Comparing the effects of descriptive comments versus descriptive comments plus prompted trials on children's letter naming.
Kinder, Kiersten Ann
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative effects of a commenting intervention and a commenting plus trials intervention for teaching preschool children letter naming during play activities. For each intervention, descriptive comments were systematically delivered to expose children repeatedly to targeted letter names in a salient context. The commenting plus trials intervention included the use of a constant time delay instructional procedure to deliver prompted trials. An adapted alternating treatments single-subject experimental design was used to compare the effects and efficiency of each intervention on the acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of children’s letter naming. In addition, three measures were used to compare the relative efficiency of the interventions. The findings varied across children. Two children acquired, maintained, and generalized letter naming skills under both interventions. For the other two children, only one intervention was effective, and a different intervention was effective for each child. When the interventions were compared in terms of efficiency, differences were minimal. Across participants, the descriptive commenting intervention required slightly fewer sessions but more letter exposures to reach criterion than the descriptive commenting plus trials intervention. Total time to reach criterion, however, was equivalent across the two interventions. Generalization and maintenance data were similar across the two interventions. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.