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An Exploratory Comparison Of Milieu Teaching And Responsive Interaction In Classroom Applications

PAUL J. YODER, ANN P. KAISER, HOWARD GOLDSTEIN, CATHY ALPERT, LORI MOUSETIS, LOUISE KACZMAREK, REBECCA FISCHER

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An exploratory study was conducted to compare 2 naturalistic language intervention methods: milieu teaching and responsive interaction. Classroom teachers implemented the treatment methods in 6 classrooms. Thirty-six children were matched on 4 pretreatment language measures and assigned to 1 of the 2 treatments. No main effects for treatment were found. However, milieu teaching was more effective than responsive interaction in facilitating receptive language and expressive vocabulary, if the children began intervention with relatively low receptive or expressive language levels. In contrast, responsive interaction was more effective than milieu teaching in facilitating receptive language and expressive vocabulary if the children began intervention with relatively high receptive or expressive language levels. The explanations for these results suggest several directions for future research and highlight the increasingly common finding that no 1 intervention is superior for all children.