Rinta & Welch (2008)

June 27, 2014

SECONDARY REVIEW CRITIQUE

 

Source:  Rinta, T., & Welch, G. F. (2008). Should singing activities be included in speech and voice therapy for prepubertal children. Journal of Voice, 22, 100- 112.

 

Reviewer(s): pmh

 

Date:  June 29, 2014

 

Overall Assigned Grade: D-  (The highest possible grade was D.)

 

Level of Evidence:  D

 

Take Away:  The authors summarized evidence from previous research that supports the use of singing in speech and voice therapy with children.  This was not a comprehensive review as the authors only reviewed sources supporting their arguments. However, the authors did make a logical argument that was supported by the evidence.

 

What type of secondary review?  Narrative Review

 

1.  Were the results valid? Yes

a.  Was the review based on a clinically sound clinical question?  Yes

b.  Did the reviewers clearly describe reasonable criteria for inclusion and exclusion of literature in the review (i.e., sources)?  No

c.  Authors noted that they reviewed the following resources: The authors did not describe the resources that they reviewed.

d.  Did the sources involve only English language publications? Unclear.  Although all the titles were in English, some of the references were published in countries in which English is not the first/official language.

e.  Did the sources include unpublished studies?  Yes

f.  Was the time frame for the publication of the sources sufficient?  Yes

g.  Did the reviewers identify the level of evidence of the sources?  No

h.  Did the reviewers describe procedures used to evaluate the validity of each of the sources?  No

i.  Was there evidence that a specific, predetermined strategy was used to evaluate the sources?  No

j.  Did the reviewers or review teams rate the sources independently?  No

k.  Were interrater reliability data provided?  No

l.  If the reviewers provided interrater reliability data, list them:  NA

m.  If there were no interrater reliability data, was an alternate means to insure reliability described?  Not Applicable

n.  Were assessments of sources sufficiently reliable?  Not Applicable

o.  Was the information provided sufficient for the reader to undertake a replication?  No

p.  Did the sources that were evaluated involve a sufficient number of participants?  Unclear

q.  Were there a sufficient number of sources?  Yes

 

2.  Description of outcome measures:  Not applicable. Specific procedures were not described as the authors were making the case for including singing (in general) in speech and voice therapy with children.

 

3.  Description of results:  Not applicable

a.  What evidence-based practice (EBP) measures were used to represent the magnitude of the treatment/effect size?  (Not applicable. No data were provided.

 

b.  Summarize overall findings of the secondary review:

The authors summarized evidence from previous research that supports the use of singing in speech and voice therapy with children.  This was not a comprehensive review as the authors only reviewed sources supporting their arguments. The 3 arguments were

1.  There are neurological links between speech/language, emotion (including emotional prosody) and music/singing. Tapping these links can facilitate speech and voice interventions.

2.  Singing can be linked to psychological well being which in turn can indirectly influence voice.

3.    Although there is marked variability among cultures, there is a link between communication and musical development. This supports the use of singing/music during the earliest stages of speech/vocal development.

 

c.  Were the results precise?  No 

d.  If confidence intervals were provided in the sources, did the reviewers consider whether evaluations would have varied if the “true” value of metrics were at the upper or lower boundary of the confidence interval? Not Applicable

e.  Were the results of individual studies clearly displayed/presented?  Yes   

f.  For the most part, were the results similar from source to source?  Yes.  The authors only reviewed sources supporting their contention. 

g.  Were the results in the same direction?  Yes.  The authors only reviewed sources supporting their contention. 

h.  Did a forest plot indicate homogeneity?  Not Applicable

i.  Was heterogeneity of results explored?  No

j.  Were the findings reasonable in view of the current literature?  Yes

k.  Were negative outcomes noted?  No

           

                                                                                                                   

4.  Were maintenance data reported?  No

 

 

5.  Were generalization data reported?  No

 

 

 

SUMMARY OF INTERVENTION

 

Population:   Speech impairment, language impairment, voice disorders; Child

 

Note:  This article was an expository that made the case for adding singing to interventions for speech impairment, language impairment, and voice disorders in prepubertal children. The authors did not address specific intervention procedures although they provided several examples of how  singing could be incorporated into interventions.

