Facilitating Language Development for Inner-City Children Experimental Evaluation of a Collaborative, Classroom-Based Intervention Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   July 01, 2000
Facilitating Language Development for Inner-City Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Pamela A. Hadley
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Alice Simmerman
    Osborn School District, Phoenix, AZ
  • Michele Long
    Osborn School District, Phoenix, AZ
  • Michael Luna
    Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: phadley@niu.edu
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Clinical Forum: Roles of Speech-Language Pathologists in Inclusionary Classrooms
Clinical Forum   |   July 01, 2000
Facilitating Language Development for Inner-City Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2000, Vol. 31, 280-295. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3103.280
History: Received April 19, 1999 , Accepted March 21, 2000
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2000, Vol. 31, 280-295. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3103.280
History: Received April 19, 1999; Accepted March 21, 2000

Purpose: This study explores the effectiveness of a collaborative, classroom-based model in enhancing the development of vocabulary and phonological awareness skills for kindergarten and first-grade children in an inner-city school district.

Method: Four regular education teachers from the neighborhood school were randomly selected for participation. Children were randomly assigned to classrooms following usual school procedures. Two classrooms served as standard practice controls. In the other two classrooms, a collaborative service delivery model was implemented. One certified speech-language pathologist taught in each experimental classroom 2 1/2 days per week. The speech-language pathologist and the regular education teachers engaged in joint curriculum planning on a weekly basis. Vocabulary and phonological awareness instruction was embedded into ongoing curricular activities. Additionally, explicit instruction in phonological awareness was planned for a 25-minute small-group activity center weekly.

Results: Following the 6-month intervention, superior gains were noted in receptive vocabulary, expressive vocabulary, beginning sound awareness, and letter-sound associations for children in the experimental classrooms as compared to children in the standard practice control classrooms. The children in the experimental classrooms also showed greater improvement on a deletion task in comparison to the children in the standard practice classrooms. Importantly, this task was never used as an instructional activity, and thus demonstrated generalization to a novel phonological awareness task.

Clinical Implications: The results are discussed with regard to the positive benefits of collaboration in facilitating the language abilities of inner-city children who are at risk for academic difficulties in the early elementary grades.

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