Induction of a Visual Symbolic Rule in Children With Specific Language Impairment 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 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1993
Induction of a Visual Symbolic Rule in Children With Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. Addison Stone
    Northwestern University Evanston, IL
  • Phil J. Connell
    Indiana University Bloomington
  • Contact author: C. Addison Stone, PhD, Learning Disabilities Program, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, 2299 N. Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208. E-mail: c-stone@nwu.edu.
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1993
Induction of a Visual Symbolic Rule in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1993, Vol. 36, 599-608. doi:10.1044/jshr.3603.599
History: Received January 21, 1992 , Accepted January 25, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1993, Vol. 36, 599-608. doi:10.1044/jshr.3603.599
History: Received January 21, 1992; Accepted January 25, 1993

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.

Acknowledgments
The research reported in this paper was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIDCD). We would like to thank ChiMing Yang for his assistance in the development of the computer programs used to implement the instruction, and Kalyani Krishnan, Peg Bemen, Beth Burns, Laura Riddle, Barry Wagner, Susan Giger, and Robin Barker for their assistance in data collection and analysis.
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