Vocabulary intervention for adolescents with language disorder: a systematic review

Lowe, H., Henry, L., Muller, L-M. & Joffe, V. (2017). Vocabulary intervention for adolescents with language disorder: a systematic review. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12355

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Abstract

Background: Language disorder and associated vocabulary difficulties can persist into adolescence, and can impact on long-term life outcomes. Previous reviews have shown that a variety of intervention techniques can successfully enhance students’ vocabulary skills; however, none has investigated vocabulary intervention specifically for adolescents with language disorder.

Aims: To carry out a systematic review of the literature on vocabulary interventions for adolescents with language disorder.

Methods & Procedures: A systematic search of 14 databases and other sources yielded 1320 studies, of which 13 met inclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria were: intervention effectiveness studies with a focus on enhancing oral receptive and/or expressive vocabulary skills in the study's aims; participants in the age range 11;0–16;11 with receptive and/or expressive language difficulties of any aetiology.

Main Contribution: There was a high degree of diversity between studies. Types of intervention included: semantic intervention (four studies); comparison of phonological versus semantic intervention (two); and combined phonological–semantic intervention (seven). The strongest evidence for effectiveness was found with a combined phonological–semantic approach. The evidence suggested a potential for all models of delivery to be helpful (individual, small group and whole class).

Conclusions & Implications: Tentative evidence is emerging for the effectiveness of a phonological–semantic approach in enhancing the vocabulary skills of adolescents who have language disorder. Future research needs to refine and develop the methodologies used in this diverse group of studies in order to replicate their findings and to build consensus.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lowe, H., Henry, L., Muller, L-M & Joffe, V.L. (2017) Vocabulary intervention for adolescents with language disorder: a systematic review. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders. which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1460-6984.12355/abstract. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Divisions: School of Health Sciences > Department of Language & Communication Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18543

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