A randomized controlled trial of two syntactic treatment procedures with cantonese-speaking, school-age children with language disorders

Carol K.S. To*, Hoi Ming Lui, Xin Xin Li, Gary Y.H. Lam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: In this study, we aimed to evaluate the efficacy of sentence-combining (SC) and narrative-based (NAR) intervention approaches to syntax intervention using a randomized-controlled-trial design. Method: Fifty-two Cantonese-speaking, school-age children with language impairment were assigned randomly to either the SC or the NAR treatment arm. Seven children did not receive treatment as assigned. Intervention in both arms targeted the same complex syntactical structures. The SC group focused on sentence combination training, whereas the NAR group made use of narratives in which the target structures were embedded. Pretest and posttest performances measured using a standardized language assessment were subjected to analyses of covariance mixed-effect-model analyses of variance. Results: Children in both treatment arms demonstrated significant growth after 4 months of intervention. The main effect between treatment arms and time was not significant after controlling the pretest performance, suggesting that both treatment approaches showed similar effects. The main effect of time was significant. Conclusions: This study provided evidence to support language intervention in the school years in Cantonesespeaking children. However, neither approach was shown to be more efficacious than the other. Future researchers could examine the effects of a longer treatment period and include functional outcome measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1258-1272
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume58
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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