Medina (1990)


Note: Scroll about two-thirds of the way down the page to read the summary of the procedures.


A = Administrator

C = Clinician

EBP = evidence-based practice

Gain1 = Gain score from Pretest to Post test 1

Gain2 = Gain score from Post test 1 to Post test 2

NA = not applicable

P = Patient or Participant

pmh = Patricia Hargrove, blog developer

SLP = speech–language pathologist


SOURCE: Medina, S. L. (1990). The effects of music on second language acquisition. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (San Francisco, CA, March 1990) ERIC Educational Resources Information Center data base. ERIC Document # ED 352-834 retrieved from  on March 8, 2015.




DATE: December 26, 2017


ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY:  C+ (The highest possible grade based on the design of the study, Prospective, Nonrandomized Group with Controls, is B+.) The assigned overall grade represents the quality of the evidence supporting the intervention; it is not meant as a judgment regarding the quality of the intervention.


TAKE AWAY: Second-graders who were speakers of Spanish and learning English as a second language were treated with one of four story-based interventions that compared music versus speech as a presentation strategy and illustrations versus no illustrations as extralinguistic support. The target of the intervention was increased receptive vocabulary. Inferential statistics revealed that there were no significant differences between music versus speech and the illustration versus no illustration contexts. This was interpreted as supporting the use of music as an intervention because it yielded results similar to speech only presentations. Analysis of descriptive statistics suggested that while low proficiency students improved performance at follow-up, high proficiency students’ performance decreased.


  1. What type of evidence was identified?


  • What was the type of evidence? Prospective, Nonrandomized Group Design with Controls


  • What was the level of support associated with the type of evidence?

Level = B+



  1. Group membership determination:
  • If there was more than one group, were participants (Ps) randomly assigned to groups? Unclear

– Participants (Ps) were initially sorted into 4 groups based on performance on a vocabulary test.

– The investigator then randomly assigned members of the groups to one of four treatment groups. P. 4 this is my interpretation it may be wrong but the writing is not clear to me


  • If there were groups and Ps were not randomly assigned to groups, were members of groups carefully matched? Unclear

– matching/sorting is on the basis of pretreatment vocabulary. Then the Ps were randomly assigned—sounds more like block assignment to me.

If the answer to 2a and 2b is ‘no’ or ‘unclear,’ describe the assignment strategy:



  1. Was administration of intervention status concealed?
  • from participants? No
  • from clinicians? No
  • from analyzers? No



  1. Were the groups adequately described? No.


–           How many Ps were involved in the study?

  • total # of Ps:   48
  • # of groups: 4
  • Names of groups and the number of participants in each group:

     ∞ No Music- Illustrations, N = 13

     ∞ No Music- No Illustration, N = 11

     ∞ Music- Illustrations, N = 12

     ∞ Music – No Illustrations, N = 12



  • language skills: Spanish speaking, limited English proficiency
  • educational level of parents: Second Grade



  • location: Suburb of Los Angeles (CA)
  • Social-Economic Status: Students in the school were primarily low income


–   Were the groups similar before intervention began? Unclear


– Were the communication problems adequately described? No

  • Participants (Ps) were Spanish speakers who were learning English as a Second Language.



  1. Was membership in groups maintained throughout the study?
  • Did each of the groups maintain at least 80% of their original members? Yes, probably. Originally, there were 52 Ps but 4 Ps dropped out. The distribution of those who discontinued was not identified but the overall maintenance level was 92%


  • Were data from outliers removed from the study?



  1. Were the groups controlled acceptably? Unclear
  • Was there a no intervention group? No
  • Was there a foil intervention group? No
  • Was there a comparison group? Yes
  • Was the time involved in the comparison and target groups constant? Yes



  1. Was the outcome measure appropriate and meaningful? Yes
  • OUTCOME #1: The amount of gain in receptive vocabulary
  • The outcome measure was subjective.
  • The outcome measures was NOT objective.



  1. Were reliability measures provided?
  • Interobserver for analyzers? No
  • Intraobserver for analyzers?
  • Treatment fidelity for clinicians? No



  1. What were the results of the statistical (inferential) testing and the description of the results?

Summary Of Important Results

— What level of significance was required to claim significance? p = 0.05





  • OUTCOME #1: The amount of gain in receptive vocabulary

∞ There were no significant differences for music versus no music and illustration versus no illustration (and their interactions) among the 4 treatment groups at the post test 1 (immediately after the intervention) and post test 2 (follow up, 1.5 weeks after intervention.)

