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Can inferencing be trained in preschoolers using shared book-reading? A randomised controlled trial of parents’ inference-eliciting questions on oral inferencing ability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 December 2019

Catherine DAVIES
Affiliation:
University of Leeds, UK
Michelle MCGILLION
Affiliation:
University of Sheffield, UK Universityof Warwick, UK
Caroline ROWLAND
Affiliation:
ESRC LuCiD Centre & Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool, UK Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Danielle MATTHEWS
Affiliation:
University of Sheffield, UK
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

The ability to make inferences is essential for effective language comprehension. While inferencing training benefits reading comprehension in school-aged children (see Elleman, 2017, for a review), we do not yet know whether it is beneficial to support the development of these skills prior to school entry. In a pre-registered randomised controlled trial, we evaluated the efficacy of a parent-delivered intervention intended to promote four-year-olds’ oral inferencing skills during shared book-reading. One hundred children from socioeconomically diverse backgrounds were randomly assigned to inferencing training or an active control condition of daily maths activities. The training was found to have no effect on inferencing. However, inferencing measures were highly correlated with children's baseline language ability. This suggests that a more effective approach to scaffolding inferencing in the preschool years might be to focus on promoting vocabulary to develop richer and stronger semantic networks.

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Articles
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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Can inferencing be trained in preschoolers using shared book-reading? A randomised controlled trial of parents’ inference-eliciting questions on oral inferencing ability
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Can inferencing be trained in preschoolers using shared book-reading? A randomised controlled trial of parents’ inference-eliciting questions on oral inferencing ability
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