 

 

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Lowit-Leuschel & Docherty (2001_

June 23, 2014

NATURE OF PROSODIC DISORDERS

ANALYSIS FORM

 

SOURCE: Lowit-Leuschel, A., & Docherty, G. J. (2001). Prosodic variation across sampling tasks in normal and dysarthric speakers. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, 26, 151-164.

 

REVIEWER(S):  pmh

 

DATE: June 22, 2014

 

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY: B (B+ is the highest possible grade.)

 

POPULATION:dysarthria; adults

 

PURPOSE: To investigate changes in acoustic measures of prosody in the conversation and reading of speakers with dysarthria and matched peers.

 

INSIGHTS ABOUT PROSODY:

• Within group comparison of reading and conversation:

– For 3 of the outcome measures, the typical peer (TP) group performed significantly differently in conversation and reading contexts for

1. percentage of stressed vowels

2. Fo range

3. Fo variation

– The group with dysarthria (Dys) performed similarly on reading and conversation tasks for all outcomes.

• Degree of change:

– There were significant differences in the degree of change in performance in reading compared to conversation for the two groups (Dys and TP).

• Group performance characteristics and direction of change:

     – Qualitative analysis of Ps’ performance suggested the difference patterns in Dys and TP groups in conversation and reading may not be robust. It appears TD Ps were more homogeneous and that more of them changed markedly in the 2 contexts.

• Individual performance

– Qualitative analysis of individual group performance revealed no patterns of performance for Ps within either group. Performance on a single measure was not predicted from other measures.

  • Comparison of Dys and TP groups:

– There was not direct statistical comparison between Dys and TP groups.

 

1. What type of evidence was identified? Prospective, Nonrandomized Group Comparison Design

 

 

2. Group membership determination:

a. If there were groups of participants were members of groups matched? Yes

b. The groups were matched for age, sex, and accent.

 

 

3. Was participants’ communication status concealed?

a. from participants? No

b. from assessment administrators? No

c. from data analyzers? No

 

                                                                    

4. Were the groups adequately described? Yes

  1. How many participants were involved in the study?

• total # of participants: 32

• was group membership maintained throughout the experiment? No, 6 members of the initial Dys group and 2 members of the TP group were removed from the investigation

• # of groups: 2

• List names of groups: Dysarthria (Dys); Typical Peers (TP)

• # of participants in each group: final number (after removal of Ps noted above) in each group = 12

           

b.

The following variables were CONTROLLED:

• age: at least 50 years of age (Dys mean = 65.9; TP mean = 66)

• gender: 6f; 6m

• accent: all from Northeast England

• cognitive skills: investigators noted this was controlled but the investigators did not provide descriptive data

• language skills: investigators noted this was controlled but the investigators did not provide descriptive data

• hearing: investigators noted this was controlled but the investigators did not provide descriptive data

• voice: Ps were excluded if voice problems affected acoustic measurement

– The following variables were DESCRIBED:

• etiology of Dys group: 6 Ps with Parkinson’s disease, 3 Ps with motor neuron disease, 3 Ps with multiple sclerosis

• severity of dysarthria: ranged from mild to severe, most Ps were mild or moderate

• intelligibility: Dys mean = 73.6%; TP mean = 97.9%

 

c. Were the communication problems adequately described? Yes.

• disorder type: (List) Dysarthria; Adult

 

 

5. What were the different conditions for this research?

a. Subject (Classification) Groups? Yes, adults with dysarthria (Dys); peers who did not exhibit dysarthria (TP)

                                                               

b. Experimental Conditions? Yes

• reading (no levels within the condition)

• conversation (no levels within the condition)

 

c. Criterion/Descriptive Conditions? No

 

 

6. Were the groups controlled acceptably? Yes

 

 

7. Were dependent measures appropriate and meaningful?

a. The dependent measures were

  • Dependent Measure #1: Articulation rate (syllables per second)

• Dependent Measure #2: Mean unstressed vowel duration

• Dependent Measure #3: Number of unstressed vowels

  • Dependent Measure #4: Percentage of unstressed vowels

• Dependent Measure #5: Range of intensity variation (highest and lowest peak intensity in each utterance)

• Dependent Measure #6: Intensity envelope (difference in vowel intensity for contiguous vowels in an utterance)

  • Dependent Measure #7: Range of Fo variation (highest and lowest peak Fo in each utterance)

• Dependent Measure #8: Fo envelope (difference in vowel midpoint Fo for contiguous vowels in an utterance)

• Dependent Measure #9: Intra-vowel Fo variation (difference between the lowest and highest Fo for each vowel in the sample (i.e., reading or conversation)

  • Dependent Measure #10: Average Fo level (overall average Fo for each the sample (i.e., reading or conversation)

 

b. None ofthe dependent measures were subjective; all measures were acoustic.

