Addressing Literacy: Speech-Language Pathologists’ Use of Literacy-Related Materials
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Speech and Hearing Science Honors Theses; 2012
Recently, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has officially expanded the role of the school speech-language pathologist (SLP) to literacy interventionist, obligated to improve the reading and writing of students at risk of school failure. Although we can presume that explicit and individualized literacy instruction embedded into therapy with children would be useful, and is asserted as a role that SLPs should take, no studies have examined SLPs’ attention to literacy within the context of the therapies they provide. This study analyzes the percentage of therapy time that school-based SLPs are using literacy materials and the time spent targeting literacy during therapy for kindergarten and first grade students with language disorders. This research project involved 22 SLPs involved in a larger study investigating speech therapy practices in public schools. For the purposes of this study, each child within the SLP's caseload was ranked according to his/her fall scores on the Letter-Word Identification (LWI) subtest from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. The child with the lowest score from each SLP's caseload was chosen for analysis (n=22). For this study, two video-taped sessions were analyzed for each participating child. The therapy sessions were coded using the Language Intervention Observation Scale (LIOS) to measure materials used and targets addressed (i.e., grammar, vocabulary, literacy) during therapy. Descriptive analysis of the total amount of therapy time spent using literacy materials and the total time spent targeting literacy issues was calculated within Noldus Pro software and then analyzed using SPSS statistical software. The findings suggest that SLPs are using literacy materials for 25.59% of total time and targeting literacy for 6.89% of total time. Further research is needed to fully understand where literacy is being targeted within the schools for children with language disorders and what the role of the SLP is in addressing literacy-related concerns.
Arts and Sciences Honors Research Grant
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