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Language instruction, background, and development of disadvantaged kindergarten children

Sassenrath, J. M.; Maddux, R. E.
This study examined the effectiveness of three language programs on the academic achievement of 98 disadvantaged kindergarten students. Each teacher chose between DISTAR, the Peabody Language Development Program (PLDP), and the Standard Method Language Development (SMLD) program for their class. The School Readiness Survey (SRS), the Wepman Auditory Discrimination Test (WADT), and the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities (ITPA) were administered for pre- and posttest measures. Student achievement was also compared based on students’ primary language and gender. Results indicated that there was a significant difference in speaking vocabulary, errors in auditory differences, and errors in auditory similarities, favoring students in the DISTAR and SMLD groups. Male students recorded a significantly higher mean score on speaking vocabulary than female students, but female students scored slightly higher on all other variables on the SRS and WADT. There were no significant differences between the scores of native English speakers and English as a Second Language students. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
DISTAR; language; Peabody Language development Program; Standard Method Language Development program; School Readiness Survey; Wepman Auditory Discrimination Rest; Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities
California Journal of Educational Research
Design type:
Pretest posttest control group design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Kindergarten students, disadvantaged students, at-risk students, English Language Learners (ELL), English as a Second Language (ESL) students, low-SES students
Elementary school, rural area

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