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Manchester Metropolitan University Paper presented at the 6 th European 2006 CPLOL Congress 15 th to 17 th September 2006 Berlin Ann French

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Presentation on theme: "Manchester Metropolitan University Paper presented at the 6 th European 2006 CPLOL Congress 15 th to 17 th September 2006 Berlin Ann French"— Presentation transcript:

1 Manchester Metropolitan University Paper presented at the 6 th European 2006 CPLOL Congress 15 th to 17 th September 2006 Berlin Ann French

2 MEASURING PHONOLOGICAL SKILLS IN ADOLESCENCE

3 Background Referrals of junior and secondary age children with language and communication impairments attending mainstream schools Referrals of junior and secondary age children with language and communication impairments attending mainstream schools Evidence that early language and communication problems may not resolve Evidence that early language and communication problems may not resolve Lack of secondary school SLT provision in UK Lack of secondary school SLT provision in UK Lack of knowledge about the nature and extent of difficulties secondary students may encounter Lack of knowledge about the nature and extent of difficulties secondary students may encounter Lack of suitable assessments Lack of suitable assessments

4 By 11 yrs most children appear to have well developed pronunciation and literacy skills, so is phonological development complete? Recent research suggests during adolescence there is ongoing development of: Phonological perception 1 Phonological perception 1 Phonological production 2 Phonological production 2 Phonological awareness 3 Phonological awareness 3 Additionally, word learning and phonological memory demands continue throughout life.

5 Phonological skills required by the secondary curriculum Reading and spelling (moving into orthographic stage of literacy) Reading and spelling (moving into orthographic stage of literacy) Specialist vocabulary (all subjects) Specialist vocabulary (all subjects) Learning spoken/written words in new languages Learning spoken/written words in new languages Literary concepts e.g. alliteration and rhyme (English) Literary concepts e.g. alliteration and rhyme (English) Puns and other jokes (literacy, social communication) Puns and other jokes (literacy, social communication) Role of accents in communication (English, social communication) Role of accents in communication (English, social communication) New writing styles e.g. text messaging (social communication) New writing styles e.g. text messaging (social communication) Rote learning (many areas of the curriculum) Rote learning (many areas of the curriculum)

6 Methodology A correlational design Hypothesis 1 Performance on phonological tasks will correlate with: (i) Receptive word knowledge 4 (ii) Available phonological working memory (PWM) and functional working memory (FWM) space 5 (iii) Attention control 6

7 Hypothesis 2 Performance on phonological tasks will be predicted by (i) Early hearing, speech and literacy development 7 (ii) Family history of speech/literacy difficulty 8 (iii) SES 9 Hypothesis 3 Performance on phonological tasks will correlate with Academic ability/achievement scores 10

8 Method: Participants Year 7 students, aged 11;6-12;0 (+) randomly selected from a mainstream comprehensive school Year 7 students, aged 11;6-12;0 (+) randomly selected from a mainstream comprehensive school Pilot study: 11 students (2006) Pilot study: 11 students (2006) Main study: 2 cohorts of students (Phase I ; Phase II ) Main study: 2 cohorts of students (Phase I ; Phase II )

9 Method: Procedures 1. Questionnaires completed by parents/guardians : Students early hearing, language and literacy development Students early hearing, language and literacy development Family incidence of language and/or literacy impairments Family incidence of language and/or literacy impairments SES indicators (parent employment/education) SES indicators (parent employment/education)

10 2. Assessment tasks: (i) New tests developed during pilot Receptive semantic/phonological word knowledge Receptive semantic/phonological word knowledge Phonological awareness: Phonological awareness: Rhyme judgement {A = Low FWM load Spoonerism production{B = High FWM load Word production: Word production: Real word repetition Nonword repetition Tongue twisters

11 (ii) Published tests PWM (Phonological Loop) and FWM PWM (Phonological Loop) and FWM Attention control Attention control

12 3. Academic data supplied by school: End of Year 6 Standard Achievement scores in English, Maths and Science End of Year 6 Standard Achievement scores in English, Maths and Science Early Year 7 Cognitive Abilities scores in Verbal, Nonverbal and Numerical Reasoning Early Year 7 Cognitive Abilities scores in Verbal, Nonverbal and Numerical Reasoning End of Year 7 subject marks for English, Maths, Science, and Modern Foreign Languages (MFLs) End of Year 7 subject marks for English, Maths, Science, and Modern Foreign Languages (MFLs)

13 Phase I Results Using Spearmans rho as data may not be normally distributed Reporting only 0.01 level; 2-tailed Hypothesis 1 1. Significant correlations between phonological task performance and Receptive Word Knowledge: Rhyme B Rhyme B Spoonerism A & B Spoonerism A & B 2. Significant correlations between phonological task performance and PWM: Rhyme B Rhyme B Spoonerism A & B Spoonerism A & B

14 3. Significant correlations between phonological task performance and FWM Rhyme B Rhyme B Spoonerism A & B Spoonerism A & B Receptive Word Knowledge Receptive Word Knowledge 4. Significant correlations between phonological task performance and attention control: Spoonerism A & B (Selective Attention) Spoonerism A & B (Selective Attention) Spoonerism B (Sustained Attention) Spoonerism B (Sustained Attention) Spoonerism B and Tongue Twisters (Switched Attention) Spoonerism B and Tongue Twisters (Switched Attention)

