Effects of Initial Element Teaching in a Story-Telling Context on Blissymbol Acquisition and Generalization Blissymbolics is a graphic symbol system used by individuals with little or no functional speech. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of initial teaching of semantic elements on compound Blissymbol acquisition, retention, and generalization in a story-telling context. The subjects included 40 preschool children with normal ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1993
Effects of Initial Element Teaching in a Story-Telling Context on Blissymbol Acquisition and Generalization
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ralf W. Schlosser
    Department of Educational Studies
  • Lyle L. Lloyd
    Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
  • Contact author: Ralf W. Schlosser, Department of Educational Studies, Special Education, 1446 Liberal Arts and Education Building Room 5108, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1446.
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1993
Effects of Initial Element Teaching in a Story-Telling Context on Blissymbol Acquisition and Generalization
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1993, Vol. 36, 979-995. doi:10.1044/jshr.3605.979
History: Received August 25, 1992 , Accepted April 13, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1993, Vol. 36, 979-995. doi:10.1044/jshr.3605.979
History: Received August 25, 1992; Accepted April 13, 1993

Blissymbolics is a graphic symbol system used by individuals with little or no functional speech. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of initial teaching of semantic elements on compound Blissymbol acquisition, retention, and generalization in a story-telling context. The subjects included 40 preschool children with normal cognitive abilities (mean chronological age=45 months) who were assigned to one of two groups. Group I was taught elements before being taught compounds that contained these elements. Group II was taught elements before being taught compounds consisting of elements that were not taught previously. In addition, both groups received instruction in a second set of compounds that were taught directly, that is, without first being taught the elements. The teaching procedures and materials were socially validated by experts in Blissymbol instruction. Results indicate that the initial teaching of elements did not contribute to compound acquisition and retention, but did facilitate generalization to untrained compound Blissymbols. The results are discussed in terms of considerations for selecting an initial lexicon and Blissymbol teaching and research.

Acknowledgments
This manuscript is partially based on a presentation at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association held in Atlanta, November 1991. The authors would like to thank Gwendolyn Pennington for her outstanding artwork in developing the storyboards. The authors further wish to thank Shirley McNaughton for helpful suggestions on the teaching aspects of the study, as well as Raymond Quist for his helpful comments during the initial phase of the study. Gratitude is also extended to the Blissymbol experts who participated in the social validation process and to Karen Countryman (Rising Star Montessori School) and Sue Hunter (Jack & Jill Nursery School) for their assistance in securing subjects. The authors also would like to acknowledge the members of the Purdue Augmentative and Alternative Communication Research Group for their suggestions during the development of this study. Finally, we would like to thank speech-language pathologists Helen Arvidson, Mary-Lou Miller, Denise Murray, and Amy Waller. The preparation of this paper was partially supported by the David Ross Fellowship and the Prentke Romich AAC Fellowship.
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