Initial mean length of utterance predicts the relative efficacy of two grammatical treatments in preschoolers with specific language impairment

Paul J. Yoder, Dennis L Molfese, Elizabeth Gardner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We sought to confirm predictions based on past findings that pretreatment mean length of utterance (MLU) would predict which of 2 grammatical treatments would best facilitate generalized and maintained grammatical development in preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI).Method: The participants were 57 preschoolers with SLI. A randomized group experiment was used. The 2 grammatical treatments were broad target recasts (BTR) and milieu language teaching (MLT). MLU was assessed at Time 1 in 2 conversational language samples. Growth rate of productive grammar was quantified using growth curve modeling on the Index of Productive Syntax (IPSyn) from 2 conversational language samples at each of 6 measurement periods.Results: Predictions were confirmed for children with initially low MLU but not for children with initially high MLUs. MLT facilitated growth of grammar better than BTR in children who were initially in Brown's stage I. Effects maintained 5 months after treatment ended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1170-1181
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

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Language
language
grammar
Teaching
Therapeutics
Growth
syntax
Mean Length of Utterance
Specific Language Impairment
Preschoolers
Efficacy
experiment
Milieu
Language Teaching
Prediction
Recasts
Grammar
Group

Keywords

  • Intervention
  • Milieu language teaching
  • Moderated treatment effects
  • Recasts
  • Therapy methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this

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abstract = "We sought to confirm predictions based on past findings that pretreatment mean length of utterance (MLU) would predict which of 2 grammatical treatments would best facilitate generalized and maintained grammatical development in preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI).Method: The participants were 57 preschoolers with SLI. A randomized group experiment was used. The 2 grammatical treatments were broad target recasts (BTR) and milieu language teaching (MLT). MLU was assessed at Time 1 in 2 conversational language samples. Growth rate of productive grammar was quantified using growth curve modeling on the Index of Productive Syntax (IPSyn) from 2 conversational language samples at each of 6 measurement periods.Results: Predictions were confirmed for children with initially low MLU but not for children with initially high MLUs. MLT facilitated growth of grammar better than BTR in children who were initially in Brown's stage I. Effects maintained 5 months after treatment ended.",
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