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Examining graduate training in written language (Summy & Farquharson, 2024)

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posted on 2024-01-12, 23:31 authored by Rebecca Summy, Kelly Farquharson

Purpose: This study had two aims. Aim 1 was to query both communication science and disorders (CSD) faculty and school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) regarding how written language is/was covered in their graduate programs. Aim 2 was to query school-based SLPs about their written language service provision.

Method: CSD faculty (n = 143) and school-based SLPs (n = 610) completed an online survey examining (a) if and how written language was addressed in their graduate program, (b) what content related to written language was covered in graduate school, and (c) provision of written language services in schools (SLPs only).

Results: There was a discrepancy in reports of training provision. Faculty reported providing more training than SLPs reported receiving. However, SLPs with fewer years of experience reported slightly higher levels of training compared to those with more years of experience. Additionally, there was variability among SLPs in how often they targeted written language in therapy. Finally, receipt of training in written language was a significant predictor of provision of written language services, as reported by SLPs.

Conclusions: SLPs play a key role on literacy teams in schools, but many SLPs did not receive adequate training in written language. In order to ensure SLPs are trained to work with children with reading difficulties, graduate programs should ensure that written language is part of the clinical and academic curricula.

Supplemental Material S1. Demographics.

Summy, R., & Farquharson, K. (2024). Examining graduate training in written language and the impact on speech-language pathologists’ practice: perspectives from faculty and clinicians. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 33(1), 189–202.


The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305B200020 to the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University, awarded to Nicole Patton Terry. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.