Word Learning in Children With Vocabulary Deficits Word learning in 16 children with specific language impairment (SLI) was compared with that of chronological-age controls (CAC) and vocabulary-age controls (VAC), to examine the extent and nature of word-learning deficits in the children with SLI. The children were exposed to novel words in a story and an explicit teaching ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2005
Word Learning in Children With Vocabulary Deficits
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marysia Nash
    University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Morag L. Donaldson
    University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Contact author: Morag L. Donaldson, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, 7 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9JZ, United Kingdom. E-mail: Morag.Donaldson@ed.ac.uk
  • Marysia Nash is now at Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
    Marysia Nash is now at Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.×
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2005
Word Learning in Children With Vocabulary Deficits
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 439-458. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/030)
History: Received August 29, 2003 , Revised April 30, 2004 , Accepted August 4, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2005, Vol. 48, 439-458. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2005/030)
History: Received August 29, 2003; Revised April 30, 2004; Accepted August 4, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 46

Word learning in 16 children with specific language impairment (SLI) was compared with that of chronological-age controls (CAC) and vocabulary-age controls (VAC), to examine the extent and nature of word-learning deficits in the children with SLI. The children were exposed to novel words in a story and an explicit teaching context. Five tasks assessed how much the children had learned about the words' phonological form and semantic properties after 6 repetitions (Time 1) and again after 12 repetitions (Time 2) of the words in each context. The SLI group performed significantly worse than the CAC group at both Time 1 and Time 2 on all measures of the words presented in both contexts. They performed similarly to the VAC group (who were on average 2 1/2 years younger) on Time 1 and Time 2 measures from both contexts, except for the Naming task at Time 2, on which their performance was significantly lower. These findings suggest that children with vocabulary deficits have difficulties with both phonological and semantic aspects of word learning.

Acknowledgments
This article is based on Marysia Nash’s doctoral dissertation, submitted to the University of Edinburgh in 2001. Marysia Nash is grateful for financial support for her doctoral dissertation from British Telecom, the Friends of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, and the Health Board Lottery. We gratefully acknowledge the participation of children and education and speech and language therapy staff in schools and nurseries in Lothian, Scotland, and Fife, Scotland.
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