The Effects of Fast ForWord Language on the Phonemic Awareness and Reading Skills of School-Age Children With Language Impairments and Poor Reading Skills Purpose To examine the efficacy of Fast ForWord Language (FFW-L) and 2 other interventions for improving the phonemic awareness and reading skills of children with specific language impairment with concurrent poor reading skills. Method A total of 103 children (age 6;0 to 8;11 [years;months]) with language impairment and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2009
The Effects of Fast ForWord Language on the Phonemic Awareness and Reading Skills of School-Age Children With Language Impairments and Poor Reading Skills
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Diane Frome Loeb
    The University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    Utah State University, Logan
  • LaVae Hoffman
    The University of Virginia, Charlottesville
  • Jayne Brandel
    The University of Kansas
  • Janet Marquis
    The University of Kansas
  • Contact author: Diane Loeb, University of Kansas, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing, 3042 Dole Building, Lawrence, KA 66045-2181. E-mail: dianelo@ku.edu.
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2009
The Effects of Fast ForWord Language on the Phonemic Awareness and Reading Skills of School-Age Children With Language Impairments and Poor Reading Skills
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 376-387. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0067)
History: Received September 5, 2008 , Revised January 17, 2009 , Accepted June 15, 2009
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 376-387. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0067)
History: Received September 5, 2008; Revised January 17, 2009; Accepted June 15, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose To examine the efficacy of Fast ForWord Language (FFW-L) and 2 other interventions for improving the phonemic awareness and reading skills of children with specific language impairment with concurrent poor reading skills.

Method A total of 103 children (age 6;0 to 8;11 [years;months]) with language impairment and poor reading skills participated. The children received either FFW-L computerized intervention, a computer-assisted language intervention (CALI), an individualized language intervention (ILI), or an attention control (AC) computer program.

Results The children in the FFW-L, CALI, and ILI conditions made significantly greater gains in blending sounds in words compared with the AC group at immediate posttest. Long-term gains 6 months after treatment were not significant but yielded a medium effect size for blending sounds in words. None of the interventions led to significant changes in reading skills.

Conclusion The improvement in phonemic awareness, but not reading, in the FFW-L, CALI, and ILI interventions limits their use with children who have language impairment and poor reading skills. Similar results across treatment conditions suggest that acoustically modified speech was not a necessary component for improving phonemic awareness.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by National Institutes of Health Grant U01 DC04560 awarded to the first three authors. It also was supported by resources from NIH Grant P30 HD02528, The Kansas Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Center, BNCD, P30 DC005803 at the University of Kansas. We acknowledge the immense contribution of our colleague Sandy Friel-Patti. This study would not have been possible without her. Christine Stokes worked with the first author on the initial FFW-L work that led to this important area of research. We acknowledge the dedication and assistance of Emily Tobey, Lori Betourne, and Alicia Wanek. Appreciation is expressed to Hugh Catts and Marc Fey for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article. We also acknowledge the guidance of our Project Officer, Julia Gulya. We thank Steven Camarata, Chris Dollaghan, Judith Gravel, Fred Gruber, and Mark Espland, who served on our Data Safety Monitoring Board. We also thank Jack Fletcher, Judith Johnston, and Karen Rascati, who served on our Advisory Committee. We acknowledge the valuable assistance of William Clark and Diane Anderson with the data management. This study could not have been conducted without the very able assistance of numerous SLPs, graduate students, and undergraduate students. We are grateful to the school districts that participated: Lawrence School District; Blue Valley School District; Kansas City, Kansas School District; Pflugerville Independent School District; Leander Independent School District; Plano Independent School District; Dallas Independent School District; and Richardson Independent School District. Finally, we thank the children and their families for their long-term commitment to this study.
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