Language Learning of Children With Typical Development Using a Deductive Metalinguistic Procedure PurposeIn the current study, the author aimed to determine whether 4- to 6-year-old typically developing children possess requisite problem-solving and language abilities to produce, generalize, and retain a novel verb inflection when taught using an explicit, deductive teaching procedure.MethodStudy participants included a cross-sectional sample of 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old children ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2014
Language Learning of Children With Typical Development Using a Deductive Metalinguistic Procedure
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lizbeth H. Finestack
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Disclosure:The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure:The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Lizbeth H. Finestack: finestack@umn.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Thomas Klee
    Associate Editor: Thomas Klee×
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Research Article   |   April 01, 2014
Language Learning of Children With Typical Development Using a Deductive Metalinguistic Procedure
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 509-523. doi:10.1044/2013_JSLHR-L-12-0408
History: Received December 19, 2012 , Revised April 2, 2013 , Accepted August 10, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2014, Vol. 57, 509-523. doi:10.1044/2013_JSLHR-L-12-0408
History: Received December 19, 2012; Revised April 2, 2013; Accepted August 10, 2013

PurposeIn the current study, the author aimed to determine whether 4- to 6-year-old typically developing children possess requisite problem-solving and language abilities to produce, generalize, and retain a novel verb inflection when taught using an explicit, deductive teaching procedure.

MethodStudy participants included a cross-sectional sample of 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old children with typical cognitive and language development. The 66 participants were randomly assigned to either a deductive or inductive teaching condition in which they were taught a novel gender morphological inflection across 4 sessions. Learning was assessed on the basis of performance on learning, generalization, and maintenance probes.

ResultsAcross all age groups, children were more likely to successfully use the novel gender form when taught using the deductive procedure than if taught using the inductive procedure (Φ range: .33–.73). Analyses within each age group revealed a robust effect for the 5-year-old children, with less consistent effects across the other age groups.

ConclusionsStudy results suggest that 4- to 6-year-old children with typical language and cognitive abilities are able to make use of a deductive language teaching procedure when learning a novel gender inflection. Evidence also suggests that this effect is driven by expressive and receptive language ability.

Acknowledgments
Study completion and preparation of this manuscript were supported by National Institutes of Health Grants T32HD007489, P30HD003352, and R03DC011365. I acknowledge and offer many thanks to the participants and their families who made this project possible.
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