Syntax Interventions for Struggling Readers and Learners: A Systematic Review

Communication Sciences and Disorders: Doctor of Philosophy
Advisors: Stacey Pavelko, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Linda Freeman, M.S., CCC-SLP and Geralyn Timler, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Nearly 7,000 students drop out of school every day in the United States with many of them stating their inability to keep up with academic demands as their primary reason for leaving (Kamil, 2003; Pinkus, 2006; Snow & Biancarosa, 2003). We know that the language environment in education and the subsequent workforce often uses complex syntax requiring appropriate linguistic knowledge in order to demonstrate competency and understanding (Scott & Balthazar, 2013). To investigate this issue, a systematic review of experimental and quasi-experimental studies addressing syntactic interventions for students struggling with literacy was conducted. A search of 11 electronic database searches located 7,349 potentially relevant articles and dissertations. Following title and abstract screening and subsequent examination at the full text level, preliminary findings indicated 25 potential studies for inclusion in the review. The results of this review and its conclusions regarding the effectiveness of interventions will be presented.


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