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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 35 Issue 4 (2006) Assessing Effects of Directive Comple...
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Volume 35, Issue 4 (2006)

Assessing Effects of Directive Complexity on Accuracy of Task Completion in English Language Learners

pp. 552—567

Abstract. The purpose of the current investigation was to determine if the experimental analysis of antecedent variables conducted in English and in Spanish would identify effective and ineffective instructions for response accuracy for Spanish-speaking English language learners. An antecedent variable (i.e., directive complexity) arranged in a hierarchical order was manipulated and differential responding to directives was measured. The current analysis was based on the hypothesis that accurate responding would vary according to the language and the complexity of antecedent stimuli. Twenty-four students between the ages of 5 and 11 years participated in the study. Results demonstrated that the experimental analysis of antecedent variables successfully identified effective and ineffective instruction and is a promising method for systematically identifying directives that control accurate responding. Results of the current study show that to increase the probability of accurate responding, it is essential to present directives that match with students’ discrimination skills.

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