Interventions for children with language difficulties

Authored by: K. S. Richard Wong

The Routledge International Handbook of early Literacy Education

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138787889
eBook ISBN: 9781315766027
Adobe ISBN: 9781317659204


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Helping young children with oral language difficulties is important because oral language skills predict the development of code-related skills (e.g. phonological awareness) in the early grades and reading comprehension in the later grades. Because adults play a vital role in shaping children’s language development, this chapter reviews the effectiveness of oral language intervention programmes delivered by different groups of adults: parents, teachers/teaching assistants and speech therapists in the settings of home, classroom and clinics respectively. Home-, classroom-and clinic-based interventions are important for helping children overcome their language difficulties, although the overall effect of any particular intervention on language outcomes may not be strong. Furthermore, receptive language problems appear to be more difficult to address than expressive language problems. Future research should explore alternative strategies for helping children to overcome difficulties in receptive language more effectively, so that these children do not fall behind even more than their peers, first in language and then in literacy development.

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