Article/Report  |   April 1999
Arithmetic Calculation, Short-Term Memory, and Language Performance in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Author Notes
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Article/Report   |   April 1999
Arithmetic Calculation, Short-Term Memory, and Language Performance in Children With Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1999, Vol. 42, 420-431. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4202.420
History: Received November 5, 1997 , Accepted April 28, 1998
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1999, Vol. 42, 420-431. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4202.420
History: Received November 5, 1997; Accepted April 28, 1998

A 5-year follow-up of the arithmetic calculation abilities of low-income children with specific language impairment (SLI) is reported. The performance of fourth- and fifth-grade children with SLI was compared with that of typically developing low-income peers and with younger, typically developing low-income children. Short-term memory, language, and arithmetic calculation abilities were assessed. Compared to their age-matched peers, the SLI group exhibited low scores on a number recall task, a marked difficulty with mathematical calculation under timed conditions, and numerous errors when retrieving rote math facts such as 7 x 6=_. Although children with SLI made more written calculation errors than their age-matched peers, they did not differ in the type of errors made. However, strategies used to solve written calculation differed among the groups. Rather than use automatic math fact retrieval, children with SLI were more likely to use counting strategies to solve calculation problems. These findings offer further evidence that children with SLI have difficulty with rote memory. The findings also document the real-world consequences of slow, inefficient memory retrieval in children with SLI.

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