Blog Archives

Perceptual skills and Arabic literacy patterns for mathematically gifted children with specific learning difficulties

Phonological awareness is a key factor in the development of literacy, and frequently presents itself as an area of weakness in pupils with reading difficulties. In this article, Anies Al-Hroub of the American University of Beirut sets out to define a distinguishing pattern of characteristics that supports the identification of pupils with specific learning difficulties who are gifted in mathematics and reports the assessment of the pupils’ visual and auditory perceptual skills, including phonological awareness. The assessments were designed to measure auditory and visual memory skills, auditory and visual analysis skills, speed of information processing and spoken language (receptive and expressive). Furthermore, aspects of language learning such as reading, writing, spelling and parts of listening ability were all assessed for mathematically gifted pupils with specific learning difficulties who scored above the cut-off score of 120 on the WISC-III-Jordan. The article closes with recommendations for further research

from the British Journal of Special Education

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Language practices and the language situation in Kharkiv: examining the concept of legitimate language in relation to identification and utility

This article analyzes perceptions of the language situation and reported language practices in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. The article utilizes Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of legitimate language to analyze a complex language situation in which several languages may be designated as legitimate. This term may not only refer to a language that is endorsed by state institutions, but also to a variety that one is expected to use in certain settings, i.e., the language variety that is seen as constituting the norm. The article demonstrates that the Ukrainian language can be a salient marker of national identification, but that Russian is considered appropriate in most domains. The concepts of identification and utility are introduced, as they may add to an understanding of how the notion of a legitimate language is constructed.

from the International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Person-Centred (Deictic) Expressions and Autism

We employed semi-structured tests to determine whether children with autism produce and comprehend deictic (person-centred) expressions such as ‘this’/‘that’, ‘here’/‘there’ and ‘come’/‘go’, and whether they understand atypical non-verbal gestural deixis in the form of directed head-nods to indicate location. In Study 1, most participants spontaneously produced deictic terms, often in conjunction with pointing. Yet only among children with autism were there participants who referred to a location that was distal to themselves with the terms ‘this’ or ‘here’, or made atypical points with unusual precision, often lining-up with an eye. In Study 2, participants with autism were less accurate in responding to instructions involving contrastive deictic terms, and fewer responded accurately to indicative head nods.

from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Teacher identification of speech and language impairment in kindergarten students using the Kindergarten Development Check

The purpose of this paper was to profile the extent and accuracy of teacher identification of speech and language impairment within a kindergarten student population in Tasmania, Australia, using the Kindergarten Development Check (KDC). A total of 286 kindergarten students (aged 4-5 years and in their first year of formal schooling) were screened by teachers with the KDC on two separate occasions over their kindergarten year. In the following academic year, each of the same 286 students were assessed by a speech-language pathologist, and diagnosed with either typically developing or impaired speech and/or language skills. Review of KDC data determined the number of students identified by teachers with speech and language impairment at each occasion during their kindergarten year. Comparison of data from the later KDC administration and speech-language pathology assessment then determined the correspondence between identification of speech and language impairment by teachers and speech-language pathologists. Upon initial administration of the KDC, 51 (17.8%) students were identified by teachers with language impairment and 47 (16.4%) students with speech impairment. Following the second administration of the KDC 3 months later, 20 (7.0%) students continued to be identified with language impairment, and 39 (13.6%) with speech impairment. Comparison of speech-language pathology testing results and KDC data from the second administration found the overall validity of teacher identification was 86.4% and 71% for speech and language impairment respectively. Specificity rates were high, with 93% and 97% of students with typically developing speech and language skills respectively, correctly classified on the KDC. However, the sensitivity was only 50% for speech impairment and 15% for language impairment, indicating that 50% of students presenting with speech impairment and 85% of students with language impairment in their subsequent academic year were not recorded by teachers as having such a difficulty on the later KDC administration during their kindergarten year. The KDC appears to be ineffective in supporting kindergarten teachers to identify students with ongoing speech and to a greater extent, language impairment. Measures to improve the sensitivity of the KDC in particular need to be considered by speech-language pathologists and educational professionals in Tasmania.

from the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Applications of Responsiveness to Intervention and the Speech-Language Pathologist in Elementary School Settings

This article addresses ways in which speech-language pathologists can play a proactive and substantive part in school-wide language and reading disability prevention and intervention efforts within the responsiveness to intervention framework. Within a collaborative working paradigm, specific student-focused instructional targets are presented in the areas of oral language, metacognition, and reading comprehension. A discussion of professional development focuses on enhancing teacher-student communication interaction, a critical yet often undervalued component of teacher training.

from Seminars in Speech and Language

Predictive Validity of the Get Ready to Read! Screener

This study examined concurrent and longitudinal relations for the Get Ready to Read! (GRTR) emergent literacy screener. This measure, within a battery of oral language, letter knowledge, decoding, and phonological awareness tests, was administered to 204 preschool children (mean age = 53.6, SD = 5.78; 55% male) from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Subgroups were reassessed at 6 months and 16 and 37 months later. Results indicate strong relations between the GRTR and the literacy and language assessments. Long-term follow-up indicated that the screener was significantly related to some reading-related measures, including decoding skills. These results support the utility of the GRTR as a brief, valid measure of children’s emergent literacy skills. The GRTR holds promise as a tool useful for educators, parents, and others in regular contact with preschool children to help determine those who may be at risk for later reading difficulties and could benefit from intervention and focused instruction in emergent literacy.

from the Journal of Learning Disabilities

Teacher identification of speech and language impairment in kindergarten students using the Kindergarten Development Check

from the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Abstract
The purpose of this paper was to profile the extent and accuracy of teacher identification of speech and language impairment within a kindergarten student population in Tasmania, Australia, using the Kindergarten Development Check (KDC). A total of 286 kindergarten students (aged 4-5 years and in their first year of formal schooling) were screened by teachers with the KDC on two separate occasions over their kindergarten year. In the following academic year, each of the same 286 students were assessed by a speech-language pathologist, and diagnosed with either typically developing or impaired speech and/or language skills. Review of KDC data determined the number of students identified by teachers with speech and language impairment at each occasion during their kindergarten year. Comparison of data from the later KDC administration and speech-language pathology assessment then determined the correspondence between identification of speech and language impairment by teachers and speech-language pathologists. Upon initial administration of the KDC, 51 (17.8%) students were identified by teachers with language impairment and 47 (16.4%) students with speech impairment. Following the second administration of the KDC 3 months later, 20 (7.0%) students continued to be identified with language impairment, and 39 (13.6%) with speech impairment. Comparison of speech-language pathology testing results and KDC data from the second administration found the overall validity of teacher identification was 86.4% and 71% for speech and language impairment respectively. Specificity rates were high, with 93% and 97% of students with typically developing speech and language skills respectively, correctly classified on the KDC. However, the sensitivity was only 50% for speech impairment and 15% for language impairment, indicating that 50% of students presenting with speech impairment and 85% of students with language impairment in their subsequent academic year were not recorded by teachers as having such a difficulty on the later KDC administration during their kindergarten year. The KDC appears to be ineffective in supporting kindergarten teachers to identify students with ongoing speech and to a greater extent, language impairment. Measures to improve the sensitivity of the KDC in particular need to be considered by speech-language pathologists and educational professionals in Tasmania.