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Scripted-sentence learning in Spanish speakers (Quique et al., 2022)

journal contribution
posted on 01.03.2022, 21:26 by Yina Quique, William S. Evans, Marta Ortega-Llebaría, Lauryn Zipse, Michael Walsh Dickey
Purpose: Script training is a well-established treatment for aphasia, but its evidence comes almost exclusively from monolingual English speakers with aphasia. Furthermore, its active ingredients and profiles of people with aphasia (PWA) that respond to this treatment remain understudied. This study aimed to adapt a scripted-sentence learning protocol to Colombian Spanish speakers with aphasia, investigate speech entrainment (i.e., unison production of sentences) as an active ingredient for scripted-sentence learning, and identify patient profiles associated with better scripted-sentence learning.
Method: Fourteen monolingual Spanish speakers with aphasia learned a set of 30 sentences. To examine speech entrainment as an active ingredient for scripted-sentence learning, we investigated whether sentences containing externally added rhythmic cues (involving stress-aligned vs. metronomic rhythmic cues) would result in better scripted-sentence learning compared with control sentences. Learning was measured via postsession probes and analyzed using mixed-effects logistic regression models. The relationship between scripted-sentence learning and baseline language and rhythmic processing measures was also examined.
Results: Significant scripted-sentence learning over time indicated a successful adaptation of a script-training protocol to Spanish. PWA learned significantly more scripted sentences in the rhythmically enhanced conditions compared with the control condition. There were no differences between rhythmically enhanced conditions (stress-aligned vs. metronomic). In terms of patient profiles, it was found that PWA with more severe aphasia demonstrated larger learning gains, but rhythmic processing showed little association with learning estimates.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this study provides the first adaptation of a scripted-sentence learning protocol for monolingual Spanish speakers with aphasia, demonstrating cross-linguistic benefits of script training interventions. Highlighting rhythmic features during speech entrainment facilitated scripted-sentence learning in Spanish speakers with aphasia, suggesting that speech entrainment may be an active ingredient for scripted-sentence learning. More severe aphasia was associated with better scripted-sentence learning, suggesting that more severely impaired individuals are likely to benefit most from this treatment.

Supplemental Material S1. Example of practice sentences and related images.

Supplemental Material S2. Example of experimental sentences and related images.

Supplemental Material S3. Aims 1–2 model output.

Supplemental Material S4. Aim 2 (sub-aim) models.

Supplemental Material S5. Proportion of syllables correct during probes per participant by condition.

Supplemental Material S6. Motor speech assessment adapted to Spanish.

Quique, Y. M., Evans, W. S., Ortega-Llebaría, M., Zipse, L., Dickey, M. W. (2022). Get in sync: Active ingredients and patient profiles in scripted-sentence learning in Spanish speakers with aphasia. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_JSLHR-21-00060


This research project was funded by the Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders PhD Scholarship, the ASHFoundation New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship, and the Doctoral Student Award from the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.