15 Hypothesis 2 1. Significant correlations between phonological task performance and early hearing, speech and literacy development: Rhyme B, Nonword Repetition, Spoonerism A & B, Receptive Word Knowledge (Reading and Spelling) Rhyme B, Nonword Repetition, Spoonerism A & B, Receptive Word Knowledge (Reading and Spelling) Nonword Repetition, Spoonerism B (Talking) Nonword Repetition, Spoonerism B (Talking) 2. Significant correlations between phonological task performance and family history of speech/literacy difficulty: None 3. Significant correlations between phonological task performance and SES: Rhyme A (Parent Education) Rhyme A (Parent Education) Rhyme B (Parent Employment) Rhyme B (Parent Employment)

16 Hypothesis 3 Significant correlations between phonological task performance and academic ability/achievement scores Spoonerism A & B (All scores) Spoonerism A & B (All scores) Rhyme B (All scores except Year 7 Maths) Rhyme B (All scores except Year 7 Maths) Nonword Repetition (Year 6 & 7 English, Verbal Reasoning, Year 7 MFLs) Nonword Repetition (Year 6 & 7 English, Verbal Reasoning, Year 7 MFLs) Tongue Twister (Year 6 & 7 English, Year 7 MFLs) Tongue Twister (Year 6 & 7 English, Year 7 MFLs) Receptive Word Knowledge (All scores except Nonverbal reasoning, Year 7 English & Maths) Receptive Word Knowledge (All scores except Nonverbal reasoning, Year 7 English & Maths)

17 Tentative conclusions from Phase I Performance on phonological awareness tasks (Rhyme B, Spoonerism A & B) correlates significantly with receptive word knowledge, PWM, FWM, attention, a history of reading and spelling difficulty, and with academic ability/achievement across the curriculum Performance on phonological awareness tasks (Rhyme B, Spoonerism A & B) correlates significantly with receptive word knowledge, PWM, FWM, attention, a history of reading and spelling difficulty, and with academic ability/achievement across the curriculum This may reflect the memory/attention demands of these tasks, with improved performance supported by greater word knowledge and literacy This may reflect the memory/attention demands of these tasks, with improved performance supported by greater word knowledge and literacy

18 Performance on production tasks (Nonword Repetition, Spoonerism B, Tongue Twisters) correlates significantly with a history of talking difficulty and with scores in English and MFLs Performance on production tasks (Nonword Repetition, Spoonerism B, Tongue Twisters) correlates significantly with a history of talking difficulty and with scores in English and MFLs This may reflect motor planning demands This may reflect motor planning demands

19 Performance on phonological tasks does not correlate significantly with a history of ear infections/hearing loss, family history of speech or literacy difficulty, or SES Performance on phonological tasks does not correlate significantly with a history of ear infections/hearing loss, family history of speech or literacy difficulty, or SES By age 11 these factors appear to be less significant for phonological ability By age 11 these factors appear to be less significant for phonological ability

20 And so… Phonology is a key element of word learning Phonology is a key element of word learning Word learning underpins verbal memory performance Word learning underpins verbal memory performance Verbal memory is crucial to academic learning Verbal memory is crucial to academic learning Facilitating phonological learning may increase academic achievement for many students Facilitating phonological learning may increase academic achievement for many students Some students may benefit from additional practice in acquiring spoken forms for new words Some students may benefit from additional practice in acquiring spoken forms for new words

21 References 1. Hazan, V. and Barrett, S. (2002). The development of phonemic categorisation in children aged Journal of Phonetics, 28, Walsh, B. and Smith,A. (2002). Articulatory movement in adolescents: evidence for protracted development of speech motor control processes. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 45, Wagner, R.K., Torgensen, J.K. and Rashotte, C.A. (1999). The Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing. Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed. 4. Garlock, V.M., Walley, A.C. and Metsala, J.L. (2001). Age-of acquisition, word frequency, and neighbourhood density effects on spoken word recognition by children and adults. Journal of Memory and Language, 45, Gathercole, S.E., Pickering, S.J., Ambridge, B. and Wearing, H. (2004). The structure of working memory from 4 to 15 years of age. Developmental Psychology, 40, 2,

22 6. Manly, T., Robertson, H., Anderson, V. and Nimmo-Smith, I. (1999). The Test of Everyday Attention for Children. Bury St Edmunds, England: Thames Valley Test Company Limited. 7. Nittrouer, S. and Burton, L.T. (2005). The role of early phonological experience in the development of speech perception and phonological processing abilities: Evidence from 5-year olds with histories of otitis media with effusion and low socio-economic status. Journal of Communication Disorders, 38, Snowling, M., Bishop, D.V.M. and Stothard, S.E. (2000). Is preschool language impairment a risk factor for dyslexia in adolescence? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41, 5, Locke, A. and Ginsborg, J. (2003). Spoken language in the early years: the cognitive and linguistic development of three- to five-year-old children from socio-economically deprived backgrounds. Educational and Child Psychology, 20, 4, Gathercole, S.E., Pickering, S.J., Knight, C. and Stegmann, Z. (2004). Working memory skills and educational attainment: Evidence from National Curriculum Assessments at age 7 and 14 years of age. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 1-16.


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