The cues to achieved in more abundant comparison with

The
purpose of this study was to address the following question: Does an
instructional treatment model, based on digital videos and cueing strategies,
improve verb conjugation skills in Puerto Rican preschoolers with specific
language impairment? The hypothesis that the ITM would increase correct verb
conjugation in three tenses (i.e., past, present and future) given an
instructional treatment model approach based on digital videos and providing
cueing strategies was not found to be effective. When
3.0-5.0 preschoolers were given an ITM focusing on digital videos and cueing
strategies of the verb conjugation for the three tenses, all participants (3
out of 3) met the criterion of 80% correct by session 3, out of a total of ten
sessions.

The
treatment was delivered in a frequency of two times per week for a total of ten
sessions. The intervention protocol targeted the verb conjugation skills for
the three tenses that including digital videos and cueing strategies was
performed. Participants were provided with prerecorded digital videos, which
presented the action of the target verb in a randomly selected order for the
participants expected to identify and conjugate the verb by using a positive or
negative symbol respectively (i.e., positive symbol was used if the participant
conjugate the verb in a correct way, if not a negative symbol if not, a
negative symbol was used to describe that the verb was not conjugated in the
correct way). Results indicated that the independent variable was not found to be
effective.

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The
component that apparently posted the highest challenge for participants in this
study involved future tense. Results suggested that, on average, the
participants demonstrated a low percentage of correct responses in the
conjugation of the future tense. Accordingly, the clinician had to provide
additional cues to achieved in more abundant comparison with past and present
tenses such as, “What’s this?”, “What’s happening here?”, “What do you think
the child will going to do here?” and “Here the child is walking, What it is
going to do here.”

Verb
illustration should hold a more challenging representation and present a clear
concept of future. Additionally, the participant should be able to interpret
the concept, using either flash cards or videos.

The
purpose of this investigation was to identify effectiveness of a specific model
in order to effectively addressed the conjugation of the verb in Spanish
speaking preschoolers with SLI. Previous research in this area has pointed out
thatindiviuals with SLI  may be at risk
of presenting deficiencies in the use and conjugation of the verbs (Rice &  Bode, 1993). Rice and Bode (1993) suggested
that children with SLI have a limited number of verbs in their vocabularies.
The literature supports the notion that verbs are particularly critical for the
development of syntactic length and complexity because verbs provide a frame
through which larger linguistic forms are constructed (Tomassello,1992). Hence,
verbs have been the focus of many studies pertaining to children with language
impairment. Difficulties  with verbs in
terms of verb morphology are considered one of the hallmarks of SLI (Bedore
& Leonard, 1998).

It
has been suggested that language intervention should focus on increasing the
use of the verb already known by the child to be used in different contexts
(Dollaghan, 2007). In the Riches, Faragher, and Conti-Ramsden (2005) study,
where researchers examined the effect and frequency of verb learning in
children with SLI, treatment involved teaching fourth nonsense verbs in play
activities, where presentation of verbs were manipulated by frequency and
spacing. Results indicated no difference in overall rate of learning between
both groups of children.

However,
comprehension was more accurate when verbs were presented more frequently and
spaced apart for the SLI group. Also, Riches et al. (2006) explored whether
children with SLI are able to use unfamiliar and novel verbs that are trained
in a syntactic context. Results indicated that there was no generalization of
the use of transitive forms to novel verbs, and that children with SLI required
more frequent input before learning the verb.

The
intervention used in this investigation may serve as a framework to support
individuals with SLI who exhibit specific deficit in verb conjugation skills as
well as individuals at risk of developing difficulties in morphological skills.
In this study, preschoolers were selected to determine if participants would
respond to an ITM based on digital component and cueing strategies where
previously they had shown difficulties to conjugate correctly the verb
according to the tense, as evidenced from the screener administered at the
beginning of the study.The inclusion of a digital component was chosen because
there is previous research where the use of a digital component is documented
as a treatment strategy for interventions where children have difficulties with
the use and conjugation verbs (Schlosser, Shane, Koul, Bloomfield &
Debrowski, 2012).

Many
studies have been
conducted on effectiveness of treatment for verbal conjugation.
However, most of these studies have used monolingual English speakers. There is
limited research on treatment approaches pertaining to verb conjugation in
monolingual Spanish speakers with SLI as used in this study.

