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Terminology for describing language interventions (Denman et al., 2021)

journal contribution
posted on 2021-08-31, 21:46 authored by Deborah Denman, Jae-Hyun Kim, Natalie Munro, Renée Speyer, Reinie Cordier
Purpose: Language intervention for children with language disorder may be effective; however, lack of detailed and consistent terminology for describing language interventions poses barriers for advancement within the field. This study aimed to develop consensus from speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in Australia on a taxonomy with terminology for describing language interventions for school-aged children and investigate SLPs’ application of taxonomy terminology when describing child language interventions.
Method: A taxonomy with terms for describing interventions was developed with reference to contemporary literature and presented to clinicians and researchers with expertise in child language disorders in a three-round Delphi study. We asked Delphi participants to indicate agreement with the taxonomy or propose changes. Application of the taxonomy was investigated by asking participants to use taxonomy terminology to describe interventions presented in two case studies.
Results: The taxonomy consists of five aspects across which interventions may be described: modality/domain, purpose, delivery, form, and teaching techniques. Consensus on the taxonomy was established in both Round 1 (55 participants) and Round 2 (43 participants), with 100% of SLPs strongly agreeing or agreeing with the overall structure of the taxonomy and at least 87.3% of SLPs strongly agreeing or agreeing with each aspect. InRound 3 (32 participants), consensus was reached on 45/54 taxonomy categories (4/12 of the components) for Case Study 1 and 45/54 taxonomy categories (7/12 of the components) for Case Study 2.
Conclusions: Consensus on a taxonomy with terminology for describing language interventions represents a significant advancement in the field of child language intervention. Future actions may be needed to facilitate consistent application of taxonomy terms.

Supplemental Material S1. References that informed the creation of each taxonomy aspect.

Supplemental Material S2. Survey questions for each Delphi round.

Supplemental Material S3. Case studies used to investigate objective two in Delphi study rounds two and three.

Supplemental Material S4. Structure and definitions within the intervention taxonomy.

Supplemental Material S5. Table summarizing changes to the taxonomy over rounds and the qualitative and quantitative data that informed changes.

Denman, D., Kim, J.-H., Munro, N., Speyer, R., & Cordier, R. (2021). Consensus on terminology for describing child language interventions: A Delphi study. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication.


The authors would like to acknowledge that an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship supported this research.