e-book Persisting Speech Difficulties in Children: Childrens Speech and Literacy Difficulties

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Joy Stackhouse. This is the third book in the series "Children's Speech and Literacy Difficulties" and is based on research and practice with school-age children with persisting speech and associated difficulties. It focuses on the psycholinguistic nature of their difficulties, how to design intervention programmes, and how intervention outcomes might be measured.

It will serve as a pract This is the third book in the series "Children's Speech and Literacy Difficulties" and is based on research and practice with school-age children with persisting speech and associated difficulties. It will serve as a practical handbook and will contain usefuls word lists, tips and photocopiable sheets in the appendix.

Each chapter will summarise recent research findings and close with a bulleted summary of the main points in the chapter. Provides an explanation of the psycholinguistic approach and how to implement it, and integrate it with other approaches. Includes case studies Get A Copy. Paperback , pages.

Published September 1st by Wiley first published May 12th More Details Original Title. Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. We followed the instructions for task administration by Maphalala et al. We chose the first 6 items from the naming task that met the category criteria. For the auditory discrimination task, the ABX task was used where each child was presented with minimal pairs and asked to discern differences between them using a game format.

Results for each of the tasks were first analysed separately for each child. The percentage of items correct was calculated using a binary format, i. Patterns were then detailed for each child, focusing specifically on lexical items, which had been used in all three tasks. Two researchers independently transcribed the data. They then retranscribed the words to determine intra-rater reliability. The two researchers discussed their transcriptions and reached consensus for each differing item.

She was given 18 words to repeat a combination of words that she had produced accurately [category C], words with which she had speech production difficulties [category B], and words that she did not know [category A]. The child was unable to complete the task, so only 17 items were reliably administered.

Results are shown in Table 1 together with examples of her performance with some specific items that were used in all three tasks. Child A was able to name many of the pictures with an adult-like accuracy. These included four-syllable words and words containing clicks. She produced all the isiXhosa vowels, as well as some non-isiXhosa vowels used in loan words. She was not yet producing all the isiXhosa consonants in her production of single words.

On some occasions she distorted vowels e. The repetition task posed few difficulties for her. She was able to repeat many of the words given to her, including four-syllable words. When naming, she substituted it with a slightly lateralised close approximation of the phoneme.

Her ability to repeat the word accurately suggests that she must have adequate articulatory skills to physically produce it and therefore it is more likely to be a phonological difficulty. Figure 3 indicates the possible areas of difficulty for this word. In the auditory discrimination task Child A was presented with the closely-related word pair iwotshi vs. She was not able to distinguish accurately between these items, which supports the notion that she may have an inaccurate phonological representation stored for this word.

Another example of a word that was more accurately produced in repetition than in naming is qhuba. The word ibhola [ball], a high frequency word for most young children, was used in all three tasks. She was able to accurately name it and repeat it, suggesting that she has accurate semantic and phonological representations, as well as accurate motor programming skills to physically produce the word. The pattern for amagxa [shoulders] is the same, with accurate naming and repetition but difficulty in the discrimination task involving that word.

She was only able to correctly discriminate between 7 of the 12 pairs of words. Some of the difficulties noted in this task, with particular sound contrasts, were not predicted based on her performance on the other two tasks, suggesting that it may have been the nature of the task that was hard for her. However, there were lexical items with which Child A experienced no difficulties in any of the tasks. For example, she was able to accurately name the word imali [money] in the naming task, as well as accurately repeat it in the repetition task.

This suggests that she has accurate semantic and phonological representations, and accurate motor programming skills to physically produce the word. Overall she has accurate knowledge of this word. Having the same lexical items across three tasks is helpful for making comparisons. Although this was not always possible in this study, where it did occur, it allowed for more strong conclusions to be drawn.

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In some cases, it was impossible to develop suitable minimal word pairs for the ABX task, e. Her attempt at naming the picture suggests she has a semantic representation, but her inaccurate production may suggest difficulties with phonological representation of the word. There is evidence that she can articulate this vowel through her accurate production of words such as iti [tea]. She was able to accurately repeat inja in the second task. This suggests that she has the ability to develop and produce an accurate motor programme of this word when given a model. Child B was able to name 16 of the 50 pictures with the appropriate semantic label.

