Authors: Cirrin FM, Gillam RB
Title: Language intervention practices for school-age children with spoken language disorders: A systematic review
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2008 39(1): S110-S137
Year: 2008
Research Design: Systematic Review

PURPOSE: This systematic review focuses on peer-reviewed articles published since 1985 that assess the outcomes of language intervention practices for school-age students with spoken language disorders. METHOD: We conducted computer searches of electronic databases and hand searches of other sources for studies that used experimental designs that were considered to be reliable and valid: randomized clinical trials, nonrandomized comparison studies, and multiple-baseline single-subject design studies. RESULTS: The review yielded 21 studies concerning the efficacy or effectiveness of language intervention practices with school-age children since 1985. Eleven of the studies limited participants to children in kindergarten and first grade, and no studies were located that focused on students in middle grades or high school. The relatively high quality of the studies that met our criteria, and the moderate-to-high effect sizes we calculated for the majority of studies, suggests that clinicians can have some confidence in the specific language intervention practices examined. CONCLUSION: The fact that only 21 studies met our criteria means that there is relatively little evidence supporting the language intervention practices that are currently being used with school-age children with language disorders. We outline significant gaps in the evidence and discuss the implications for clinical practice in schools.

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