An Intervention Approach to Target Vocabulary Development in Te Reo Maori in Maori Immersion Settings
Thesis DisciplineSpeech and Language Therapy
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Speech and Language Therapy
The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a storybook retell technique to facilitate vocabulary acquisition in children educated in Māori immersion class settings. A second aim of the study was to explore the cultural responsiveness and pedagogical appropriateness of the intervention approach and the importance of relationship building (whakawhanaungatanga) to successful interventions. Nine children participated in the study. These children (aged between 5 and 8 years) were recruited from two Kura Kaupapa Māori settings in differing urban areas in New Zealand. The children entered the study on a rolling basis in groups of three. The first three participants to enter the study were recruited from the one classroom on the basis of their demonstrating specific language impairment (SLI). The second group of three participants attended a different classroom and these participants were recruited into the study as a result of identified delayed reading development (RD). The third group of three participants from a third classroom was selected as the participants exhibited typical spoken and written language development (TD). The intervention technique utilized in this study adopted a structured approach to teaching the meaning of pre selected vocabulary items that were embedded in class story books. Three different books were selected and each book was read by the teacher to the whole class three times during a one week period. The target vocabulary was highlighted each time it occurred in the story through the following techniques: an adult definition was given for the word, an antonym or synonym was given, and the meaning was acted out by the teacher or the picture detailing the meaning of the word in the book was highlighted. A single subject research design using pre-intervention, intervention and post intervention assessment probes for the target vocabulary items was employed to examine the effectiveness of the intervention in teaching the children the targeted vocabulary. Teacher interviews were also carried out to assess the appropriateness of the intervention in relation to the philosophy of the Kura Kaupapa and its pedagogical appropriateness and cultural responsiveness. The results suggested that the children in all three groups (SLI, RD and TD) made moderate gains in the acquisition of the target vocabulary supporting the hypothesis that targeting vocabulary in story book retelling at a whole class level will lead to acquisition of the vocabulary by the participants' exposed to the intervention. However, using a Two Standard Deviation method to evaluate the significance of each participant's change, the gains made for the RD and SLI participants were not significant. The TD participants did demonstrate a significant difference in the number of words correct. The teachers of the participants involved in the study reported positively on the effectiveness and appropriateness of the intervention for inclusion within the Kura Kaupapa and classroom programme. In particular, teachers' reported that as the intervention included each child in the class (as opposed to a withdrawal intervention model) the intervention was more appropriate for the philosophy of the Kura Kaupapa. The teachers' also reported the effectiveness of the intervention for the development of collaboration and relationship building between the teacher and researcher (a speech-language therapist. The data showed that the intervention investigated in this study was culturally responsive and pedagogically appropriate. It could be included as a component of the class programme as it was responsive to the philosophy of the Kura Kaupapa. The participants' did make moderate gains in the acquisition of the vocabulary (although not at a level to be considered significant for children with delayed development). Further research is necessary to explore the effectiveness of what may potentially be a useful intervention to enhance vocabulary development for children in Kura Kaupapa.
SubjectsSpecific language impairment
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