Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teachers need greater awareness of language disorders, research finds

Date:
May 19, 2011
Source:
Economic & Social Research Council
Summary:
Greater awareness of 'specific language impairment' (SLI), a language disorder, is needed to ensure better outcomes for the 3-6 per cent of UK school children affected by this disability. Children with SLI have difficulties with most or all aspects of language including grammar, vocabulary and literacy as well as with short term memory. According to new research, they also have problems with higher order thinking skills. SLI may have a greater impact on these children than the better know disorder, dyslexia.

Greater awareness of 'specific language impairment' (SLI), a language disorder, is needed to ensure better outcomes for the 3-6 per cent of UK school children affected by this disability. Children with SLI have difficulties with most or all aspects of language including grammar, vocabulary and literacy as well as with short term memory. According to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), they also have problems with higher order thinking skills. SLI may have a greater impact on these children than the better know disorder, dyslexia.

"The lack of understanding of specific language impairment contrasts markedly with the broader understanding and acceptance of similar disabilities such as dyslexia," says researcher Professor Lucy Henry of London South Bank University.

SLI and dyslexia are similar in that both involve a 'specific' disability, which is generally believed to affect one particular aspect of a child's thinking and ability to deal with information. In the case of dyslexia, the dimension that is affected concerns reading. In the case of SLI, the dimension affected is language with grammar, vocabulary, the understanding of meaning, and the ability to use sounds appropriately all potentially being affected.

"SLI is often diagnosed when it is noticed that a child's speech is poorer than his or her other abilities. The speech difficulties can involve grammar, a small vocabulary or other aspects of language. In addition, because language is important for reading, around half of children identified with SLI also have difficulties with reading. These problems are not due to them having a general learning disability, autism, hearing impairments or brain injury, " Professor Henry explains.

This new research also found significant weaknesses with higher order thinking skills -- including multi-tasking while trying to remember something, generating ideas, finding solutions to new or demanding tasks, and ignoring irrelevant information where necessary.

With these added difficulties children with SLI may struggle to cope with many classroom learning activities. As Professor Henry highlights: "The key aspect for children in the classroom is learning new skills and dealing with novelty -- and as higher order thinking skills are exactly the tools required to do this successfully, children with SLI often fall behind their peers."

SLI can, without intervention, continue into adulthood and have very marked, negative consequences for both academic achievement and mental health. "The outcomes in later life for many children with SLI are not particularly rosy," Professor Henry points out. "Between 50 and 90 per cent of those affected by SLI never reach typical levels of language use."

Indeed, existing studies of young adults with SLI in their 30s show that on the whole they have very few educational qualifications, often have difficulty finding stable employment and, lacking the language skills to make good friendships, can become quite isolated. Hence, it is vital that we spread awareness of this disorder, particularly among school teachers, so that we can improve outcomes for the significant numbers of children affected.

Findings indicate that considerable levels of support will be required for children and young people with SLI when they are embarking on any type of learning task. The key issue for teachers is that children with SLI have not only language problems but difficulties in terms of thinking, remembering and planning which touch on a whole range of classroom activities. Importantly, SLI may not be quite as specific to language only as previously thought.

"We hope that this research will raise awareness among all teachers, not just speech and language specialists, of the complex difficulties that children with SLI face in the classroom," Professor Henry states. "We also hope to raise awareness of the many techniques class teachers can employ which will help children with SLI learn more effectively."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic & Social Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic & Social Research Council. "Teachers need greater awareness of language disorders, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519090147.htm>.
Economic & Social Research Council. (2011, May 19). Teachers need greater awareness of language disorders, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519090147.htm
Economic & Social Research Council. "Teachers need greater awareness of language disorders, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519090147.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Alice in Wonderland Syndrome

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) It’s an unusual condition with a colorful name. Kids with “Alice in Wonderland” syndrome see sudden distortions in objects they’re looking at or their own bodies appear to change size, a lot like the main character in the Lewis Carroll story. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Stopping Schizophrenia Before Birth

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Scientists have long called choline a “brain booster” essential for human development. Not only does it aid in memory and learning, researchers now believe choline could help prevent mental illness. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. Now a new treatment using the patient’s own tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain Surgery in 3-D

Brain Surgery in 3-D

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Neurosurgeons now have a new approach to brain surgery using the same 3D glasses you’d put on at an IMAX movie theater. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins