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Language Disorders II


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Milestones of language acquisition

-Approximately 3 1/2 to 4 years
-Children begin to use multi-clause sentences such as relative clauses, (Let’s eat the cake what I baked) and conjoined clauses (I’m pulling the train and I’m pushing the wagon”)
-The still overgeneralize many irregular verbs.
Milestones of language acquisition

4 to 5
-Children produce more conjunctions, including subordinate clauses with temporal terms such as “before” and “after”
-Learn to define words, and to correct their own grammatical errors.
Milestones of language acquisition

After 5
-Children’s sentences continue to show more complexity.
-increase in complexity
-Children have acquired much of the basics of grammar.
Milestones of language acquisition

5 to 10
Vocab continues to increase though at a slower rate.
-Children learn most of the exceptions to which they have over-regularized in the past.
Milestones of language acquisition

After 10
-Children are still polishing their knowledge of language rules. For example some teenagers may still say: We won the other team instead of we beat the other team.
Milestones of language acquisition
-after puberty
-Children show very little change in syntax or in the production of the phonemes of their language.
-Their vocab continues to grow, as does the ability to use language stylistically.
Semantics: Vocabulary Growth

-Divergent semantic production
It is the process of producing a great variety of words, word associations, phrases, and sentence from a given topic.
Semantics: Vocabulary Growth

Convergent semantic production
The ability to identify a topic based on inferences from associated words. It is the process of selection a unique semantic unit given specific linguistic restrictions.
Semantics: Vocabulary Growth

Word definitions
-A noun is a category that functions and has a feature and feature.
-A car is a vehicle that carries people and has a motor and a trunk.
-Children’s vocab becomes less concrete and functional and more abstract and conceptual.
1st grade- 20,000 words
6th grade- 50000
high school 80,000
Syntax and morphology: Still developing and acquiring
Passive Sentences
-Reversible- either noun can act as the agent(acquired earlier)
-Nonreversible passive-
Horgan 1978
-Preschool children
-Produced more reversible passive sentences than nonreversible sentences.
Horgan’s study
-School age children
-Production of reversible and nonreversible passives
-It is the syntactic process of joining two or more main clauses with a conjunction.
-Types of conjunctions
conditional -if
causal- so, because, therefore
disjunctive- but, or therefore
temporal-before, after , when then
-It is the act of placing a phrase of dependent clause within a phrase or clause.
-Dependent clauses are unable to stand alone.
-They begin with either a subordinate conjunction (if, when, because) or a relative pronoun (that, whose, which). Example: ”The man who bought our car is a teacher.”
The dog that chewed the shoe ran away. –Center embedding
Noun and verb phrases

-As the child goes through elementary school she learns to:
-As the child goes through elementary school she learns to:
-Retain function words
-Eliminate redundant negative terms(“I don’t’t want the ball no more”)
-Learns the exceptions for verb tense, plurality, and other language forms
Noun and verb phrases