 

c. All of the dependent measures were objective as all of the measures were acoustic.

                                         

 

8. Were reliability measures provided?

a. Interobserver for analyzers? No

b. Intraobserver for analyzers? No

c. Fidelity for investigators assessment behaviors? No

 

 

9. Description of design:

• The investigators compared each group’s (Dys, TP) performance in the reading and conversation contexts for each of the 10 dependent measures.

• The investigators compared the percentage of change between the two groups (Dys, TP) for each of the dependent measures.

• The investigators qualitatively analyzed

(1) the group change data to determine if there were group (Dys, TP) differences and

(2) individual data by looking for changes in ranking among each of the dependent measures within each of the two groups.

 

10. What were the results of the inferential statistical testing?

a. The target p level was ≤ 0.01.

1. COMPARING READING VERSUS CONVERATION FOR EACH GROUP (Dys, TP)-

• Dependent Measure #3: Number of unstressed vowels: for TP group only

• Dependent Measure #7: Range of Fo variation (highest and lowest peak Fo in each utterance): for TP group only

• Dependent Measure #8: Fo envelope (difference in vowel midpoint Fo for contiguous vowels in an utterance): for TP group only

2. COMPARING Dys AND TP GROUPS FOR EACH DEPENDENT MEASURE-

The Dys group displayed significantly more change than the TP group for the following measures:

• Dependent Measure #2: Mean unstressed vowel duration

• Dependent Measure #3: Number of unstressed vowels

• Dependent Measure #4: Percentage of unstressed vowels

The TP group displayed significantly more change than the Dys group for the following measures:

• Dependent Measure #5: Range of intensity variation (highest and lowest peak intensity in each utterance)

• Dependent Measure #6: Intensity envelope (difference in vowel intensity for contiguous vowels in an utterance)

• Dependent Measure #7: Range of Fo variation (highest and lowest peak Fo in each utterance)

• Dependent Measure #8: Fo envelope (difference in vowel midpoint Fo for contiguous vowels in an utterance)

• Dependent Measure #9: Intra-vowel Fo variation (difference between the lowest and highest Fo for each vowel in the sample (i.e., reading or conversation)

• Dependent Measure #10: Average Fo level (overall average Fo for each the sample (i.e., reading or conversation)

3. The FINDING FROM 1 AND 2 APPEAR CONTRADICTORY BUT

– the investigators noted that Ps in the TP group were more homogeneous and some of the TP Ps showed greater variation in scores than did the Dys group.

 

 

b. What were the statistical tests used to determine significance?

• Mann-Whitney U:

• Wilcoxan:  

 

c. Were effect sizes provided? No

If yes, provide data and interpretation:

 

d. Were confidence interval (CI) provided? No

 

 

11. What were the results of the correlational statistical testing? There was no correlational analysis.

 

 

12. What were the results of the descriptive analysis?

• Although there were some exceptions, there were 2 major cluster performances:

(1) Ps who displayed limited change

(2) Ps who changed in a specific direction

• The differences in homogeneity between the two groups (Dys, TP) did not appear to be related to the etiology or severity of the Dys group.

 


Ballard et al. (2010b)

June 13, 2014

SECONDARY REVIEW CRITIQUE

 

NOTE: Scroll about two-thirds of the way down the page to access a description of the procedure

 

Source: Ballard, K. J., Varley, R, & Kendall, D. (2010b). Promising approaches to treatment of apraxia of speech: Preliminary evidence and directions for the future. Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, 20, 87-93.    doi:10.1044/nnsld20.3.87

 

Reviewer(s): pmh

 

Date: June 14, 2014

 

Overall Assigned Grade: D-(The highest possible grade is B, based on the research design.)

