An exploratory study of the associations between speech and language difficulties and phonological awareness in preschool children (2010)

Journal of Applied Research on Learning, Vol. 3, Article 7, 2010

This study looks at preschool speech and language impairments and the role they play in a child’s phonological awareness, the awareness of the sound structure of spoken words. Phonological awareness is considered a reliable predictor of later reading ability.

The authors point to the distinction between speech impairments and language impairments. Speech impairment refers to the inability to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, and can include such speech disorders as difficulties pronouncing sounds, problems with articulation, or stuttering. A language impairment may be receptive, relating to understanding the words of others, or expressive, relating to the ability to share thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely. While some people may have both a language and a speech impairment, that is not necessarily the case.

The study involved 126 preschool children, born in 2002, who were referred to a centre for speech-language services in the Niagara region of Ontario. The sample included 86 boys and 40 girls, with an average age of about four. Children with developmental disabilities, hearing or visual impairments, or significant English as a Second Language difficulties were not included as participants.

Results of this study indicate that children with specific language impairments were most at risk for phonological awareness difficulties, whereas the severity of speech impairment was not a significant risk factor.

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2014-01-31
APA citation
John K. McNamara, Jackie Van Lankveld, Sherri-Leigh Vervaeke and Naomi Gutknecht. An exploratory study of the associations between speech and language difficulties and phonological awareness in preschool children 2010. Web. 15 Aug. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/jarl/exploratory/exploratory.pdf>
John K. McNamara, Jackie Van Lankveld, Sherri-Leigh Vervaeke & Naomi Gutknecht (2010). An exploratory study of the associations between speech and language difficulties and phonological awareness in preschool children. Retrieved August 15, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/jarl/exploratory/exploratory.pdf
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