Predicting Response to Treatment in a Tier 2 Supplemental Vocabulary Intervention

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Purpose: To effectively implement a response to intervention approach, there is a need for timely and specific information about student learning in response to treatment to ensure that treatment decisions are appropriate. This exploratory study examined responsivity to a supplemental, Tier 2 vocabulary intervention delivered to preschool children with limited language abilities.

Method: A secondary analysis of a cluster-randomized trial of a supplemental vocabulary intervention was conducted. Responsivity (e.g., adequate learning) to the intervention was examined, and learning in the 1st few weeks of intervention was evaluated as a possible predictor of response to intervention.

Results: Using a criterion of learning of 20% of target vocabulary, nearly one third of participants were identified as poor responders. A 1st unit benchmark was identified that maximized the sensitivity to identification of children who were likely to respond to the intervention.

Conclusions: Even for generally effective interventions, there is likely to be a substantial proportion of children who are not responsive. Learning in the 1st few weeks of intervention may be a useful indicator of appropriate response to treatment and could inform instructional decisions.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v. 61, issue 1, p. 94-103