Maternal support for meaning associated with the use of sophisticated (i.e., low-frequency) words in interactive contexts has been shown to be particularly relevant for the subsequent lexical development in typically developing (TD) children (Weizman & Snow, 2001). This study examined (a) whether and how mothers of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) support their children when they meet a sophisticated word during shared book reading, and (b) whether children with SLI benefit as their TD peers from maternal support. Spontaneous mother-child verbal interactions during two sessions of shared book reading in a group of 15 preschool children with expressive SLI (SLI-group) and two groups of TD children, a chronological age (CA)-matched group and a linguistic age (LA)-matched group, were videotaped. The mother's utterances including or related to a sophisticated word were coded on the basis of informativeness and scaffolding provided; the child’s utterances were coded as Initiative, Simple or Extended Answer, Disruption. In addition, the child's lexical development was assessed three months later. Analysis indicated that mothers in the SLI-group produced a higher frequency of directly informative utterances with physical scaffolding compared to mothers in the CA-matched group (U=50; p=.011). Results from sequential analysis revealed that when maternal directly informative utterances were accompanied by physical scaffolding, only in the SLI-group they had a significant probability of eliciting extended answers from children. Partial correlation indicated an association between children’s lexical development and maternal direct informativeness in both SLI-group (Rho=.69) and CA-matched group (Rho=.60), and between children’s lexical development and maternal physical scaffolding only in the SLI-group (Rho=.62). On the whole, these findings indicate that mothers of children with SLI are able to adapt their communication to their children's linguistic limitations, and that children with SLI benefit particularly from maternal physical scaffolding combined with direct informativeness, suggesting a sensitivity to maternal gestures.

Sophisticated vocabulary in maternal input to children with specific language impairment

Majorano, Marinella;LAVELLI, Manuela
2014

Abstract

Maternal support for meaning associated with the use of sophisticated (i.e., low-frequency) words in interactive contexts has been shown to be particularly relevant for the subsequent lexical development in typically developing (TD) children (Weizman & Snow, 2001). This study examined (a) whether and how mothers of children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) support their children when they meet a sophisticated word during shared book reading, and (b) whether children with SLI benefit as their TD peers from maternal support. Spontaneous mother-child verbal interactions during two sessions of shared book reading in a group of 15 preschool children with expressive SLI (SLI-group) and two groups of TD children, a chronological age (CA)-matched group and a linguistic age (LA)-matched group, were videotaped. The mother's utterances including or related to a sophisticated word were coded on the basis of informativeness and scaffolding provided; the child’s utterances were coded as Initiative, Simple or Extended Answer, Disruption. In addition, the child's lexical development was assessed three months later. Analysis indicated that mothers in the SLI-group produced a higher frequency of directly informative utterances with physical scaffolding compared to mothers in the CA-matched group (U=50; p=.011). Results from sequential analysis revealed that when maternal directly informative utterances were accompanied by physical scaffolding, only in the SLI-group they had a significant probability of eliciting extended answers from children. Partial correlation indicated an association between children’s lexical development and maternal direct informativeness in both SLI-group (Rho=.69) and CA-matched group (Rho=.60), and between children’s lexical development and maternal physical scaffolding only in the SLI-group (Rho=.62). On the whole, these findings indicate that mothers of children with SLI are able to adapt their communication to their children's linguistic limitations, and that children with SLI benefit particularly from maternal physical scaffolding combined with direct informativeness, suggesting a sensitivity to maternal gestures.
Low-frequency words, language learning, children with specific language impairment (SLI), maternal support
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/930033
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