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Hepburn Internship in Language Intervention. By Emma Cohan http://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/+2007/preschool-language.jpg. What is Language Delay/ Impairment in Children?.

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Hepburn internship in language intervention

Hepburn Internship in Language Intervention

By Emma Cohan


What is language delay impairment in children
What is Language Delay/ Impairment in Children?

  • Language delay: excludes any other primary condition with deficits in comprehension (receptive type), production (expressive type), or both (mixed type)

  • Characteristics include language deficits in semantics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and pragmatics (also some neurocognitive “soft signs” and socio-behavioral deficits typically)

  • The types norm referenced standards used to diagnose late talking and SLI source of debate. General agreement upon “language endowment spectrum”

Theories of etiology in language impairment
Theories of Etiology in Language Impairment

  • Familial: genetic predisposition and child’s conversational environment

  • **Perceptual: accounts for SLI as an auditory processing problem in discriminating and sequencing sounds resulting in a limited processing capacity

  • Linguistic Deficit: accounts for SLI as a problem in the linguistic mechanism of language acquisition (such as in universal grammar)

  • Normal Distribution: accounts for SLI as being the low end of the language endowment spectrum

What is the theory behind intervention
What is the theory behind intervention?

  • Developmental vs. Functional Approach

  • Drill-Play

  • Reinforcement

  • Specific Techniques: Focused stimulation, Expansion/Extension, Modify Linguistic Input, Joint Routines/Scripts, Joint Book Reading

Description of sites
Description of Sites

  • For my internship I divided the day at two field sites:

  • Mornings spent as an assistant teacher at the Language Enrichment Preschool Program camp run out of the Thorne School

  • Afternoons spent modeling the language stimulation activities learned at LEPP for individual or small groups of targeted children at the Montgomery Early Learning Center of Norristown

A day in the life lepp
A day in the life: LEPP

  • A morning spread of activities including craft and symbolic play set ups related to our story time theme, plus fine motor toys, art, and sensory stimulation

  • Circle time story and child presentation

  • Dramatic, symbolic play interspersed with individual speech therapy

  • Song time

  • Snack and Outdoor play

A day in the life melc
A day in the life: MELC

  • From three classes,teachers selected students known to have language problems ranging from slight articulation problems, to very little comprehensible language (often including exposure to a different primary language than English at home)

  • Each day I would arrive with a stack of games ranging from sequential narrative puzzles to vocabulary building bingo and specific language processes I planned to target

  • A lot of trial and error, wide range of childrens’ language abilities challenging

What i have come away with from this internship
What I have come away with from this internship?

  • A much greater academic and practical understanding of language processes and the complex ways in which they can be impaired

  • A first hand understanding of the intervention side of an important psychological domain

  • Confidence in myself as a force for improving the lives of others

  • The joy of spending my summer interacting with such wonderful children!


  • Leonard, L. B. (2009). Is Expressive Language Disorder an Accurate Diagnostic Category? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18, 115-123.

  • Paul, Rhea (Ed.)(2007). Language Disorders from a Developmental Perspective: Essays in Honor of Robin S. Chapman. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  • Rescorla, L. (2009). Age 17 Language and Reading Outcomes in Late-Talking Toddlers: Support for a Dimensional Perspective on Language Delay. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52, 16-30.

  • Rescorla, Leslie A., Lee, Eliza C.“Chapter 1: Language Impairment in Young Children” in Layton, T., Crais, E., & Watson, L. (2000). Handbook of Early Language Impairment in Children: Nature. Albany: Delmar.

  • Roseberry-McKibbin, C. (2006). Language Disorders in Children: A Multicultural and Case Perspective. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.