Effects of different types of adult language input on vocabulary learning and language productivity in children with expressive language delay
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The purpose of this study was to assess the differential effects of grammatical and telegraphic input on word learning and language productivity in children with expressive language delays. Two case studies are presented. In Study 1, the participant received focused stimulation treatment over eight sessions. Type of language input (i.e. telegraphic or grammatical) was alternated across sessions. In Study 2, the participant received focused stimulation treatment over 16 sessions divided into two eight-session phases. Language input was alternated across phases. Participant characteristics limited definitive conclusions regarding word learning. Productive language differences during treatment sessions were observed for both participants. Participant 1, who entered treatment with a larger vocabulary and spontaneous production of some word combinations, demonstrated a higher mean length of utterance in words (MLUw) in more of the sessions under the grammatical condition. Participant 2, who demonstrated severe deficits in speech intelligibility, imitated the clinician more often in the telegraphic sessions. Results support the need for improved systematic study of language input variables in treatment as well as the careful selection of language input protocols based on initial client abilities and treatment outcome goals.