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The Effectiveness of Two Grammar Treatment for Children With SLI (Smith-Lock et al., 2015)

posted on 01.10.2015, 00:00 by Karen M. Smith-Lock, Suze Leitão, Polly Prior, and Lyndsey Nickels
Purpose This study compared the effectiveness of two grammar treatment procedures for children with specific language impairment.
Method A double-blind superiority trial with cluster randomization was used to compare a cueing procedure, designed to elicit a correct production following an initial error, to a recasting procedure, which required no further production. Thirty-one 5-year-old children with specific language impairment participated in 8 small group, classroom-based treatment sessions. Fourteen children received the cueing approach and 17 received the recasting approach.
Results The cueing group made significantly more progress over the 8-week treatment period than the recasting group. There was a medium–large treatment effect in the cueing group and a negligible effect size in the recasting group. The groups did not differ in maintenance of treatment effects 8 weeks after treatment. In single-subject analyses, 50% of children in the cueing group and 12% in the recasting group showed a significant treatment effect. Half of these children maintained the treatment effect 8 weeks later.
Conclusion Treatment that used a structured cueing hierarchy designed to elicit a correct production following a child's error resulted in significantly greater improvement in expressive grammar than treatment that provided a recast following an error.


Karen M. Smith-Lock was funded by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Cognition and Its Disorders (CE110001021; http://www.ccd.edu.au). Lyndsey Nickels was funded by an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT120100102). This project required the collaboration and commitment of 22 teachers, speech-language pathologists, administrators, and research assistants. It takes great courage to allow your teaching methods to be observed and modified. Without such courage and commitment, this research could not have been carried out. We would like to thank all of them, plus the children and parents who participated, for their commitment to this project.