 

Level of Evidence: D

Take Away: The authors critiqued three emerging approaches to treating apraxia of speech. This review was concerned only with the approach that used prosody: Rapid Syllable Transition Treatment (ReST).The authors contended that ReST has potential for success with adults with apraxia of speech. The measure that showed improvement was a durational differential of stressed and unstressed syllables in trained and untrained words.

 

What type of secondary review? Narrative Review

 

1. Were the results valid? Yes

a. Was the review based on a clinically sound clinical question? Yes

b. Did the reviewers clearly describe reasonable criteria for inclusion and exclusion of literature in the review (i.e., sources)?

c. The authors did not describe their searching strategy.

d. Did the sources involve only English language publications? Yes

e. Did the sources include unpublished studies? Yes

f. Was the time frame for the publication of the sources sufficient? Yes

g. Did the reviewers identify the level of evidence of the sources? No, but the authors/reviewers focused on the three approaches because of the limited research associated with them.

h. Did the reviewers describe procedures used to evaluate the validity of each of the sources? No

i. Was there evidence that a specific, predetermined strategy was used to evaluate the sources? No

j. Did the reviewers or review teams rate the sources independently? No

k. Were interrater reliability data provided? No

l. If the reviewers provided interrater reliability data, list them: Not Applicable

m. If there were no interrater reliability data, was an alternate means to insure reliability described? No

n. Were assessments of sources sufficiently reliable? Not Applicable

o. Was the information provided sufficient for the reader to undertake a replication? No

p. Did the sources that were evaluated involve a sufficient number of participants? No, but the authors/reviewers focused on the three approaches because of the limited research associated with them.

q. Were there a sufficient number of sources? No, but the authors/reviewers focused on the three approaches because of the limited research associated with them.

 

2. Description of outcome measures:

• Outcome Associated with the Prosodic Procedure—Rapid Syllable Transition Treatment (ReST)

     – OUTCOME #1: To improve accuracy of duration changes associated with stressed and unstressed syllable in trained and untrained nonsense words with Weak-Strong and Strong-Weak stress pattern

 

 

3. Description of results:

a. What evidence-based practice (EBP) measures were used to represent the magnitude of the treatment/effect size? The authors/reviewers did not provide EBP data.

 

b. Summarize overall findings of the secondary review:

  • The authors/reviewers reported on a procedure that targets lexical stress and articulatory accuracy for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). Seven children with CAS in two investigators improved their ability to produce durational changes for Weak and Strong syllables in trained and untrained multisyllables nonsense words. The authors contended that these findings suggest a feasible intervention for adults with apraxia of speech.

 

c. Were the results precise? Unclear

d. If confidence intervals were provided in the sources, did the reviewers consider whether evaluations would have varied if the “true” value of metrics were at the upper or lower boundary of the confidence interval? Not Applicable

e. Were the results of individual studies clearly displayed/presented? Yes

f. For the most part, were the results similar from source to source? Yes

g. Were the results in the same direction? Yes

h. Did a forest plot indicate homogeneity? Not Applicable

i. Was heterogeneity of results explored? No

j. Were the findings reasonable in view of the current literature? Yes

k. Were negative outcomes noted? No

           

 

4. Were maintenance data reported?No

 

 

5. Were generalization data reported? Yes. Changes in trained and untrained multisyllable nonsense words were reported.

 

 

SUMMARY OF INTERVENTION

 

Population: Apraxia of speech, Adults

 

Prosodic Targets: lexical stress

 

Nonprosodic Targets: articulatory accuracy (the authors/reviewers did not describe results for this target)

 

Aspects of Prosody Used in Treatment of Nonprosodic Targets:  lexical stress

 

Description of Procedure—Rapid Syllable Transition Treatment (ReST)

  • The focus of treatment is the production of multisyllable words, targeting accurate lexical stress and articulation.

• Stimuli are multisyllable nonsense words (nonsense strings) with Weak-Strong (WS) and Strong-Weak (SW) stress patterns.

• The following procedures are incorporated into ReST:

– complex targets (number of syllables, number of different speech sounds)

– varied targets

– high intensity practice

– presentation of targets in random order

– limited feedback on accuracy

 

Evidence Supporting Procedure

• 7 children with CAS (across 2 investigations) improved their ability to modulate duration in Weak and Strong syllable in trained and untrained multisyllable nonsense words.

