The Nature of Written Language Deficits in Children With SLI Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have associated difficulties in reading decoding and reading comprehension. To date, few research studies have examined the children's written language. The aim of the present study was to (a) evaluate the nature and extent of the children's difficulties with writing and (b) investigate the ... Research Note
Research Note  |   December 01, 2004
The Nature of Written Language Deficits in Children With SLI
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Clare Mackie
    University of Warwick, Coventry, England
  • Julie E. Dockrell
    University of London, London, England
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: j.dockrell@ioe.ac.uk
  • Contact author: Julie E. Dockrell, School of Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, United Kingdom.
    Contact author: Julie E. Dockrell, School of Psychology and Human Development, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, United Kingdom.×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Notes
Research Note   |   December 01, 2004
The Nature of Written Language Deficits in Children With SLI
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2004, Vol. 47, 1469-1483. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/109)
History: Received January 24, 2003 , Revised August 28, 2003 , Accepted April 18, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2004, Vol. 47, 1469-1483. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/109)
History: Received January 24, 2003; Revised August 28, 2003; Accepted April 18, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 65

Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have associated difficulties in reading decoding and reading comprehension. To date, few research studies have examined the children's written language. The aim of the present study was to (a) evaluate the nature and extent of the children's difficulties with writing and (b) investigate the relationship between oral and written language. Eleven children with SLI were identified (mean age = 11 years) and were compared with a group of children matched for chronological age (CA; mean age = 11;2 [years;months]) and language age (LA; mean CA = 7;3). All groups completed standardized measures of language production, writing, and reading decoding. The writing assessment revealed that the SLI group wrote fewer words and produced proportionately more syntax errors than the CA group, but they did not differ on a measure of content of written language or on the proportion of spelling errors. The SLI group also produced proportionately more syntax errors than the LA group. The relationships among oral language, reading, and writing differed for the 3 groups. The nature and extent of the children's written language problems are considered in the context of difficulties with spoken language.

Acknowledgments
This research was conducted in partial fulfillment of a master’s degree from the Institute of Education, University of London, supported by an Economic and Social Science Research Council grant awarded to Clare Mackie. Thanks are due to all the children who took part; to Moor House School, Oxted, England, for their continued support in research; and to V. Connelly, Susan Ebbels, G. Lindsay, and three anonymous reviewers for constructive critical comments.
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