Vocabulary intervention protocol for preschoolers with specific language impairment
Cohen Tervaert, F.A.
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Purpose: This study investigated whether a uniform vocabulary intervention protocol enhances the number of new words learned by preschoolers with SLI within 4 weeks. A vocabulary intervention protocol was developed. Method: For this study the developed vocabulary intervention protocol was implemented at the Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child (NSDSK). Children in the age of 2 to 4 years with SLI (n = 22) of 3 different young intervention groups from the NSDSK were randomly assigned to vocabulary intervention according to the protocol (n =12) or a control condition (n =10). The speech and language therapists (n =3) executed the vocabulary intervention protocol for 4 weeks, 3 times a week and 15 minutes sessions. Expressive word knowledge was tested by illustrations of a set of 50 words at pre- and posttest. Results: The children in the experimental group produced more target words provided with the protocol than the matching words, not provided by the protocol. The control group did not show a difference in the number of these target words and matching words learned. On average 6 new theme words out of 50, were learned by the participating children. The number of verbs learned out of 14, was on average 2. Conclusions: The results suggest that this vocabulary intervention protocol enhances the number of new words learned in preschoolers with SLI. This vocabulary intervention protocol showed not to be as evidently beneficiary for children with SLI with a language level below 1;11 years. In this study learning new verbs were not enhanced by the vocabulary intervention protocol. Thus, vocabulary intervention according to this protocol is improving the number of expressive words in preschoolers with SLI. However, a revision of this protocol is recommended, because the children with a young language level, i.e. under the 1;11 years, do not benefit as clearly as the rest of the children in word learning. Splitting the group into subgroups (children with a language level below 1;11 years and children with a language level above 1;11 years) during vocabulary intervention is to be considered in further research.