 

Evidence Contraindicating Procedure

  • The authors/reviewers described the support as preliminary. There was

– a small number of investigations (2)

– a small number of participants (7 participants with impairment)

– the participants were children with CAS


Daly (2009)

June 2, 2014

NOTE:  Scroll about 2/3 of the way down this page to read the summary.

 

EBP THERAPY ANALYSIS

Treatment Groups

 

SOURCE: Daly, A. (2009). Teaching prosody through Readers Theatre. Capstone Paper for Master of Arts at Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN.

Paper:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=100&ved=0CGMQFjAJOFo&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hamline.edu%2FWorkArea%2FDownloadAsset.aspx%3Fid=2147491013&ei=mm3XUtPtJemisQSznIGICA&usg=AFQjCNFSbg9FCOvKXz1hUOShlefxZyQFag&bvm=bv.59568121,d.cWc

 

Review: https://clinicalprosody.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/daly-2009/

 

REVIEWER: pmh

 

DATE: June 1, 2014

 

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY: C- (The highest possible grade was C+ due to the design of the investigation.)

 

TAKE AWAY: This single group investigation revealed that a comprehension-based Readers Theatre intervention for 2nd graders who are English Language Learners can improve timing (phrasing), intonation, and stress (i.e., fluency) of oral reading.

 

 

1. What type of evidence was identified?

a. What was the type of evidence? (bold the appropriate design)

• Prospective, Single Group with Pre- and Post-Testing and

• Descriptive Research

• The investigator used a combined quantitative and qualitative (Action Research) approach.

 

b. What was the level of support associated with the type of evidence? Level = C+

 

 

2. Group membership determination:

a. If there were groups, were participants randomly assigned to groups?           

N/A, there was only one group.

 

 

3. Was administration of intervention status concealed?

a. from participants? No

b. from clinicians? No

c. from analyzers? No

                                                                    

 

4. Was the group adequately described? Yes

  1. How many participants were involved in the study?

• total # of participant:   6

• # of groups: 1

• # of participants in each group: 6

• List names of groups: NA, there was only one group.

                                                                                

b. The following variables were described:

• age: 7 – 8 years of age

• gender: 2m, 4f

• language: all English Language Learners (ELL); first 21% of the children in the district are ELL

• first language: Hmong (3); Spanish (3)

• SES: 52% of children at school were eligible for reduced/free lunch

• educational level of clients: all Ps in G2

• reading level: 3/6 Ps were reading below grade level; all Ps (including those who read at grade level) read word-by-word when orally reading.

 

c.   Were the groups similar before intervention began? Not Applicable

 

d. Were the communication problems adequately described?

• disorder type: (List) no disorder- all ELL; literacy problem 3/6 had below grade level, all had oral reading problems (fluency)

• functional level

– speaking and listening skills on a 1 (beginning) – 5 (ready to transition out of ELL classes) scale: 3 (1P), 4 (4P), 5 (1P)

– reading and writing skills on a 1 (beginning) – 5 scale (ready to transition out of ELL classes): 3 (4P), 4 (2P)

– reading level: Late G1 (2P); Early G2 (1P); Mid G2 (1P); Late G2 (2P)

 

• other (list)

 

5. Was membership in groups maintained throughout the study?

a. Did each the group maintain at least 80% of their original members? Yes

b. Were data from outliers removed from the study? No

 

6. Were the groups controlled acceptably? No, this was a single group study.

 

 

7. Were the outcomes measure appropriate and meaningful? Yes

a. The outcomes were

• OUTCOME #1: Improved ranking on timing rubric

• OUTCOME #2: Improved ranking on stress rubric

• OUTCOME #3: Improved ranking on intonation rubric

• OUTCOME #4: Positive P perception of the intervention (no pretest data provided)

 

b. All of the outcome measures were subjective.

 

c. None of the outcome measures were objective.

                                         

 

8. Were reliability measures provided?

a. Interobserver for analyzers? No. The investigator did not provide data but insured reliability by having a second, independent judge. For the rubrics, the judges came to a consensus on disagreements. Most scores on the rubric were within one point of one another. A second judge also reviewed the observations; the investigator did not describe how disagreements were handled.    

