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DISTAR in the day nursery: An experimental evaluation of DISTAR Language I

Wheldall, D.; Wheldall, K.
This study compared the effect of the DISTAR Language I and the Teach Them to Speak language programs on the language abilities of at-risk preschool students. Students aged 3.5 to 5 years were randomly assigned to either group for eight weeks of instruction. An additional group of similar aged children, but with less ability was included for additional analysis and received instruction with DISTAR Language I. Every group was split into two and taught by either a teacher or a nursery nurse. The DISTAR Placement Test (DPT), English Picture Vocabulary Test (EPVT), Sentence Comprehension Test (SCT), British Ability Scales (BAS), and the Illinois Test of Psychological Abilities (ITPA) were administered for pre- and posttest measures. Results indicated no major statistically significant differences in the improvement between the children taught by the teacher and the nurse or between the different programs. Students in the DISTAR group demonstrated statistically significant improvement on the DPT, SCT, ITPA, and the BAS. Students in the Teach Them to Speak group demonstrated statistically significant gains on the DPT, EPVT, SCT, ITPA, and the BAS. The lower ability DISTAR group demonstrated statistically significant improvement on the DPT, EPVT, and BAS. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
DISTAR Language; Teach Them to Speak; English Picture Vocabulary Test; Sentence Comprehension Test; British Ability Scales; Illinois Test of Psychological Abilities
Educational Review
Design type:
Pretest posttest control group design with random assignment
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Preschool students, at-risk students, West Indian students, African students, Caucasian students
State day nursery, social services day nursery, Birmingham, England, Great Britain

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