Early Language Intervention A Comparison of Classroom and Individual Treatment Research Article
Research Article  |   September 01, 1991
Early Language Intervention
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • M. Jeanne Wilcox, PhD
    Infant-Child Communication Research Program Department of Speech and Hearing Science Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287-0102
  • Theresa A. Kouri
    Infant-Child Communication Research Program Department of Speech and Hearing Science Arizona State University Tempe, AZ 85287-0102
  • Susan B. Caswell
    Kent State University, Kent, OH
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 01, 1991
Early Language Intervention
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, September 1991, Vol. 1, 49-62. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0101.49
History: Received May 27, 1991 , Accepted June 10, 1991
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, September 1991, Vol. 1, 49-62. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0101.49
History: Received May 27, 1991; Accepted June 10, 1991

This investigation focused on the effectiveness of classroom versus individual interventions in promoting initial lexical acquisition for young preschool children with language delays. Twenty children aged 20–47 months were randomly assigned to individual and classroom-based early intervention programs. Progress was measured in terms of children’s spontaneous and productive use of the target items in treatment and home-based generalization settings at mid- and posttreatment measurement points. Results indicated that use of target words as measured by treatment data was equal for children in the two intervention conditions. Differences were apparent when home generalization data were considered. Children in the classroom intervention condition demonstrated a greater degree of productive use of target words in the home generalization measures than did children in the individual intervention condition. The children also demonstrated differences in use of target words in treatment versus home settings. A fair amount of individual variation was apparent in lexical learning in each of the treatment conditions, and pretreatment cognitive aptitude was found to play a role in this variation for children in the classroom intervention condition. It was concluded that, with respect to initial lexical training, classroom-based intervention is associated with superior generalization of lexical targets to the home environment. Additionally, given differences in children’s target word use in different settings, it was concluded that treatment progress data in isolation are not likely to provide complete information regarding children’s lexical learning.

Acknowledgments
The names of all children in the scripted segments are fictitious. We wish to thank the mothers of all of the children who cooperated in this study. Several graduate research assistants at Kent State University and Arizona State University provided invaluable assistance in completion of these study. Therefore, we extend a special thanks to Brett Mixon, Cheryl Boehmer, Laura Smith, Ann Marie Reichart, Kelly Svadba, Patricia Bergmen, Cathy Hoeffel, Lisa Loncar, Tracy Rhinehart, and Vicki Atkinson. This research was supported by U.S. Department of Education Research Grant #H024G80012. The information contained in this article does not necessarily reflect the view of that department, and no official endorsement should be inferred.
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