Cross-modal Generalization of Vocabulary in Children with Specific Language Impairment
Nichols, Samara Alexandra
Children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) can present with deficits in receptive, expressive, or both modalities of vocabulary. Although typically developing children demonstrate vocabulary generalization from the receptive to expressive modality, the extent to which children with SLI can generalize between modalities has not yet been determined. Three male children with SLI (age 3;1 - 5;5) were taught separate sets of receptive and expressive vocabulary in a single subject multiple baseline multiple probe design. During each probe condition, vocabulary growth in both taught and untaught modalities was probed. Results demonstrated that all three children learned target vocabulary words in the taught modality. However, only the two oldest children (ages 5;4 and 5;5) demonstrated consistent cross-modal generalization from the expressive to receptive modality. Most generalization was maintained. The findings suggest that, in children with SLI, cross-modal generalization of vocabulary is most likely to occur from the expressive to the receptive modality.