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Intervention for spoken language and reading difficulties

Munro, N., Lee, K., & Baker, E. (2008). Building vocabulary knowledge and phonological awareness skills in children with specific language impairment through hybrid language intervention: A feasibility study. International journal of language & communication disorders, 43(6), 662-682.

Aim of the paper:

Children with DLD often struggle with spoken language and are at risk of reading difficulties. However, there is little research on interventions that target both spoken language and emergent reading abilities. This paper aims to determine whether a hybrid language intervention that targets vocabulary knowledge and phonological awareness should be further researched.

Emergent reading abilities: abilities that precedes and contributes to the development of reading skills.

Phonological awareness: the ability to use and reflect upon the sounds of spoken language. This ability is important for reading skills.

What they found:

  • After the intervention, children improved in phonological awareness and vocabulary knowledge.

  • The children also improved in skills that were not targeted in the intervention, for example listening comprehension and storytelling.

What does this mean?

The findings of this paper provide initial support for a hybrid language intervention that targets vocabulary knowledge and phonological awareness. As children with DLD have different language difficulties, hybrid language interventions can be useful as speech and language therapists can help support both their spoken and written language needs. Further research and clinical trials may help determine the effectiveness of this intervention.

Where can I read this paper?

This paper is not open access but you can access this paper here.


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