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A pilot study of the effects of RightStart instruction on early numeracy skills of children with specific language impairment. (English)
Res. Dev. Disabil. 35, No. 5, 999-1014 (2014).
Summary: This pilot study investigated the effects of an early numeracy program, RightStart Mathematics (RS), on Finnish kindergartners with specific language impairment (SLI). The study applied a pre-test-instruction-post-test design. The children with SLI ($n=9$, $M_{\text{age}}=82.11 \text{months}$) received RS instruction two to three times a week for 40 min over seven months, which replaced their business-as-usual mathematics instruction. Mathematical skill development among children with SLI was examined at the individual and group levels, and compared to the performance of normal language-achieving age peers ($n=32$, $M_{\text{age}}=74.16 \text{months}$) who received business-as-usual kindergarten mathematics instruction. The children with SLI began kindergarten with significantly weaker early numeracy skills compared to their peers. Immediately after the instruction phase, there was no significant difference between the groups in counting skills. In grade 1, the children with SLI performed similarly to their peers in addition and subtraction skills (accuracy) and multi-digit number comparison, but showed weaker skills in arithmetical reasoning and in matching spoken and printed multi-digit numbers. Our pilot study showed encouraging signs that the early numeracy skills of children with SLI can be improved successfully in a kindergarten small-classroom setting with systematic instruction emphasizing visualization.
Classification: C31 C41 F21 D31 C51
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