Higher-level language strategy-based intervention for poor comprehenders: A pilot single case experimental design
Kelso, K and Whitworth, A and Leitao, S, Higher-level language strategy-based intervention for poor comprehenders: A pilot single case experimental design, Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 38, (2) pp. 151-165. ISSN 0265-6590 (2022) [Refereed Article]
In contrast to the large body of research investigating intervention for poor decoding skills, far fewer studies have evaluated interventions for reading comprehension. There is even less research on children with more specific difficulties with reading comprehension, often referred to as "poor comprehenders". Levels of effectiveness have varied for interventions targeting lower- and higher-level language, including inference making, on trained measures, with little transfer to generalised reading comprehension measures in both skilled and less-skilled readers. Outcomes have been more positive for poor comprehenders, however findings have been inconsistent as to which programme components have led to gains in reading comprehension. This pilot study utilised a case series design to explore whether a novel intervention targeting oral inference making and comprehension monitoring was effective in improving the targeted skills and reading comprehension of 11 children, aged 9;2–12;3 years, with average-for-age phonological and lower-level language skills but weak inferencing. All participants improved on the primary inference subtest post-intervention and continued to score higher at maintenance than at pre-intervention. Results on the remaining higher-level language tasks were more varied, as were the results for reading comprehension, with fewer participants demonstrating generalisation to these tasks, particularly the nonfiction texts. While the results are preliminary and descriptive, they suggest that improvements can be made in higher-level language in a 10-session intervention, and provide directions for future research.