Authors: Gillon GT
Title: The efficacy of phonological awareness intervention for children with spoken language impairment
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2000 31(2): 126-141
Year: 2000
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - N
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

PURPOSE: This study investigated the efficacy of an integrated phonological awareness intervention approach for children with spoken language impairment (SLI) who demonstrated early reading delay. Ninety-one, 5- to 7-year-old New Zealand children participated in this study: 61 children with SLI and 30 children with typically developing speech and language skills. All of the children with language impairment exhibited expressive phonological difficulties and some also had delayed semantic and syntactic development. METHOD: The children with SLI participated in either: (a) an integrated phonological awarenessprogram, (b) a more traditional speech-language intervention control program that focused onimproving articulation and language skills, or (c) a minimal intervention control program over a 4-1/2-month time period. RESULTS: Effects of the interventions on phonological awareness ability, reading performance, and speech production were examined. The children who received phonological awareness intervention made significantly more gains in their phonological awareness ability and reading development than the children receiving the other types of speech and language intervention. Despite significant delays in phonological awareness prior to training, children who received the phonological awareness intervention reached levels of performance similar to children with typically developing speech and language skills at post-test assessment. The phonological awareness intervention also improved the children's speech articulation. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The findings suggest that integrated phonological awareness intervention may be an efficient method to improve phonological awareness, speech production, and reading development of children with SLI. Findings are discussed with reference to a speech-literacy link model.

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