Understanding the Language Difficulties of Children With Specific Language Impairments Does Verbal Working Memory Matter? Research Article
EDITOR'S AWARD
Research Article  |   February 01, 2002
Understanding the Language Difficulties of Children With Specific Language Impairments
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • James W. Montgomery, PhD
    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Contact author: James W. Montgomery, PhD, University of North Carolina, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Wing D CB 7190, Chapel Hill, NC 27599. E-mail: JimMontgomery@med.unc.edu
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2002
Understanding the Language Difficulties of Children With Specific Language Impairments
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2002, Vol. 11, 77-91. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/009)
History: Received February 20, 2001 , Accepted August 20, 2001
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2002, Vol. 11, 77-91. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2002/009)
History: Received February 20, 2001; Accepted August 20, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 66

Many children with specific language impairment (SLI) demonstrate deficits in both verbal working memory (VWM) and language. Among child language researchers, the debate continues whether these two deficits are related. In this article, I take the position that there is indeed a connection between SLI and VWM. I review evidence suggesting that the lexical/morphological learning and sentence comprehension problems of many of these children are associated with deficient VWM abilities. Evidence is also reviewed for the possibility that deficient VWM provides a clinical marker of SLI. I end by offering various assessment and intervention techniques that may prove useful in SLI.

Acknowledgments
Many of the studies reported in this article and conducted by the author were supported by a research grant (R29 DC 02535) from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, National Institutes of Health. The author is very grateful to two anonymous reviewers for offering many insightful comments and suggestions that improved this article immeasurably.
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