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ERIC Number: EJ1054514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0663
An Intervention to Improve Comprehension of Cause/Effect through Expository Text Structure Instruction
Williams, Joanna P.; Pollini, Simonne; Nubla-Kung, Abigail M.; Snyder, Anne E.; Garcia, Amaya; Ordynans, Jill G.; Atkins, J. Grant
Journal of Educational Psychology, v106 n1 p1-17 Feb 2014
This study evaluated the effectiveness of an intervention for second graders at risk for academic failure, which taught reading comprehension embedded in social studies content. The intervention included instruction about the structure of cause/effect expository text, emphasizing clue words, generic questions, graphic organizers, and close analysis of well-structured examples of cause/effect text. It was compared to a program that focused on the same social studies content but without cause/effect training, and to a no-instruction control. Fourteen teachers, randomly assigned to treatment, provided the instruction; 197 7- and 8-year-olds participated. The intervention group demonstrated higher performance than the other groups on both sentence combining and answering comprehension questions. The 2 instructed groups did not differ on the social studies measures, and both were better than the no-instruction group; thus, embedding text structure instruction did not lessen the amount of social studies content acquired. These findings corroborated studies on another text structure (comparison) and extended previous work focused on cause/effect. New findings included, first, more robust group differences in performance than were found in an earlier cause-effect study because of a more precise identification of the instructional level appropriate for this population: the sentence, not the paragraph. Second, examining the sustainability of the intervention effects, a delayed posttest showed that after summer break, the intervention group performed better than the other groups on sentence combining, although not on answering a comprehension question.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Woodcock Reading Mastery Test
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R324A110095
What Works Clearinghouse Reviewed: Meets Evidence Standards without Reservations