 

b. Intraobserver for analyzers? No

 

c. Treatment fidelity for clinicians? No. However, the investigator made about notes about routines, teaching, and learning (i.e., the observation data).  

 

 

9. What were the results of the statistical (inferential) testing?The investigator did not subject the data to inferential testing. The results which follow are solely from descriptive analyses.

 

9a.

PRE VS POST TREATMENT—The investigator provided 3 cycles of treatment. Before initiating treatment in a cycle, the investigator administered a pretest; after treatment for a cycle, the investigator administered a posttest.

– Pretest/Posttest comparisons found to be markedly improved:

• OUTCOME #1:Improved ranking on timing rubric— Scores for each cycle increased from pretest to posttest. Moreover, each pretest was higher than the previous pretest but lower than the previous posttest.

• OUTCOME #2:Improved ranking on stress rubric— Scores for each cycle increased from pretest to posttest. Moreover, each pretest was higher than the previous pretest but lower than the previous posttest.

• OUTCOME #3:Improved ranking on intonation rubric— Scores for each cycle increased from pretest to posttest. Moreover, each pretest was higher than the previous pretest but lower than the previous posttest.

• OUTCOME #4: Positive P perception of the intervention (no pretest data provided)—The Ps’ remarks about the treatment were positive.

 

b. What was the statistical test used to determine significance? Not Applicable

 

c. Were confidence interval (CI) provided? No

 

                                   

10. What is the clinical significance? Not provided.

 

 

11. Were maintenance data reported? No

 

 

12. Were generalization data reported?Yes.The investigator administered a “transfer assessment” following the completion of the 3 cycles. The transfer assessment involved a new script at the same reading level as the previous cycles. To avoid a “cold reading”, the group read the transfer script 2 times before the assessment. Overall, Ps’ transfer scores were higher than the first pretest but lower than the final posttest. Scores for the stress rubric were lower than the timing and intonation rubrics.

           

 

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR QUALITY OF EXTERNAL EVIDENCE:   C-

 

 

 

SUMMARY OF INTERVENTION

 

PURPOSE: To investigate the effectiveness of comprehension-focused Readers Theatre on the intonation, timing (phrasing), and stress of ELL second graders while oral reading.

 

POPULATION: English Language Learners (ELL), Literacy (fluency problems); Child

 

MODALITY TARGETED: production (for oral reading)

 

ELEMENTS/FUNCTIONS OF PROSODY TARGETED: intonation; timing (phrasing); stress

 

ELEMENTS OF PROSODY USED AS INTERVENTION: intonation; timing (phrasing); stress

 

OTHER ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION TARGETED (Dependent variable): Literacy (fluency)

 

DOSAGE: small group (7Ps—one P was not part of the investigation); 35 minute sessions; 4 weeks; 3 six session cycles

 

ADMINISTRATOR: English as a Second Language (ESL)Teacher

 

STIMULI: written scripts, diagrams, pictures, oral modeling by C, visual cues (e.g., hand signals, symbols on scripts)

 

MAJOR COMPONENTS:

TECHNIQUES: Readers Theatre (expressive oral reading or prosodic reading), repeated reading, comprehension instruction strategies, modeling; metalinguistics, feedback

 

– CYCLES:

• There were 3 cycles: timing, stress, intonation

• each cycle lasted 6 days

• each cycle was associated with a different script.

• each session began with a pretest and ended with a post test using the practice script

• following the Cycle 3 post test, there was a transfer (generalization) assessment in which Ps orally read a script that had not been practiced (although the group had read it aloud 2 times to avoid a cold reading).

 

– DAILY SCHEDULE:

• 5 minute opening—snack and interaction among group members. (They were a cohesive group prior to the Readers Theatre intervention.)

• Then C administered the activities described below.

 

FOR EACH CYCLE, THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES WERE ADMINISTERED

• Day 1: Pretesting: the group read the script aloud 2 times and worked on difficult words. C then recorded each P individually reading the script.

 

• Day 2:

– C read aloud the script using expressive prosody (i.e., modeling).

– C then presented activities designed to improve the background knowledge associated with the theme of the script for the Cycle. (The investigator describes these activities starting on page 45.)