 

Limitations of Study

Although
the A-B design does not permit a functional analysis of behavior, it may
provide a convincing demonstration that behavior change is not a function of
the passage of time (Gast & Ledford, 2014). The A-B design provides a
framework within which behavior can be objectively measured under clearly described
and controlled environmental conditions (Gast & Ledford, 2014). In
addition, as it is typical in single subject designs, the number of
participants tends to be limited, as each participant serve as their own
control. Although three participants are an acceptable number in single subject
studies, this same factor tends to be pose a limitation for the generalization
of the results. Generalization of results is limited to the population targeted
in this study, more specifically pertaining to a school setting. Additional
inclusion criteria for this study included that participants had to be enrolled
in a school setting where they did not receive a bilingual i.e.,
(Spanish-English) instruction. Further research using a larger population of
preschoolers including a wider age range and school settings could increase
generalization of the findings. Another factor which can increase
generalizability of this study is the use of groups of monolingual Spanish
speaking participants from diverse Spanish dialects (e.g., Cuban, Dominican and
Mexican).

Future Directions

There
are several directions for future research that requires the attention of the
field. For example, there is a need of replicate this study with a greater
amount of stimuli sets of verbs pertaining test the external validity (i.e.,
generalizability) of the results beyond the stimuli that were used in this
study. Further research addressing the conjugation of the verb of various
Spanish dialects in monolingual Spanish speakers will provide a broader
evidence base in order to determine if ITM including digital component and
cueing strategies approach is appropriate to increase verb conjugation.
Previous research findings revealed that stronger resemblance between symbol
and referent helps symbol learning (Fuller, 1997). Therefore, the use of
identification of the verb in a receptive task as an outcome, in order to shows
whether a child can observe a relation between a spoken word and a graphic
stimuli (i.e., flash cards) would be an interesting consideration for a future
study.

One
important element of this study is the frequency of the intervention. This
study was aimed at a frequency of twice-weekly treatment for a 30-minute
sessions. Therefore, one consideration for future research could be
implementing an intensive treatment frequency, in which the subjects can
participate in the therapy more times per week resulting in a duration of less
weeks of treatment.

Another
possibility would be to replicate this study with children who exhibit
developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities. Finally, this
study takes into consideration the use of verbs that are familiar in the
children repertoire. It would be interesting to replicate this study with verbs
that are unfamiliar to the children. However, it is important to note that
there are other components that have to be included to the intervention to make
it more significant. First, a greater amount of stimuli must be added for each
treatment session. Instead of working with two verbs per session, this dosage
it could be increased between six to eight stimuli per session. Likewise, the
number of attempts can be increased by giving the participant more
opportunities to identify the correct conjugation of the verb.

Further
studies comparing monolingual Spanish speaking preschoolers with SLI who exhibit
a deficit in the conjugation of the verb and havereceived this model, with participants
who did not received this model should also be considered.

 

Social
Importance

Research
in the area of morphology suggests that children with SLI exhibit deficit in
many areas of language. However, verb conjugation and grammar aspects are
particularly affected (Ebbels, 2007). According to the National Institute of
Health (2011) SLI is one of the most common learning disabilities among
children enroll in kindergarten and affect approximately seven  to eitgh percent of children in kindergarten.
Although the reported percentage does not seem to be very elevated, there is  evidence suggesting persisting language
impairment may have severe effects on both children’s educational achievements
and social adjustment (Clegg, Hollis, Mawhood, & Rutter, 2005). For the
reasons previously mentioned, preschoolers are a population that can benefit
from interventions that facilitate the acquisition of skills related to the
morphology and verb conjugation at an early age in order to prevent that these
difficulties become more significant.

Research
suggests that verbs play a notably important part in language learning and use
since the conceptual roles specified by verbs, may provide a framework for
organizing other word class members in to appropriate linguistics expressions (Conti-Ramsden, & Jones, 1997). ITM may serve as a
system that could be replicated using other components to work with children
who may exhibit difficulties in the areas of morphology specifically verb
conjugation.

The
findings from this study may help in determining if the use of an instructional
treatment model based on digital videos and cueing strategies is appropriate
and can be an effective service delivery model to use with Spanish speaking
population who exhibit deficiencies in verbal morphology. Due to the lack of
information regarding treatment for verbal conjugation in monolingual Spanish language
speakers, another area of possible social and linguistic impact is to be able
to take this study as a reference to be implemented to children who have been
identified with a similar diagnosis and whose native language be another
dialect of Spanish (Dominican, Cuban, and Mexican).

Conclusion

In
conclusion, this study provides preliminary findings regarding an intervention
approach to SLI based on digital videos and cueing strategies for the
conjugation of the verb in Spanish speaking preschoolers with SLI. Results did
not reveal an impact for the three participants that took part in this study.
However, this investigation supports the notion that children with SLI require
more frequent presentations of stimuli to generalize the target verb.

Outcomes
of this study indicates a continuous need for research in the areas of
morphology and conjugation of the verb with Spanish speaking population
specifically with Puerto Rican dialect. Hence, more treatment strategies in
this area should be examined in order to generate more evidence based practice
regarding this area. Also, future research is needed to determine the efficacy
of this type of treatment.    

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