Fostering Literal and Inferential Language Skills in Head Start Preschoolers With Language Impairment Using Scripted Book-Sharing Discussions PurposePreschoolers with language impairment have difficulties with both literal and inferential language, both of which are critical to later reading comprehension. Because these children are known to be at risk for later reading comprehension difficulties, it is important to design and test interventions that foster both literal and inferential language ... Research
Research  |   February 2006
Fostering Literal and Inferential Language Skills in Head Start Preschoolers With Language Impairment Using Scripted Book-Sharing Discussions
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anne van Kleeck
    University of Texas, Dallas
  • Judith Vander Woude
    Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Lisa Hammett
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Contact author: Anne van Kleeck, Callier Center for Communication Disorders, 1966 Inwood Road Dallas, TX 75235-7298. Email: annevk@utdallas.edu
  • © 2006 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions
Research   |   February 2006
Fostering Literal and Inferential Language Skills in Head Start Preschoolers With Language Impairment Using Scripted Book-Sharing Discussions
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2006, Vol. 15, 85-95. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/009)
History: Received June 20, 2005 , Accepted November 30, 2005
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2006, Vol. 15, 85-95. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2006/009)
History: Received June 20, 2005; Accepted November 30, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 65

PurposePreschoolers with language impairment have difficulties with both literal and inferential language, both of which are critical to later reading comprehension. Because these children are known to be at risk for later reading comprehension difficulties, it is important to design and test interventions that foster both literal and inferential language skills. Using a randomized pretest–posttest control group design, we investigated whether an 8-week, one-on-one book-sharing intervention would improve both the literal and inferential language skills of Head Start preschoolers with language impairments.

MethodThirty children were randomly assigned to either a control group that received no intervention or to a treatment group that received twice-weekly 15-min sessions in which adults read books and asked both literal and inferential questions about the books using scripts that were embedded throughout the text. Treatment and control groups were compared using pre- and posttest scores on 2 measures of literal and 1 measure of inferential language skill.

ResultsSignificant group differences, and medium to large effect sizes, were found between pre- and posttest scores for all 3 measures.

ConclusionsThese findings suggest that book sharing with embedded questions that target both literal and inferential language skills can result in gains on both types of language in this population. Future studies with larger number of children are needed to corroborate these findings.

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