As the child goes through elementary school she learns to:
-Separate subject pronouns (I, we, he, she , they) from object pronouns ( me, us, him, her, them)
-Use reflexive pronouns (myself, herself, themselves)
Anaphoric relations
-The term anaphora refers to the process of replacing a longer expression with a shorter one, especially with a pronoun, that is coreferential with the longer expression.
-Example: Jan saw the boy with the telescope. Dan also saw him (=the boy with the telescope)
Morphophonemic Alterations
-What does this mean?
-Morph refers to morpheme (the smallest unit of linguistic meaning in language)
-Phonemic refers to phoneme (which refers to speech sound)
Morphophonemic alteration
refers to “a speech sound change that occurs when the shape of the base morpheme is changed.
Example: -the final sound in the word public is the /k/ sound, but when public becomes publicity that /k/ becomes the /s/ sound.
-sign the letter /g/ is silent
-signature the /g/ is pronounced.
Crime/criminal, finite/infinity
Cognitive Development
The preoperational Period (4 to 7 years)
-Though is guided by perceptions
-Deals with only one variable at a time
-Egocentric communication
-Concreteness of thought
Cognitive Development
The Concrete Operations Period (6 or 7 to 11 or 12)
The child develops five major cognitive abilities:
-1. Inferred Reality- this refers to the ability that school-age children have to make inferences about a physical problem based not only on physical appearances but also on internal information.
- 2. Conservation- the ability to maintain a notion of size or quantity regardless of the shape of the object or container. Example with cups of water. Concrete operational child knows the amount is the same even though it is put into a larger container.
- 3. Decentration- the ability to consider several aspects of a physical problem at once, rather than focusing on only a few.
- 4. Transformational thought- Add, subtract) the ability to view a physical problem as existing in time and to anticipate future consequences effectively.
- 5. Reversible mental operations- enables the child to recognize that change can be undone or reversed.
The Formal Operations Period
-Uses hypothetical and prepositional reasoning
-Demonstrates less of egocentricity
-Employs adequate verbal reasoning and logical “If….then” statements.
-Can deal with the abstract
-Uses deductive and inductive thought processes
Metalinguistic Development
-Refers to the ability to think, talk, and reflect consciously on the nature and properties of language
Metalinguistic Abilities
-Prerequisite for achieving print literacy skills
-Helps to develop abstract, decontextualized thinking.
-Important factor in oral language development
Stage 1 of the cognitive Stage model of Language Awareness
-What types of metalinguistic skills can preoperational children perform?
-Grammaticality judgment
-Can detect semantic violations
-Ex: Can chairs dance?
Stage 2 of Language Awareness: The concrete Operational Child
-What type of metalinguistic skills cant he operational child perform?
-Can work with ambiguities
-Can be successful in syntactic judgments
Limitation of this model(concrete operational)
-Research suggests that cognitive skills alone do not fully explain metalinguistic development
The Social Constructivist Model
-Vygotsky versus Piaget
Key concepts in Vygotsky’s theory”
-Zone of proximal development
-Social scaffolding
-Cultural tools
Zone of proximal development
the distance between what the child can accomplish through independent problem solving and what the child can do when given substantial help
- based on the insight that when other people guide and assist learners on parts of a difficult task, the learners can often think in more advanced ways than if they had to do the whole task themselves.
Cultural tools
-This concept includes the entire range of objects and ideas that allow people to achieve.