She was given 18 words to repeat in the repetition task. As for Child A these comprised a mix of words which had and had not been correctly produced. Two items were excluded from the task as her responses were not reliable. The results for Child B are shown in Table 2. Child B was not yet able to produce all the isiXhosa consonants or vowels in her production of single words. She only produced three- and not yet four-syllable words. Phonological processes were mainly noted in her production of consonants, and most predominant was deaffrication.

Despite her developing speech, she experienced no difficulties with the auditory task; Child B got all items correct in the ABX task. Here it was noted that she would spontaneously repeat the target words in order to help her decision-making. This is a useful strategy that children and adults often use to help them with such tasks, and ensures that one does not have to rely on one instance of input alone.

In one case, she was heard to change a non-word in the minimal pair pheda to a real- word pheka [cook] , and she repeated both words as pheka. Stackhouse and Wells describe this process of nominalisation as a typical way in which young children process non-words. Despite nominalisations such as this one she still made the appropriate judgements, suggesting that on an input level she could discern the differences.

This suggests that she had the phonetic discrimination skills to carry out the task successfully, but was not able to accurately map from what she heard into her own output. In this repetition task it is unclear whether the breakdown occurs in her mapping from phonological representation to a motor programme, or the physical production of the word. This fits with her overall performance across tasks as repetition was found to pose some challenges for her. The word pheka [cook] was present in all three tasks. This suggests that she has a strong and accurate lexical representation of this word.

The pattern for imali [money] is the same, with accurate naming, repetition, and auditory discrimination skills. A different pattern emerged with the word ikati [cat]. In the naming task, Child B produced this word correctly, suggesting that she has semantic knowledge, accurate phonological knowledge, and accurate motor programming skills to produce the word.

This would confirm whether inaccurate production in the repetition task was because of difficulties with auditory discrimination or if it is related to the assimilation process used. Her attempt at naming this picture suggests that she has semantic knowledge of this word but may have inaccurate stored phonological knowledge about it. This indicates that she could recognise this word and was able to distinguish it from her own inaccurate production.

However, her difficulty producing it accurately suggests difficulty with either her phonological representation of the word or her motor programming skills to produce it. Figure 4 indicates the possible areas of difficulty for this word. The words ipapa [porridge] and ilanga [sun] were produced accurately in the repetition task. This suggests she has accurate phonological representations and motor programming skills to produce these words accurately.

Naming was not attempted for these items and so further comparison across tasks is not possible. Child B was able to accurately name the words lala [sleep] and ibhola [ball] in the first task, as well as accurately repeat them in the second task. This suggests that she has accurate semantic representations, accurate phonological representations, and accurate motor programming skills to physically produce the words. For further comprehensive analysis it would be beneficial to administer the auditory discrimination task using the words lala and ibhola paired with appropriate minimal pairs.

The word ukutya [eat] was elicited in both the naming and repetition tasks. Her attempt at naming this picture suggests that she has semantic representation of this word. She was, however, able to better map out the three syllables when given the adult model. This would confirm whether her inaccurate production in the repetition task was because of difficulties with auditory discrimination of the word or developing abilities to produce the word.

In general, repetition seemed to improve on naming, a conclusion based on a small set of lexical items common to the two tasks, e. Although in some cases she presented with similar phonological processes affecting consonants in both tasks. She used an interesting strategy that appeared to support her in carrying out this task; she repeated items out loud, and this gave the researchers further insights into her repetition skills.

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In order to successfully carry out the task, children need to have semantic knowledge of the word i. As a starting point for our assessments with 2-year children, we were able to adapt an existing naming assessment. Both children were only able to spontaneously name small subsets of the pictures given the limitations of their vocabularies. Of the words that were spontaneously named, both children showed ability to appropriately articulate consonants and vowels in the words. This fits with what has been noted previously by researchers about the development of phonology in isiXhosa.

For example, Tuomi et al. The findings of this study confirm this and show that both children had acquired all of the vowels of their language and many of the consonants. However, there were some vowels and consonants that were still challenging for the children. Child A distorted vowels on occasion e. Child B used deaffrication as a main process and when naming, she substituted some affricates with a slightly lateralised close approximation of the phoneme. These findings fit with the small body of research that has focused on acquisition of vowels and consonants in isiXhosa.

