ERIC Number: EJ1028070
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Maternal Input to Children with Specific Language Impairment during Shared Book Reading: Is Mothers' Language in Tune with Their Children's Production?
Majorano, Marinella; Lavelli, Manuela
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v49 n2 p204-214 Mar-Apr 2014
Background: The literature on input addressed to children with specific language impairment (SLI) has shown contrasting results on the role that parents assume during conversational interactions. Some studies have shown that parents compensate for the child's linguistic limitations. In contrast, other studies have indicated that mothers are able to adjust their communication in response to their children's language characteristics. Aims: To assess the "closeness of fit" between maternal input and child language profiles in children with SLI during shared book reading. To achieve this aim, the individual linguistic features of a group of children with SLI and their mothers were compared with those of two typically developing (TD) groups and the "distances" (i.e., the differences between the mother's and her child's linguistic indices) within each dyad were compared. Method & Procedures: Three groups of children with their mothers participated in the study: 14 children with expressive SLI, 14 language age-matched TD children (LA-matched group), and 14 chronological age-matched TD children (CA-matched group). Each mother-child dyad was videotaped during two weekly sessions of shared book reading, at home. All sessions were entirely transcribed. For each session, the following indices were then considered: whole-word phonological indices, grammatical categories and lexical indices for types and tokens, and the distance between the mother's and the child's linguistic indices within individual dyads. Outcomes & Results: Analysis of the differences between phonological, lexical and morphosyntactic characteristics of the mothers' and children's language indicated that both children with SLI and their mothers produced adjectives and adverbs with lower phonological complexity and with higher frequency of use compared with the CA-matched group, and nouns with lower frequency of use and higher age of acquisition compared with the LA-matched group. In addition, individual dyads within the SLI group displayed reduced distances between linguistic indices produced by the mother and child compared with dyads within the CA-matched group. Conclusions & Implications: On the whole these findings suggest that mothers of children with SLI are able to tune their language to their children's linguistic limitations. These findings may contribute to improving early intervention programmes with children with SLI by focusing on the mother-child interaction during shared book reading.
Descriptors: Language Impairments, Children, Mothers, Parent Role, Reading Strategies, Reading Instruction, Reading Aloud to Others, Parent Child Relationship, Comparative Analysis, Expressive Language, Video Technology, Phonology, Language Processing, Semantics, Syntax, Morphology (Languages)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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