     ∞ The investigator noted some patterns descriptively:

  • Immediately after treatment (post test 1) and the 1.5 week delay (post test 2 or follow up) the scores of Ps receive music treatment and viewing illustrations tended to be higher.

    ∞ The following patterns also were evident in the description of the results

  • Average gains at post test 1 following the 4 treatment sessions ranged from 0.73 (No Music, No Illustration Group) to 1.5 (Music and Illustration Group.)
  • Average gains at post test 2 (or follow up) ranged from 0.82 (No Music, No Illustration Group) to 1.75 (Music and Illustration Group.)

     ∞ The investigator also described the performance of a small group of Low Proficiency Ps (i.e., Ps who had scores below 8 of 20 items correct on the pretest.)

  • Low Proficiency Ps tended to gain more than higher proficiency Ps.
  • Average gains at post test 1 ranged from 0.33 (No Music, No Illustration Group) to 2.33 (Music and Illustration Group.)
  • Average gains at post test 2 (follow up) ranged from 1.00 (No Music, No Illustration Group) to 3.33 (Music and Illustration Group.)


  • What was the statistical test used to determine significance? ANOVA
  • Were confidence interval (CI) provided? No



  1. What is the clinical significance?  NA, no EBP data were reported.



  1. Were maintenance data reported? Yes. The difference in gains from post test 1 to post test 2 were not compared using inferential statistics. However, post test 2 performance regularly outpaced post test 1 performance. This suggests that Ps, not only maintained their gains but that the gains increased over the 1.5 weeks.



  1. Were generalization data reported? No



  1. Describe briefly the experimental design of the investigation.
  • Four groups of 2nd grade speakers of Spanish who were also English Language Learners received a story-related treatment to improve receptive vocabulary.


  • There were four different versions of the story-related treatment. The Ps listened to a cassette recorded story that included the target. The 4 versions were

∞ No Music- Illustrations, story spoken accompanied by illustrations

∞ No Music- No Illustration, story spoken accompanied but no illustrations

∞ Music- Illustrations, story sung accompanied by illustrations

∞ Music – No Illustrations, story sung accompanied by no illustrations


  • The spoken and sung versions of the story had identical scripts.


  • Prior to the initiation of treatment, the investigator met with the Ps to establish rapport and then she administered a pretest (baseline.)


  • Treatment lasted for 4 days and then the investigator administered Post Test 1.


  • One and one-half weeks following the termination of the intervention, Post Test 2 (i.e., follow-up) was administered.


  • Receptive vocabulary scores were compared using two 2-way (2×2, Medium x Extralinguistic Support) ANOVA for the following dependent measures:

–   Gain score from Pretest to Post test 1 (Gain1)

–   Gain score from Post test 1 to Post test 2 (Gain2)


  • The condition each had 2 aspects:

– Medium: Music; No Music

– Extralinguistic Support: Illustrations: NO Illustrations







PURPOSE: To investigate whether (1) stories set to music were associated with the same amount of improvement in receptive vocabulary as stories presented orally and (2) stories paired with illustrations were associated with the same amount of improvement in receptive vocabulary as stories presented without illustrations.


POPULATION: Second language learners


MODALITY TARGETED: Receptive vocabulary




DOSAGE: small groups; 4 days; tapes (spoken or song) were played 3 times in each treatment session


STIMULI: songs, spoken scripts, and illustrations




  • The administrator (A) provided one of four treatments to each of the groups of Ps:

∞ No Music- Illustrations, N = 13

∞ No Music- No Illustration, N = 11

∞ Music- Illustrations, N = 12

∞ Music – No Illustrations, N = 12


  • Overall, the treatment sessions were similar. The Ps were treated in groups sessions in which A played a prerecorded sung or spoken story 3 times. The story was accompanied by pictures for the “Illustration” treatment groups but not for the “No Illustration” treatment group. The stories for all groups were the same and used identical scripts.


  • For the Music and No Music Treatment conditions, the tapes were clear and intelligible. Both Music and No Music tapes were described as “appealing.” The song for the Music tape was a simple tune.


• For the Illustration and No Illustration conditions, the A displayed large pictures depicting the story. Written words were not included in the Illustration condition and, of course, the A did not use the pictures for the No Illustrat


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