This study however, aimed to move beyond naming tasks and consider speech processing tasks that tap input and the entire speech processing system more systematically. Speech accuracy has been shown to be similar when comparing equivalent naming and repetition tasks for typically developing children Vance et al.

However, for other children with difficulties, repetition can pose additional challenges: they need to be able to accurately perceive the target word, remember it, and then have the articulatory abilities to execute it. However, if this was the case, her repetition would be poorer than her naming because repetition is heavily dependent on accurate auditory processing.

It may have been the nature of the ABX task that was a challenge for the child, although it cannot be attributed to memory difficulties alone because, again repetition tasks draw heavily on memory. This could be an explanation for some of the challenges experienced by this child with the ABX task. A further contributing factor may be the nature of the minimal pair words themselves.

Persisting Speech Difficulties in Children

In drawing up the minimal pair lists many challenges were faced and many compromises made. Further studies will be needed to refine both the stimuli and their administration. However, this was not the case despite the similar procedures used. Many of her speech errors were common across naming and repetition, and other errors balanced out with some inaccuracies noted for naming and not repetition and then vice versa. When presented with her own errors paired with target productions in the ABX task she experienced no difficulties, although her strategy for making the distinctions was interesting in that she did not appear to want to rely on input processing alone and automatically produced her own productions of the words.

It may be that the ABX task used in this project was cognitively demanding for 2-year-old children, and other more suitable ways of assessing the auditory abilities of such young children will need to be found. Newton et al. Although their research did not focus on 2-year-olds, they suggest that the use of such an approach is a viable alternative to the methods currently used with children aged 4—7 years.

Given the challenges faced with isiXhosa — there are currently very few isiXhosa-speaking clinicians in Southern Africa, despite this being the second most spoken language in the region — it might be helpful to have a computerised assessment that could then include recordings of isiXhosa words as well as automatic measures of eye gaze parameters. The naming task that was used as the basis for the assessment battery was developed for use with older children aged 3—6 years. Because of this, the young children could name only a small subset of the pictures presented.

Only words that were known and named were included in the analysis. However, in order to set up the ABX task in advance there were some items in this component of the assessment that included words that were unfamiliar to the children. Future studies should ensure that the vocabulary used in naming tasks is tailor-made for the children of a particular age, and that where possible the same lexical items are used across tasks to enable more fruitful comparison.

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A study with only two participants cannot be generalised to the wider population, but given the limited nature of this type of study with 2-year-old isiXhosa speakers, it may serve as a starting point for larger studies of this kind. Unfortunately this was not possible for these children, but longitudinal work should be considered in future studies.


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The two children presented in this paper obtained very similar scores for the naming task. However, moving beyond the speech accuracy of their naming, two very different patterns of performance were revealed. Child A performed better with repetition, and more poorly with auditory discrimination. Child B maintained the same level of performance for repetition, and then exceeded this with her auditory performance. These are typically developing children who most likely will not require speech and language therapy.

However, the data presented here for very young children acquiring an under-researched language is new and supports that argument. Next steps in this action research cycle would be to create an adapted version of the Masincokoleni Speech Assessment that would be appropriate for 2-year-olds shorter and bearing in mind their lexical abilities , and age-appropriate repetition and auditory discrimination tasks. The repetition task could be administered as an alternative to the naming task, or in addition to it, and would allow for comparisons to be made between performance on the two tasks. Steve Porter provided assistance with technical aspects of the data collection process.

Michelle Pascoe was funded by the National Research Foundation. The authors declare that they have no financial or personal relationships which may have inappropriately influenced them in writing this article. The students undertook data collection and analysis. The article was jointly authored by K. Baker, E. Psycholinguistic models of speech development and their application to clinical practice.

Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research , 44 , — Bland-Stewart, L. Phonetic inventories and phonological patterns of African American two-year-olds: A preliminary investigation. Communication Disorders Quarterly , 24 , — Coady, J. Uses and interpretations of non-word repetition tasks in children with and without specific language impairments SLI. Conradie, A.

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Early phonological development in isiXhosa: A single case study. Unpublished undergraduate Honours project, University of Cape Town. Constable, A. Developmental word-finding difficulties and phonological processing: The case of the missing handcuffs. Applied Psycholinguistics , 18 4 , — Demuth, K. The acquisition of Bantu languages.