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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Institute of Education Sciences
Words and Concepts

IES What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes*
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication No
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) systematic review investigating the effectiveness of a computer software program, Words and Concepts, on the oral language skills of preschool-aged children. The effectiveness of the intervention is regarded as Meets Evidence Standards, Meets Evidence Standards with Reservation or Does Not Meet Evidence Standard based on the WWC classification system. Well-designed randomized controlled trials are considered strong evidence (Meets Evidence Standards), quasi-experimental studies are considered weaker evidence (Meets Evidence Standards with Reservations) and single-case design studies are considered insufficient evidence or under development (Does Not Meet Evidence Standards).

Question(s) Addressed:

  1. Which early childhood education interventions improve preschool children's cognitive and language competences associated with school readiness (cognition, language, literacy, and math skills)?
  2. Which early childhood education interventions improve cognitive and language competencies associated with school readiness among children with developmental delays or diagnosed disabilities?
  3. Does the effectiveness of early childhood education intervention differ by type of outcome?
  4. What types of early childhood education interventions are particularly effective for which children?

Population: Economically disadvantaged preschool children.

Intervention/Assessment: Word and Concepts with or without enhanced interactions with a clinician

Number of Studies Included: 1

Years Included: Not stated




  • Treatment
    • Language
      • Oral Language
        • Computer-Assisted Instruction - "[O]ne study that examined the effects of the Words and Concept on oral language showed indeterminate effects according to WWC criteria" (Meets Evidence Standards) (p. 3).

Keywords: Language Disorders, Literacy, Learning Disabilities, Developmental Disorders, Hearing Loss, Autism Spectrum Disorders

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*See the WWC Evidence Review Protocol for inclusion criteria.

Added to Compendium: March 2012

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