Special Issue: How Statistical Learning Relates To Speech-Language Pathology Statistical learning refers to learning that happens implicitly, without the learner trying to learn. In the field of speech-language pathology, we see this in the ability within humans to recognize patterns in grammar and vocabulary, at times within minutes of exposure. LSHSS's Special Issue: How Statistical Learning Relates To Speech-Language ... Announcement
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Announcement  |   August 14, 2018
Special Issue: How Statistical Learning Relates To Speech-Language Pathology
 
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Announcement   |   August 14, 2018
Special Issue: How Statistical Learning Relates To Speech-Language Pathology
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Newly Published. doi:
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, Newly Published. doi:
Statistical learning refers to learning that happens implicitly, without the learner trying to learn. In the field of speech-language pathology, we see this in the ability within humans to recognize patterns in grammar and vocabulary, at times within minutes of exposure. LSHSS's Special Issue: How Statistical Learning Relates To Speech-Language Pathology explores how speech-language pathologists can apply this notion of implicit learning.
Mary Alt introduces the special issue by first explaining the concept of statistical learning. Dr. Alt then describes the contributions of each article in the issue.
Joanne Arciuli begins the issue with a tutorial on reading and statistical learning, describing how speech-language pathologists can supplement reading instruction with the principles of statistical learning. Dr. Arciuli also briefly summarizes the research on the possible link between dyslexia and statistical learning.
Rebecca Treiman addresses statistical learning and its role in learning to spell, noting that "from an early age, children use their statistical learning skills to learn about the visual characteristics of written words." This tutorial focuses on English, but the points can be applied to other alphabetic writing systems as well.
The tutorial by Sara T. Kover focuses on language learning in children with intellectual disabilities, specifically addressing Williams syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and fragile X syndrome. Dr. Kover presents what is known about learning from distributional cues in children with intellectual disability as a starting place for driving clinically relevant research.
In their research article, Sabrina Horvath, Elizabeth McDermott, Kathleen Reilly, and Sudha Arunachalam investigated whether preschool children with autism spectrum disorder can begin to learn verbs by attending to the linguistic contexts in which they occur, even in the absence of visual or social context. Their findings replicate and extend on prior work and verb learning by demonstrating that, like typically developing children in prior research, children with autism spectrum disorder who had heard the verbs in transitive syntactic frames preferred to look at the causative scene as compared to children who had heard intransitive frames.
Amanda J. Owen Van Horne, Maura Curran, Caroline Larson, and Marc E. Fey continue the discussion of verbs. Their study shows how using a principle of statistical learning leads to greater gains in the way preschoolers with developmental language disorder respond to a grammatical morpheme treatment.
Jessica Hall, Amanda J. Owen Van Horne, Karla K. McGregor, and Thomas A. Farmer shift the attention to children and adults with development language disorder. Their study provides evidence that children and college students with developmental language disorder can form grammatical categories using implicit learning, but they suggest that there may be a developmental component to the learning.
Elena Plante and Rebecca L. Gómez provide a comprehensive literature review on statistical learning. They consider the value of information from statistical learning studies that show potential for making treatment of language disorders faster and more effective.
The review article by Joanne A. Deocampo, Gretchen N. L. Smith, William G. Kronenberger, David B. Pisoni, and Christopher M. Conway focuses on statistical learning in regard to spoken language and children who are deaf and have cochlear implants. They stress the imporance of understanding statistical learning when considering the difficulties faced by this population when learning spoken language.
Federica Bulgarelli, Amy L. Lebkuecher, and Daniel J. Weiss note that much of the research on statistical learning has focused on monolingual populations. Thus, they review the literature available for bilingual children, who are exposed to two sets of statistics.
To conclude, Mary Alt outlines five take home points for clinicians, summarizing how speech-language pathologists can use the information from this special issue in their practice.