ERIC Number: EJ1072839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
Remedial Early Numeracy Education: Can Children Identified as Having a Language Deficiency Benefit?
Van Luit, Johannes E. H.; Toll, Sylke W. M.
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v50 n5 p593-603 Sep-Oct 2015
Background: Growing attention has been paid to the possibility of supporting early numeracy in at-risk kindergartners. Furthermore, it is assumed that language proficiency is an important prerequisite in early maths skills. Aims: To examine whether remedial early numeracy education in kindergarten, which has been proven to be effective in general, is also beneficial for children with a language deficiency. Methods & Procedures: Based on intensive selection, four different conditions were included: two groups received remedial education, one consisting of children being language proficient (N = 86) and one of children with a language deficiency (N = 26), and two groups followed the regular curriculum, one consisting of children being language proficient (N = 51) and one of children with a language deficiency (N = 24). Remedial education was for 1.5 school years (90 sessions, 30 min per session, twice per week), following the programme "The Road to Mathematics". During this period, the children receiving remedial education did not attend the regular maths lessons in the classroom, which were offered for at least 1 h per week. Effects were assessed for early numeracy and mathematical skills (operationalized as basic calculation fluency) in kindergarten and first grade. Outcomes & Results: Three analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) revealed that, when accounting for achievement at pre-test, children with a language deficiency who received remedial numeracy education performed better on early numeracy skills in kindergarten and first grade than kindergartners with a language deficiency that followed the regular curriculum. Furthermore, they were able to catch up with their language proficient peers in early numeracy. However, children with a language deficiency who received remedial numeracy education did not differ from children who followed the regular curriculum on mathematical skills, suggesting that benefits for numeracy did not generalize to more advanced skills of addition and subtraction. Conclusions & Implications: Since, in general, it can be concluded that early numeracy education is indeed effective for kindergartners with a language deficiency, this study finds evidence that intensive support is desirable for children with delayed or impaired language development.
Descriptors: Numeracy, At Risk Students, Kindergarten, Remedial Mathematics, Language Impairments, Language Proficiency, Mathematics Skills, Statistical Analysis, Mathematics Achievement, Pretests Posttests, Grade 1, Educational Benefits, Program Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 1; Elementary Education
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