Effects of Lexical Intervention on the Phonology of Late Talkers The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether a focused stimulation intervention focusing on lexical training has indirect, secondary effects on children's phonological abilities. Twenty-five toddlers with expressive vocabulary delays and their mothers were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. The children were between 23 and 33 months ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1997
Effects of Lexical Intervention on the Phonology of Late Talkers
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Luigi Girolametto
    University of Toronto Ontario, Canada
  • Patsy Steig Pearce
    Centenary Health Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Elaine Weitzman
    The Hanen Centre Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Article Information
Special Populations / Language Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1997
Effects of Lexical Intervention on the Phonology of Late Talkers
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1997, Vol. 40, 338-348. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4002.338
History: Received February 13, 1996 , Accepted December 19, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1997, Vol. 40, 338-348. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4002.338
History: Received February 13, 1996; Accepted December 19, 1996

The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether a focused stimulation intervention focusing on lexical training has indirect, secondary effects on children's phonological abilities. Twenty-five toddlers with expressive vocabulary delays and their mothers were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. The children were between 23 and 33 months of age at entry into the study and were at the single-word stage of language development. Parents of late talkers in the experimental group were trained to employ frequent, highly concentrated presentations of target words without requiring responses. Two measures of phonological diversity (i.e., syllable structure level and consonant inventory) and one measure of accuracy of production (i.e., percent consonants correct) were measured prior to and following intervention within the context of mother-child interactions. The toddlers who received intervention made treatment gains in two areas of phonological ability. They used a greater variety of complex syllable shapes and expanded their speech sound inventories to include more consonant sounds in both initial and final position. In contrast, there were no effects of language treatment on the accuracy of correct production when compared to the adult phonological system.

Acknowledgments
This study was sponsored by a grant from National Health, Research, Development Program of Health and Welfare Canada. We thank Fern Sussman, The Hanen Centre, for her contributions to the development of the program content and format, and Gary Kapelus, Centenary Health Centre, for his assistance in making this study possible at this centre. We especially thank Maureen O'Keefe, research officer, for her guidance, patience, and help in every step of this project, from recruitment to assessment and data transcription. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Stephanie Pajackowski for reliability, Suzanne Coxon for program delivery, and Cheryl Shuster and Barb Wylde for conducting posttest assessments. Above all, we are deeply appreciative of the participation of the mothers and their children.
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