-This model emphasizes the role of adult guidance for the acquisition of metalinguistic skills
-Word consciousness tasks
words are arbitrary in nature and separate from their reference.
Linguistic ambiguity-
Phonological ambiguity-
words are spelled the same but have different meanings
-New day and nude eh?
Linguistic ambiguity-
Syntactic ambiguity
I read the book.
-They are baking potatoes
Metalinguistic Assessment
-Standardized tests
-Informal testing
-more efficient and ecologically valid(representative of what the individual could do in a natural setting).
-Talk about the concept, discuss the “rule” that is being taught and practice the use of the skill in real life contexts.
Phonological Awareness: Definition
The awareness that words are made up of smaller phonological constituents, such as syllables and phonemes. - The ability to use this understanding to isolate sounds in words, reorder then, compare them across different words, and blend them together to form words.
The Importance of Phonological Awareness in Learning to Read
1. It helps children understand the alphabetic principle.
A. a child must be aware that words have sound segments that are represented by the letter in print.
B. Makes it possible for children sound out words they do not know.
2. It helps children notice the regular ways that letters represent sounds in words (sound-letter correspondence)
a. IT helps in forming mental representation of printed words.
b. Children begin to recognize words in larger integrated patterns.
3. It helps children to search for words that are only partially “sounded out”
a. For example, “The boy r--- his bike to the store”
4. Phonetic reading skills playa critical role in supporting over all reading growth, particularly the growth of a rich vocabulary that can be recognized orthographically (or by sight).
-Children seem to acquire an increasing ability to notice, think about, and manipulate the phonemes in words as they attend school from kindergarten through elementary school. 1st grade should be aware of syllable structure. C-at
2nd grade aware of phonemes. C-a-t
Examples of Phonological Awareness
1.Categorization of words on the basis of common sounds
2.Word segmentation
3.Phoneme deletion
4.Phoneme reversion
Predictors for Reading Achievement
Certain measures are among the best predictors of reading achievement.
-Phonological awareness and phonemic awareness.
-Rapid automatic naming
The Relationship of Phonological Awareness to Reading and Reading Disabilities
-Deficits in phonological processing is common among children with reading disabilities.
-What is meant by phonological processing?
-The perception, storage, retrieval, and manipulation of sounds of language during acquisition, comprehension and production of spoken and written codes.
Phonological Awareness-
-speech can be segmented in to smaller things called words
Phonemic awareness
words are made of phonemes that have certain characteristics—Most complex
Auditory Discrimination-understand same and different—least complex
⬢ In many Studies, poor readers have been shown to score lower than good readers in areas of lang processing. They have probs with:
-Vocab skills
-Derivational and bound morphology
-Text level processing
The relationship of phonological awareness to reading and reading disabilities(2)
⬢ The importance of these spoken lang skills to reading is acknowledged by everyone, but is often underestimated, given the importance of phonological processing and the relative ease of teaching phonological awareness skills.
⬢ Relatively few studies have examined a comprehensive set of phonological and other spoken lang variables to determine their independent and shared contributions to reading disabilities
⬢The phonological limitation hypothesis
-Poor readers have basic deficits in the phonological specialization for lang
-Weak phonological working memory
-Poor phonological awareness
-Poor rapid naming abilities (word finding probs)
-Poor perception and production of speech
-Mark Fey has worked a lot on this topic (phonological limitation)
States: Phonological processing deficits disturb processing of higher levels of lang, creating probs in their comprehension and production
-Task demands further complicate interpretation of poor reader’s performance
-Complexity of vocab
-Memory skills required
-Syntactic complexity
Deficits in phon. Processing :
Deficits in word decoding
Deficits in sent process :
Deficits in reading comprehension
What is the: Simple view of Reading?
-reading consists of two components, decoding and comprehension.
-Decoding refers to word recognition processes that transform print to words
-Linguistic (listening) comprehension is defined as the process by which words, sentences, and discourse are interpreted.
Components of reading:
Word recognition + listening comprehension = reading
Evidence for the phonological Limitations hypothesis
• Group comparisons
o When the short term memory, pragmatic, and lexical complications of language tasks are removed, performance of poor readers may be as good or nearly as good as that of good readers.
o Samples often have included only subjects with verbal IQ scores above 85
 Mean verbal IQ scores in these studies often are 110 or higher
 Among poor readers, this subgroup of children has the highest oral lang skills
o It is not surprising that in such samples, poor readers perform as well as typical children on specific lang (sent comp) tasks under ideal task conditions
o By the simple view of reading, among poor readers, if lang abilities are strong, word decoding skills (and the phon skills underlying them) much be weak.
Purpose for assessment of phonemic awareness
1. To identify children at risk for reading failure before reading instruction begins
2. To help describe level of phonological impairment in children being diagnosed with reading disabilities
What should be assessed for phonemic awareness?
1.syllabification- can assess by first semester of kindergarten
i.e. move blocks
2.rhyming- 1st grade, examples: rhyme detection(which one does not sound like the others)
Kindergarten Rhyming Task
Group 1- words with no sound or meaning connection
Group 2- words with no sound connection, but some meaning connection
Group 3- words that have the same middle sound
I.Procedures Used to Assess phonemic awareness(awareness of phonemes in words)
-phoneme segmentation
i. these are tasks that involve counting, pronouncing, deleting, adding or reversing the individual phonemes in words
I.Procedures Used to Assess phonemic awareness(awareness of phonemes in words)
-Phoneme syntheses
i. This is the sound blending task in which the examiner attempts to pronounce a series of phonemes in isolation an asks the child to blend them together to form a word. Foe example: the examiner says “what word do these sounds make, /f/ - /a/ - /n/?
I.Procedures Used to Assess phonemic awareness(awareness of phonemes in words)
-Sound comparison
these tasks require the child to make comparisons between sounds in different words.
Principles of phonological awareness intervention- borrowed from dynamic assessment
1. Acknowledge the developmental sequence that phonological awareness follows when planning intervention.
2. Use the assessment results to determine where to begin intervention.
3. Mediate for students to give them a purpose for developing.
4. It is never too late to start phonological awareness intervention.
5. Introduce concepts to teachers, administrators, and parents through a variety of practical strategies.
6. Integrate concepts into the language areas curriculum for all students at the elementary level (k-3).
Teaching phonemic awareness
->In summary, it is recommended that is clinicians combine training in phonological awareness with instruction in how the alphabet works.
-example: children who have been taught a few letter sounds, and who have achieved a beginning level of phonemic awareness, should be able to identify the first letter of a word when they hear it pronounced.
Teaching Phonological Awareness Skills: Getting You Started
Phonological Awareness: Initial instruction
-Begin with monosyllabic words: no, sun, man
-These words are easy to blend or segment
-Use continuous sounds
-These sounds may be sung or stretched without distortion (e.g. m, s, vowels)
-Avoid blends such as stop and flag
Teaching Phonemic awareness (see handout)
developmental order:
-First children develop an understanding of the concept of rhyme
-Sound comparison
-They can begin to do a variety of sound comparison activities involving the first, last, and middle sounds of words
Syllable structure- know this
Rhyme-nucleus and coda
Developmental order
-Segmentation and Blending
-Children demonstrate the following skills:
-attention to beginning sounds
-attention to ending sounds
-blending isolated sounds to make words
-phoneme addition, deletion, or movement
Common Symptoms of Language Problems in School aged children: Semantics
1.Word finding/retrieval deficits
b.Difficulty recalling names of items in categories (e.g. animals, foods)
c.Difficulty retrieving verbal opposites
Common Symptoms of Language Problems in School aged children: Semantics
2.Limited vocabulary
3.Use of words lacking specificity
4.Inappropriate use of words
5.Difficulty understanding complex words
6.Failure to grasp double word meanings (can)
Common Symptoms of Language Problems in School aged children: Morphology/syntax
1. Use of grammatically incorrect sentence structures
-passive, reflexive, Wh-questions, grammatical morphology
2. Difficulty understanding and generating complex sentences
3. Prolonged pauses while constructing sentences
4. Overuse of semantically empty placeholders (e.g., filled pauses, uh, eh, um)
5. Over use of stereotyped phrases
Common Symptoms of Language Problems in School aged children: pragmatics
1. Use of redundant expressions and information the listener has already heard
2. Use of nonspecific vocabulary
-listener cannot tell from prior conversation of physical context what is referred to
3. difficulty giving explanations (clarifying)
4. Difficulty explaining something in a proper sequence
5. difficulty with oral discourse
6. Difficulty shifting conversational style in different social situations (peer vs teacher, child vs adult)
7. Trouble making inferences from material not explicitly stated.
Etiology Hypotheses: Specific Language Impairment
-Language Module hypotheses
-linguistic processing limitations
Language Model Hypotheses
-deficits in grammatical knowledge
-a language module deficit
-Difficulty building a lexicon with argument structure
-difficulty with functional words and building functional phrases
-difficulty using more complex grammatical forms when composing sentences
-difficulty accessing rules for word formation and word combination
- most important in Language model hypotheses
Language is innate.
chomky - syntax - innate language - naturally acquired
Etiology Hypothesis
-Linguistic processing limitations
-Children’s linguistic deficit may result from generalized limitations for information processing and storage.
-Working memory
-Deficits in retaining the sequential order of information
-Rate of scanning short-term memory for verbal information
-Deficits in phonological memory capacity.
Working memory-
Manipulating and organizing new info and integrating new information with existing knowledge. Controlled by the prefrontal cortex

