Authors: Stone CA, Connell PJ
Title: Induction of a Visual Symbolic Rule in Children with Specific Language Impairment
Source: Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 1993 36(3): 599-608
Year: 1993
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 03/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - N
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
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

In a design modeled after that of Connell and Stone (1992), two alternative instructional conditions (Modeling and Imitation) were used to teach a novel morpheme to a group of 21 children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) (ages 5;0 to 6;11) and to 25 age-and ability-matched peers and 21 language-matched younger peers. In contrast to the use of the auditory modality in the Connell and Stone study, in the present study, the morphemes were embodied in a visual symbol system. The objects and meanings conveyed by the symbols were identical to those used in the earlier study. The present results indicated that both the children with SLI and their age-matched peers showed a benefit to their morpheme production from the requirement to imitate the use of the morpheme during learning trials. These results were interpreted as indicating that the group-specific benefit from imitation instruction on the part of the children with SLI found by Connell and Stone with their auditory task is unique to morpheme learning in the auditory modality. As in the earlier study, the children with SLI also tended to learn less than their age-matched peers in all conditions, indicating a possible general deficiency with symbolic rule induction.

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