Learning, Forgetting, and Relearning: Skill Learning in Children With Language Impairment Purpose The current study tested whether the difficulties of children with specific language impairment (SLI) in skill acquisition are related to learning processes that occur while practicing a new skill or to the passage of time between practice and later performance. Method The acquisition and retention of a ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2014
Learning, Forgetting, and Relearning: Skill Learning in Children With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Esther Adi-Japha
    School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
    Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
  • Haia Abu-Asba
    School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Esther Adi-Japha: Esther.Adi-Japha@biu.ac.il
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Teresa Ukrainetz
    Associate Editor: Teresa Ukrainetz×
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2014
Learning, Forgetting, and Relearning: Skill Learning in Children With Language Impairment
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2014, Vol. 23, 696-707. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0031
History: Received March 17, 2013 , Revised August 21, 2013 , Accepted September 8, 2014
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2014, Vol. 23, 696-707. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0031
History: Received March 17, 2013; Revised August 21, 2013; Accepted September 8, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose The current study tested whether the difficulties of children with specific language impairment (SLI) in skill acquisition are related to learning processes that occur while practicing a new skill or to the passage of time between practice and later performance.

Method The acquisition and retention of a new complex grapho-motor symbol were studied in 5-year-old children with SLI and peers matched for age and nonverbal IQ. The children practiced the production of the symbol for 4 consecutive days. Retention testing took place 10 days later.

Results Children with SLI began each practice day slower than their peers but attained similar levels of performance by its end. Although they increased their performance speed within sessions more than their peers, they did not retain their learning as well between sessions. The loss in speed was largest in the 10-day retention interval. They were also less accurate, but accuracy differences decreased over time. Between-session group differences in speed could not fully be accounted for based on fine motor skills.

Conclusions In spite of effective within-session learning, children with SLI did not retain the new skill well. The deficit may be attributed to task forgetting in the presence of delayed consolidation processes.

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