Example: Comprehension of complex sentences as opposed to simple sentences.
Difficulty stems from number of words that have to be retained before correct interpretation is possible.
-“The girl is kissed by the boy.”
-correct interpretation requires:
-to delay analysis of the subject noun phrase until passive sentences features are analyzed
Why are complex sentences difficult to Process??
-Require the formation of complex mental models
-mental models are formed in the process of interacting with the environment, with others and with the artifacts of technology. Hippocampus- helps links emotions to memory. You have to encode into words different daily activities.
Evidence of the Use of Mental Models
-Evidence of the use of complex mental models:
-Use of evaluations in narratives
-The child holds in mind the event narrated and the evaluation of the event
-Use of cohesive devices (ellipsis)
“The boys played ball. When they finished______, they went home.”
<-- use of ellipsis omitted “playing ball”
Importance of the Development of mental models
-The ability to construct and hold in mind mental models is important for the development of:
-Narrative skills
-Language production
-Language comprehension
-Make inferences
-Using reasoning skills
Development of mental models
-Children use working memory resources for:
-Constructing mental models
-accessing world knowledge
-accessing words and linguistic rules
-Perceptual –motor processing related to comprehension and interpretation of messages
Implications for the Assessment of language skills
-Include activities that stress the processing system.
-Timed tasks (may reveal accessing problems): “Try to do something as fast as you can.
-Use activities that vary in degree of complexity
-Retelling familiar story vs. unfamiliar story/using pictorial cues/without any cues.

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