Thursday, December 16, 2010
Training in Phonological Awareness Generalizes to Phonological Working Memory: A Preliminary Investigation
Phonological awareness (PA) and phonological short-term memory (see note 1 below) are important for early reading success. Both PA and phonological WM are well established in typically developing children and contribute to word attack skills in early reading. Children with language impairment (LI) experience problems with both PA and phonological STM and are at risk of having difficulties when learning to read. The purpose of this study was to see if both PA and phonological STM skills could be improved in preschoolers with SLI.
Results of the first and second study showed that children with SLI performed more poorly than typically developing children on measures of rhyming, phoneme awareness, and working memory.
The third study included an intervention in which 16 children with SLI completed training in rhyming and phoneme awareness. Training sessions took place twice a week for two semesters, and lasted 15 minutes each. Post-intervention results showed improvements on a series of PA tasks as well as on two phonological STM measures for the children with SLI. There was no control group for this study.
These results provide some preliminary evidence that improvements in phonological awareness generalize to phonological STM.
Note 1: This paper refers to phonological working memory, however the tasks employed tap short-term memory rather than working memory. The tasks were nonword and word recall that require storage only (STM). Working memory tasks such as letter-number sequencing additionally require processing.
Blogger: Allison Partridge is the manager of the Language and Working Memory Lab. She graduated with an Honors Specialization in Psychology and completed her undergraduate thesis with Dr. Lisa Archibald.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Fixing My Brain (2008). Filmoption International Inc.
Lancee, W.J. (2005). Report on an outcome evaluation of the Arrowsmith Program for treating Learning Disabled students. Unpublished manuscript.
This video tells the story of Barbara Arrowsmith, founder of the Arrowsmith School, and four learning disabled boys who complete one year in the program. The program involves an in-depth assessment and training on specific cognitive exercises aimed at training 19 cognitive capacities. The founder developed the program based on her interpretation of neuroscience research.
Available research is preliminary in nature. We were unable to find any peer-reviewed publications evaluating the program. Single-group studies (without controls) are available in unpublished format reporting positive results for participants. The program has been criticized by Dr. Linda Siegel, UBC. In a response to an article in the Vancouver Sun (29 Dec 2008), Siegel reported that she compared the effectiveness of the Arrowsmith method to a control group receiving support in a special classroom for children with learning disabilities and found no clear advantages of one method. We were unable to locate a report of this research.
Blogger: Lisa Archibald is the Director of the Language and Working Memory Lab. She is an assistant professor at the University of Western Ontario studying the developmental relationship between language and working memory.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
time”: Case study of a child with naming-speed deficits and reading
disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 35, 145-155.