Learning a New Poem Memory for Connected Speech and Phonological Awareness in Low-Income Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1997
Learning a New Poem
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara B. Fazio
    Speech and Hearing Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47401
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: faziob@indiana.edu
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1997
Learning a New Poem
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1997, Vol. 40, 1285-1297. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4006.1285
History: Received July 5, 1996 , Accepted April 17, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1997, Vol. 40, 1285-1297. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4006.1285
History: Received July 5, 1996; Accepted April 17, 1997

This research examined rote memory for connected speech in low-income children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Sixteen children with SLI were matched to 16 typically developing children on nonverbal cognition and 16 younger, typically developing peers on language measures. The children learned a new poem under four presentation conditions: with or without accompanying hand motions related to the poem or with or without a simple melody. Compared with their cognitive and language peers, children with SLI had significantly more difficulty learning the poem under all presentation conditions. Furthermore, when asked to recite the poem after a 2-day delay, the performance of the children with SLI was significantly better in the poem with accompanying hand motions condition. It appears that learning the poem with an additional modality aids recall for children with SLI. Phonological awareness task findings revealed that all the children had difficulty with such tasks. However, compared with the children in the cognitive-matched peer group, the children with SLI and their language-matched peers had significantly more difficulty finding pairs of words that rhymed or words that began with the same initial sound. Intervention issues and the relationship between phonological processing and serial memory in children with SLI are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded, in part, by NIH grant #DC00219-02. I wish to thank Kate Fetherstone, Kathy Hueser, Jodi Solomon, and Susan Rowland for their assistance in data collection. I also want to express my appreciation to Phil Connell, Mary Elbert, and Ron Gillam for their constructive feedback on an earlier version of this manuscript.
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