Article  |   February 2013
The Association Between Expressive Grammar Intervention and Social and Emergent Literacy Outcomes for Preschoolers With SLI
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karla N. Washington
    University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  • Correspondence to Karla N. Washington, who is now with the University of Cincinnati: washink2@ucmail.uc.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: Teresa Ukrainetz
    Associate Editor: Teresa Ukrainetz×
Article Information
Development / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Article
Article   |   February 2013
The Association Between Expressive Grammar Intervention and Social and Emergent Literacy Outcomes for Preschoolers With SLI
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2013, Vol. 22, 113-125. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0026)
History: Received March 7, 2011 , Revised August 23, 2011 , Accepted September 8, 2012
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2013, Vol. 22, 113-125. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0026)
History: Received March 7, 2011; Revised August 23, 2011; Accepted September 8, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose: To determine whether (a) expressive grammar intervention facilitated social and emergent literacy outcomes better than no intervention and (b) expressive grammar gains and/or initial expressive grammar level predicted social and emergent literacy outcomes.

Method: This investigation was a follow-up to a recently published study exploring the impact of grammatical language intervention on expressive grammar outcomes for preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI). Twenty-two 3- to 5-year-old preschoolers received ten 20-minute intervention sessions addressing primary deficits in grammatical morphology. Participants' social and emergent literacy skills were not targeted. Twelve children awaiting intervention, chosen from the same selection pool as intervention participants, served as controls. Blind assessments of social and emergent literacy outcomes were completed at preintervention, immediately postintervention, and 3 months postintervention.

Results: Only intervention participants experienced significant gains in social and emergent literacy outcomes and maintained these gains for 3 months postintervention. Expressive grammar gains was the only single significant predictor of these outcomes.

Conclusions: Expressive grammar intervention was associated with broad impacts on social and emergent literacy outcomes that were maintained beyond the intervention period. Gains in expressive grammar predicted these outcomes. Social and emergent literacy skills were positively affected for preschoolers with SLI during a grammatical language intervention program.

Acknowledgments
This research project was completed as part of the author’s doctoral thesis at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. The research was financially supported by the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology, the Research Alliance for Children with Special Needs, and a University of Western Ontario Thesis Award. The author acknowledges the unwavering support and contributions of Genese Warr-Leeper. The author also acknowledges the families, children, speech-language pathologists, graduate students, and research assistants whose participation made possible the timely completion of this study. Finally, the author would like to thank Julia Colangeli and Nancy Creaghead for their editorial contributions as well as her family for their unconditional support.
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