AuthorFoster, Georgiana Elizabeth
KeywordsChildren -- Language.
Language disorders in children.
Language and languages -- Study and teaching.
English language -- Remedial teaching.
AdvisorChalfant, James C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of the investigation was to examine the effect of training on the use of morphology and syntax of language delayed children. Performance with no instruction was compared to performance with two methods: (1) a Standard Remedial Instruction Approach and (2) the Individualized Instruction Approach. The intent was to determine if a standard method would be superior to no instruction; and then, if individualization of training procedures, based on a functional analysis of the child's approach to learning tasks, would facilitate progress over what might be achieved with the standard method. Finally, a follow-up test was done to check if skills were maintained. Three language delayed children in a Primary Resource Classroom served as the subjects. A multiple baseline across subjects design was employed, with a sequential multiple intervention component added. Using each subject as his own control, his performance was compared across adjacent phases. Instructional phases were introduced to subjects in a staggered fashion rather than at the same time to test the power of each intervention. The method chosen as the Standard Remedial Instruction approach was the Interactive Language Development Teaching method. The Individualized Instruction approach was devised from a functional analysis. Diagnostic teaching provided the means for doing the functional analysis, during which the child's responsiveness to varied stimulus, response, affective and cognitive dimensions of tasks was observed. Performance under the different phases of the study was measured by experimenter-made criterion referenced tests on the specific language forms being taught. Each test required a degree of generalization since novel stimulus materials were used. Visual analysis of the data was facilitated by use of trend lines made by the method of least squares, to determine changes between phases. Trend lines of adjacent phases were compared in terms of level and slope. The procedures described above yielded the following results: (1) All three subjects showed notable improvement in performance with Standard Remedial Instruction as compared to Baseline performance; (2) All three subjects displayed some improvement with Individualized Instruction over Standard Remedial Instruction, but by trend analysis, only one exhibited marked improvement; and (3) The performance of two subjects on follow-up testing was commensurate with the level of performance obtained during Individualized Instruction. The findings of the study indicate that, within the context of the public schools, improvement in morphology and syntax of language delayed children is dependent upon the use of systematic language instruction. Provision of such instruction, and the establishment of more efficient screening procedures for identifying expressive syntax problems, therefore seem warranted. If a standard remedial instruction program does not seem to be effective, an individualized program may be needed. A functional analysis of the child's learning characteristics appears to provide a sound basis from which to develop an individualized program. Speech and language clinicians, thereby, could increase their effectiveness by learning to conduct a functional analysis. The study further documents the promise of time-series research for use with a handicapped population. A public school system could use such a design to evaluate methods or programs. It would be relatively easy and inexpensive to conduct. A limitation of the particular design used for this study was that the effect of method two could not be separated from the effect of method one since it was always preceded by method one. An alternation of methods could alleviate the problem. A study of this type has minimal significance by itself but in a series can make a contribution.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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