– The group read aloud the script (i.e., everyone in the group read all the parts.)

– C provided Ps with copies of the script and directed Ps to practice them at home each day.

 

• Day 3:

– C presented a brief lesson on the prosodic element of timing.

– C assessed Ps’ comprehension of the topic and clarified her presentation.

– C read the script 2 times: 1 time with an inappropriate timing element that was the focus of the cycle and 1 with an acceptable representation.

– Ps identified the preferred reading of the script

– The group identified the errors produced by C during the “inappropriate” reading.

– Ps and C marked the first 2 pages of scripts with symbols for timing (e.g., // for long pause, / for short pause in timing)

– C highlighted a different role for each P with Ps reading aloud their own parts from the script.

– Ps then exchanged scripts so that each P performed each role.

– If necessary, the group discussed meaning of lines and/or how to improve the timing of a line.

 

• Day 4:

– C presented a brief lesson on the prosodic element of stress.

– C wrote a line from the script on the board and read it aloud with appropriate stress.

– C directed the Ps to identify the loudest word and then she underlined the word with a thick line.

– C asked Ps to identify words that were “a little loud” but not as loud as the previous (full stressed) word. Then she underlined those words with thin lines.

– C asked Ps to identify words that were spoken softly and she did not underline them.

– C presented another line from the script and repeated the process

– C explained to the Ps that speakers emphasize words that they think are important and that they already did this when they spoke. C also explained that as actors the Ps needed to be sure they understood the scripts so they could emphasize the correct words.

– As a group, the Ps and the C read through the script identifying the level of stress for each work (thick line, thin line, no line).

– The Ps then read through the script several times. Each P took a different role, each time the script was read.

– At the end of the session, C assigned the roles to the Ps for the final performance. C provided Ps with highlighters that they took home to mark their lines in their homework script.

– C reminded Ps that good actors practice their lines many times and encouraged them to practice at home.

 

• Day 5:

– During the 2nd and 3rd cycles, the following was included. However, it was eliminated from Cycle 1. Rather, during Cycle 1, C reviewed stress and timing (phrasing) with the Ps.

• C sang the “Star Spangled Banner” using hand signals to signify rising or falling pitch.

• C explained to the Ps that in every day speech, pitch rises and falls, although not as much as for singing.

• C repeated a sentence she had produced at the beginning of the session, using hand signals to signify rising and falling pitches.

• C noted that actors decide to use rising and falling pitches based on their understanding of the lines in the script.

• C wrote a line from the script on the board and signified rising or falling pitch with symbols.

• C continued writing lines of the board. Each time, the group said the line slowly and a P drew lines indicating the proper intonation.

– During Cycle 3, C repeated sentences Ps spoke during snack time and linked the intonation pattern to a line in the script using hand signals to signify intonation patterns. C encouraged Ps to use the every day intonation patterns in their readings.

– Ps read aloud the script one time and then they read it with each P taking his/her part.

– C directed Ps to go into separate sections of the room and to practice reading aloud their own lines. C circulated among the Ps and provided corrective feedback.

– C then placed Ps in their respective places for the performance (Day 6) and the Ps read through their lines in turn.

 

• Day 6:

– Ps rehearsed the script before the performance.

– After the performance, P briefly debriefed.

– C administered the post test to P individually.

 

– ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGES/INSIGHTS DERIVED FROM SYSTEMATIC OBSERVATIONS:

• Increase the number of days in a cycle to 7.

• Increase vocabulary work during comprehension instruction.

• Explicit attention to prosody (timing/phrasing, intonation, stress) is effective but it may be helpful to limit attention to a single feature per cycle.

• Cs might consider allowing a few weeks between each cycle to facilitate consolidation of gains.

• Modeling and visual cues (hand signal, written symbols) are useful in teaching about timing.

• One challenge associated with timing—For sentences that extended beyond a single line of script, some Ps tended to pause at the end of the line on the script. (C provided extra modeling and a reminder to pause only at slashes to deal with this issue.)

• Some of the students had trouble with stress, particularly function words.

• Visual cues for intonation were less successful than for stress and timing (phrasing). To deal with this. C adopted the music teacher’s strategy for signifying pitch in music. (See page 69.)