A Reconceptualization of Generalization and Generalization Problems In this essay, I argue that issues of language generalization are best viewed as part of the broader issue of how individuals apply existing knowledge to situations that range from familiar to novel. The ability to flexibly apply existing knowledge is influenced by at least four factors: (a) the type ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   July 01, 1988
A Reconceptualization of Generalization and Generalization Problems
 
Author Notes
  • Alan G. Kamhi is in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, Memphis State University, 807 Jefferson Ave., Memphis, TN 98105. Requests for reprints may be sent to him at this address.
    Alan G. Kamhi is in the Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology, Memphis State University, 807 Jefferson Ave., Memphis, TN 98105. Requests for reprints may be sent to him at this address.×
Article Information
Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   July 01, 1988
A Reconceptualization of Generalization and Generalization Problems
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1988, Vol. 19, 304-313. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.1903.304
History: Received March 19, 1987 , Accepted October 15, 1987
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 1988, Vol. 19, 304-313. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.1903.304
History: Received March 19, 1987; Accepted October 15, 1987

In this essay, I argue that issues of language generalization are best viewed as part of the broader issue of how individuals apply existing knowledge to situations that range from familiar to novel. The ability to flexibly apply existing knowledge is influenced by at least four factors: (a) the type of knowledge in question; (b) the level at which this knowledge is represented; (c) the similarity of the transfer situation to the original learning situation; and (d) performance factors that relate primarily to the limitations of the human information processing system. Children with speech or language impairments tend to be less flexible than others in applying knowledge. However, this inflexibility is underpinned by (a) deficient reasoning abilities that lead to difficulty acquiring language knowledge and noticing the occasions in which existing knowledge should be applied; and (b) greater vulnerability to linguistic processing demands.

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