Specific-Language-Impaired Children’s Quick Incidental Learning of Words The Effect of a Pause Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1992
Specific-Language-Impaired Children’s Quick Incidental Learning of Words
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mabel L. Rice
    University of Kansas Lawrence
  • JoAnn Buhr
    Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
  • Janna B. Oetting
    University of Kansas Lawrence
  • Contact author: Mabel L. Rice, Child Language Program, 1082 Dole Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1992
Specific-Language-Impaired Children’s Quick Incidental Learning of Words
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1992, Vol. 35, 1040-1048. doi:10.1044/jshr.3505.1040
History: Received November 26, 1990 , Accepted April 14, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1992, Vol. 35, 1040-1048. doi:10.1044/jshr.3505.1040
History: Received November 26, 1990; Accepted April 14, 1991

It was hypothesized that the initial word comprehension of specific-language-impaired children would be enhanced by the insertion of a short pause just before a sentence-final novel word. Three groups of children served as subjects: twenty 5-year-old, specific-languageimpaired (SLI) children, and two comparison groups of normally developing children, 20 matched for mean length of utterance (MLU) and 32 matched for chronological age (CA). The children were randomly assigned to two conditions for viewing video programs. The programs were animated stories that featured five novel object words and five novel attribute words, presented in a voice-over narration. The experimental version introduced a pause before the targeted words; the control version was identical except for normal prosody instead of a pause. Counter to the predictions, there was no effect for condition. Insertion of a pause did not improve the SLI children’s initial comprehension of novel words. There were group main effects, with the CA matches better than either of the other two groups and no differences between the SLI children and the MLU-matched children.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by National Institute of Deafness and Communicative Disorder Award 1R01 NS26129 to Mabel L. Rice. We wish to acknowledge the valuable assistance of Janet Marquis for data analyses. We appreciate the participation of children and their parents at the following preschools: Baldwin School District Preschool, Children’s Learning Center, Children’s Therapy Group, Early Education Center, Hilltop Child Development Center, Language Project Preschool, Olathe Head Start Program, Ottawa School District, Stepping Stones Day Care Center, and the University of Kansas Edna A. Hill Child Development Laboratories.
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