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Building Complex Sentences Project. Nicole M. Koonce University of Illinois at Chicago Summer 2009 Research Internship SPED 595. We live at the level of our language. Whatever we can articulate we can imagine or explore. -Gilcrist-.

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Building Complex Sentences Project

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Building complex sentences project l.jpg

Building Complex Sentences Project

Nicole M. Koonce

University of Illinois at Chicago

Summer 2009 Research Internship

SPED 595

We live at the level of our language. Whatever we can articulate we can imagine or explore.

-Gilcrist-


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Rush University Medical CenterJoint Project with Governors State University

  • Co-Investigators

    • Cheryl M. Scott, PhD

      Rush University Medical Center

      Department of Communication Disorders & Sciences

      Areas of expertise: Spoken/written syntax; language sample analysis; markers of language disorders in school-age children

    • Cathy Balthazar, PhD

      Governors State University

      Department of Communication Disorders

      Areas of expertise: School-age language disorders; syntactic intervention; single-subject experimental designs in clinical research


The case for the sentence in language intervention background l.jpg

The Case for the Sentence in Language Intervention: Background

  • The sentence is at the core of written and spoken talk in the classroom

  • Complex sentence structures pervade the academic curriculum

  • Children with reading comprehension deficits have also been found to have difficulty with oral sentence level syntactic tasks (Scott, 2009)

  • Children receiving explicit instruction in complex sentence comprehension and production make improvements in oral and written tasks (Hirschman, 2000; Levy & Friedmann, 2009; Scott & Balthazar, 2009)


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Building Complex SentencesResearch Questions

  • With explicit instruction, do children with language impairment improve their ability to comprehend and produce complex sentences?

  • Is improvement comparable across sentence types?

  • Is improvement seen across spoken and written formats?

  • Is improvement reflected in both naturalistic and norm-referenced pre/post measures?

(Scott & Balthazar, 2009)


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Building Complex Sentences: Methods

  • Phase I: Exploratory study to test intervention materials and methods of measuring change in target behaviors

  • Experimental Design

    • Single-subject multiple baseline across behaviors employed

      • Adverbial clauses

      • Relative clauses

      • Object complements

  • Measurement of treatment effectiveness

    • Pre- & post-treatment measures (e.g., CELF-4, CASL, TROG-2, GORT)

    • Periodic probes of complex sentence types


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Methods cont.

  • Participants

    • Three participants aged 12;9 to 15;11

    • Met criteria for specific language impairment

    • Current IEP with goals in the area(s) of reading, writing, speaking and/or listening

  • Interventions administered by public school speech-language pathologist currently providing services to each participant


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Intervention

  • Adverbial, relative, and object complement clauses targeted for 6 sessions each

  • Session activities:

    • Identification/awareness/exposure phase: repeated intro of target sentence types

    • Decontextualized (meta) phase: explicit instruction of structure

    • Contextualized phase: discourse level comprehension and production tasks


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TROG2

TOWL3 Sent

Written Story

GORT4

GORT4

GORT4 Oral

CASL

Sentence Comp

CELF4

Core

Written

Story

MLTU

Clause

(Mean = 100,

Combining

Comprehension

Rdg Quotient

Fluency

Density

(CI 90% = 12)

(CI 90% = 6)

SD = 15)

(SEM = 1)

(CI 90% = 2)

(CI 90% = 2)

(CI 90% = 6)

ID

Pre

Post

Pre

Post

Pre

Post

Pre

Post

Pre

Post

Pre

Post

Pre

Post

Pre

Post

Pre

Post

P1

72

85

90

81

82

91

7

5

10.25

11.61

1.83

2.16

2

4

7

9

67

79

P2

81

84

102

111

100

116

8

10

9.14

11.85

1.28

2.00

2

1

6

6

64

61

Selected Results

  • Increased fluency with complex sentence structures

  • Large gains in relative clauses

  • Decrease in use of early developing clausal structures

Probes

  • Pre- and Post-treatment Measures


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Internship Goals

To perform a qualitative analysis of pre- and post-treatment measures

To assist in developing additional pre- and post treatment measures for Phase II

To provide critique of intervention materials and training protocol for Phase II

To gain an understanding of the grant proposal development process


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Goal 1: Qualitative Analysis of Pre-/Post-Treatment Measures

  • Activities performed:

    • Microanalysis of pre- and post-test results of 2 receptive and 3 expressive language tests

    • Measured changes in complex sentence comprehension and production for P1 and P2

  • Outcome:

    • Matrix of item by item analysis detailing results for each test and by sentence type across tests

    • Two tests dropped from protocol and plans made to develop criterion-referenced measures


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Goal 2: Developing Additional Pre-/Post-Treatment Measures

  • Activities performed:

    • Researched video stimuli for oral discourse sample; analyzed by content, visual presentation, vocabulary, complex sentence types, and expository structure

    • Develop stimuli for a paraphrase task

  • Outcome:

    • Learned about copyright law with respect to use of educational videos in research

    • Presented results of video stimuli search to co-investigators

    • Gathered several samples for the paraphrase task


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Goal 3: Critique Intervention Protocol

  • Activities performed:

    • Reviewed clinician instructions and training materials

    • Reviewed 16 session modules

  • Outcome:

    • Presented feedback to co-investigators

    • Developing a scoring rubric for collecting session data (in progress)


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Goal 4: Grant Proposal Development

  • Activities performed:

    • Read grant submitted by the project to American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation

    • Read background info on R15 and R21 grants from National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

    • Attended planning meetings and sat in on conference call with NIDCD R15 Coordinator

  • Outcome:

    • Learned differences between R15, R21, and ARRA grants


What i l.jpg

Gave

A clinician’s perspective on implementation of intervention components

Recent knowledge of the school curricula and language demands

Genuine concern and appreciation for the role of language in the academic experience of children

Gained

Insight into the research process

An understanding of the time and resources necessary to design an intervention study

Knowledge about language sample analysis techniques

Critical skills in identifying and developing protocol stimuli and measures

What I…


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References

Hirschman, M. (2000). Language repair via metalinguistic means. International Journal of Communication Disorders, 35, 251-268.

Levy, H., & Friedmann, N. (2009). Treatment of syntactic movement in syntactic SLI: A case study. First Language, 29, 15-50.

Scott, C.M. (2009). A case for the sentence in reading comprehension. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40, 184-191.

Scott, C.M., & Balthazar, C.H. (2009, June). Building complex sentences: An intervention feasibility study for school-age children with oral and written language disorders. Poster presented at the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, Wisconsin.

Scott, C.M., & Balthazar, C.H. (2008, November). Building sentence complexity: Evidence-based approaches with school-age children. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Chicago, IL.


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