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Challenging Contexts • Oral Language • Emergent Literacy • Parent and the Home
Interventions • Assessment • Practice-based Research • All Articles
Idris, K. M., & Asfaha, Y. M. (2019). Improving School Work in Challenging Context: Practitioners’ Views following a Participatory Action Research Project from Eritrea. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 3(2), 72-90.
This article is based on 18-month participatory action research (PAR) project conducted with teachers and school leadership personnel in one of the remote and most culturally diverse regions in Eritrea. It argues for a comprehensive understanding of managing the learning process in challenging schooling circumstances. Using interview data and longer term engagements with research participants, alongside a literature review, the views of research participants could be grouped into five main professional perspectives: the need to overcome the transitory nature of teachers, the knowledge of learners, proactive guidance, professional commitment and collaborative practices. These perspectives arguably constitute quality education in the study schools and beyond.
Dulay, K. M., Cheung, S. K., Reyes, P., & McBride, C. (2019). Effects of parent coaching on Filipino children’s numeracy, language, and literacy skills. Journal of Educational Psychology, 111(4), 641-662.
This study evaluated the impact of a 12-week parent coaching program for numeracy, language, and literacy skills among 3- to 5-year-old children from low- to middle-income families in the Philippines. Results demonstrated relatively specific effects of program content on children’s skills. Children who received the numeracy program improved in their numeracy skills (e.g., identifying numerals, counting objects), children who received the dialogic reading program learned more words that were in the storybooks that they were exposed to, and children who received early literacy skills training learned more letters, demonstrated better awareness of print functions and conventions, and had better syllable deletion skills at post-test.
John, S., & Rajashekhar, B. (2014). Word retrieval ability on semantic fluency task in typically developing Malayalam-speaking children, Child Neuropsychology, 20(2), 182-195.
Word-retrieval abilities in children can be assessed using word generation or verbal fluency tasks. The ability to retrieve a word is related to the individual’s ability to retrieve associated words from the mental lexicon (a kind of mental dictionary) in an organized manner. This study focused on these development aspects in 1,015 Malayalam-speaking children between the ages of 5 and 15 across both genders. It established that there was no significant variation in development of word retrieval abilities between genders, with linear development indicated across the age span.
McGrane, J, Stiff, J, Lenkeit, J, Hopfenbeck, T.N., Baird, J. (2017). Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS): National Report for England. London: Department for Education.
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) is an international comparative study directed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). The aim of PIRLS is to assess and compare the reading performance of pupils in their fourth year of formal schooling across participating countries. A total of 50 countries took part in PIRLS 2016, and this report evaluates England's performance. England has taken part in all four PIRLS cycles every five years since 2001. In 2016, England’s sample consisted of 5,095 Year 5 pupils from 170 primary schools. The report highlights that England has consistently performed above the International Median across all previous PIRLS cycles, and was among the top-performing countries in PIRLS 2001, with an average score of 553. England’s average performance dropped to 539 in PIRLS 2006, but rose back up to 552 in PIRLS 2011.
Mesa, C., Newbury, D.F., Nash, M., Clarke, P., Esposito, R., Elliot, L., De Barbieri, Z., Fernández, M.A., Villanueva, P., Hulme, C. & Snowling, M.J. (2020). The effects of reading and language intervention on literacy skills in children in a remote community: An exploratory randomized controlled trial, International Journal of Educational Research, 100.
This study explored the effects of a 27-week reading and language intervention, for low-income children living in a remote Chilean community. At the end of the intervention, children in the intervention group showed improvements compared to the waiting group on pre-literacy (a range of skills that include a child's ability to identify letters, numbers, or shapes), reading, language, and reading comprehension measures. The gains in pre-literacy skills, word reading and word knowledge were maintained at 9-month delayed follow-up, though the improvements in language and reading comprehension were not. The findings therefore suggest that language and literacy programs can be useful for improving attainment in children living in disadvantaged and isolated communities.
Oancea, A. & Furlong, J. (2007). Expressions of excellence and the assessment of applied and practice‐based research, Research Papers in Education, 22:2, 119-137.
This contribution refines the ideas originally developed as part of a project commissioned by the ESRC in 2004 and completed in 2005. It argues that quality in applied and practice‐based research cannot be reduced to narrow definitions of ‘scientificity’, ‘impact’ or economic efficiency. It proposes an account of quality in applied and practice-based educational research which encompasses methodological and theoretical solidity, use and impact, but also dialogue, deliberation, participation, ethics and personal growth. Drawing on Aristotelian distinctions between forms of rational activity and their expressions of excellence or virtue, our account emphasizes the synergy between three domains of excellence in applied and practice‐based research: theoretical (episteme); technical (techne); and practical (phronesis). The thrust of the contribution is not to set any standards of good research practice, but simply to make progress towards recapturing a cultural and philosophical dimension of research assessment that had been lost in recent official discourses.
Puranik, C.S., Phillips, B.M., Lonigan, C.J., Gibson, E. (2018). Home literacy practices and preschool children’s emergent writing skills: An initial investigation, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 42, 228-238.
Home literacy practices are known to facilitate children’s oral language and reading skills. In this study previous work is expanded upon by examining the amount and types of writing-related home practices that parents engage in with their young preschool children. The relation between these home practices and the development of writing skills in 4- and 5-year old preschool children is also examined. Correlations between parental teaching activities and child independent activities and letter writing, spelling and spontaneous writing were found to be statistically significant. Results from the multi-level modelling indicated that parental teaching predicted a child’s letter writing, spelling, and spontaneous writing skills whereas child independent practices predicted letter writing and spontaneous writing but not spelling. Results of this study clearly indicate that practices in the home include writing related activities and that these activities have an impact on children’s writing development.
Puranik, C.S., Lonigan, C.J. (2011). From Scribbles to Scrabble: Preschool Children’s Developing Knowledge of Written Language, Read Writ, 24, 567–589.
This study concurrently examines the development of written language across different writing tasks and investigates how writing features develop in preschool children. Emergent written language knowledge of 372 preschoolers is assessed using numerous writing tasks. The findings indicate that children demonstrate knowledge about writing before beginning school and receiving formal instruction. There is clear evidence to support the claim that universal writing features develop before language-specific features. Children as young as 3 years possess knowledge regarding universal and language- specific writing features. Preschoolers appear to progress along a continuum from scribbling to conventional spelling. Although this progression is sequential, children’s writing proficiency is task dependent. Implications of these findings on writing development are discussed.
Cabell, S., Puranik, C.S., & Tortellini, L. (2014). Supporting early literacy skills through preschool writing instruction in classroom and therapeutic contexts, Perspectives, 21(3), 88-97.
In this article, the authors outline how writing during the preschool years is connected with the development of literacy and briefly discuss research on early writing development in children with language impairments. Next, the authors describe ways in which early writing can be assessed and facilitated both in therapeutic contexts and early childhood classrooms, including the collaborative role speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can play in providing early writing support for preschoolers.
Tiwari, S., Karanth, P. & Rajashekar, B. (2017). Specific language impairment in a morphologically complex agglutinative Indian language – Kannada, Journal of Communication Disorders, 66, 22-39.
Specific Language Impairment (SLI) remains an under-investigated disorder in morphologically complex languages such as Kannada. This study tested two existing theories behind SLI: the morphological richness theory and the computational grammatical complexity hypothesis. The results of this study, focusing on 15 Kannada-speaking children with SLI, supported the first of these theories. It showed that children with SLI learning Kannada had similar problems to SLI children learning English. However SLI children learning Kannada had far fewer problems with syntactic morphology (understanding word forms and sentence structures) than those learning English.