Authors: Gordon KR, Storkel HL, Lowry SL, Sultani MJ
Title: A Word-Learning Intervention Pilot Study Utilizing Principles of Retrieval- and Criterion-Based Learning for Children With Developmental Language Disorder
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2024 33(2): 530-551
Year: 2024
Research Design: Single Case Design

PURPOSE: Vocabulary knowledge at school entry provides an essential foundation for academic and literacy learning. Thus, school entry is an important timepoint to support word learning by children with developmental language disorder (DLD). Retrieval-based training strategies support both learning and retention of words for individuals with DLD in lab-based research. Additionally, lab-based research with adults with typical development demonstrates that pairing retrieval- and criterion-based training strategies supports learning efficiency. Currently, it is unclear if retrieval- and criterion-based training in word-learning interventions is feasible and effective for children with DLD. METHOD: In this pilot study, we taught preschool- and kindergarten-age children with DLD (N = 7) words in an intervention format. We implemented retrieval-based training in that children were asked to retrieve and produce the forms and meanings of words. We also implemented a criterion-based approach. Words were targeted until the child retrieved the form and meaning of a word at the beginning of two sessions. We assessed learning at the end of training and retention after 2- and 8-week post-training delays. RESULTS: The retrieval- and criterion-based approach was effective to support word learning for six of the seven children. Children demonstrated better learning and retention of forms than meanings. Additionally, achieving criterion with a word during training was positively related to post-training retention. CONCLUSIONS: A retrieval- and criterion-based approach is likely to support word learning during interventions for children with DLD. We include suggestions for future research to improve the effective and efficient implementation of these approaches.

Access: Open Access