education, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo.



Published Aug. 16, 2018 12:24 PM - Last modified Aug. 16, 2018 4:17 PM