The effects of intensive computer-based language intervention on language functioning and reading achievement in language-impaired adolescents
Karen K. Beattie, George Mason University, United States
George Mason University . Awarded
There is a large body of research that implicates difficulty with phonological processing as the fundamental deficit in many children with reading and language impairments. Research indicates that difficulty with the ability to discriminate acoustic information that enters the nervous system in rapid succession (within a time frame of milliseconds) interferes with the development of phonological processes (Tallal, Miller, & Fitch, 1993). This temporal processing deficit may result in more global language impairments, such as receptive language disorders and reading disabilities.
This experimental study examined the effects of two intensive computer-based language interventions on receptive language, phonemic awareness, reading, and spelling achievement. One language intervention is called Fast ForWord (FF), a CD-ROM and Internet-based training program developed to increase students' ability to process rapid, successive acoustic information and understand spoken language. Fast ForWord is based on twenty years of research in neural plasticity and language impairments. Fast ForWord was compared to a language arts computer-based intervention, SuccessMaker (SM). SuccessMaker employs direct reading and spelling exercises and practice.
This study contrasted the effectiveness of the two intervention approaches with sixty-four adolescents from three local school divisions. ANOVA and ANCOVA procedures were used to examine the effects of FF and SM, as well as combinations of SM and FF on measures of receptive language, phonemic awareness reading, and spelling. A control group was used for further comparison.
While no statistically significant results were found between groups, issues with treatment compliance may have affected participants, ability to benefit from intervention. Discussion focuses on the feasibility of implementing FF in the public school systems, and suggestions for future research are offered.
Beattie, K.K. The effects of intensive computer-based language intervention on language functioning and reading achievement in language-impaired adolescents. Ph.D. thesis, George Mason University.
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