Authors: Segers E, Verhoeven L
Title: Computer-supported phonological awareness intervention for kindergarten children with specific language impairment
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2004 35(3): 229-239
Year: 2004
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: The purpose of the present study was to determine whether kindergarten children with specific language impairment (SLI) could develop phonological awareness skills through computer intervention and whether speech manipulation (i.e., slowing speech rate and enhancing transitions) in instruction produced additional learning. METHOD: The effects of a computer-supported phonological awareness program on a variety of items, including word analysis, syllable analysis, rhyme, phoneme analysis, syllable synthesis, and phoneme synthesis, were tested following a pretest-posttest 1-posttest 2 design. Twenty-four kindergarten children with SLI in the Netherlands received 3.5 hr of phonological awareness intervention via a computer program using either normal speech (12 children) or manipulated speech (12 children). A control group of 12 kindergarten children with SLI played computer vocabulary games. RESULTS: The results showed positive effects of the intervention for the normal speech group. Eighteen weeks later, the effect size was still substantial; however, no additional effects of speech manipulation were found. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The results suggest that kindergarten children with SLI benefit from computer intervention for phonological awareness skills.

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