Digital Tools to Support Children’s Speech and Language Skill

  • Yvonne Wren
  • Jane McCormack
  • Sarah Masso
  • Sharynne McLeod
  • Elise Baker
  • Kathryn Crowe
Chapter
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 22)

Abstract

Most children develop speech and language with ease and quickly become sophisticated communicators. For some children, however, these skills are acquired with difficulty and extra support is required. A range of digital tools are available to assist with this: some of these are based on theories of speech and language acquisition, while others have been developed in response to market demands. Few empirical studies of digital tools for speech and language development have been carried out though some success has been noted when facilitated by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). Given the interactional capabilities of digital tools, it would be helpful to identify whether they could achieve similar results independent of SLP support. One such tool, Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter®, was tested in a randomised controlled trial with early childhood educators delivering the intervention. Improvement in speech production varied across both groups and significant differences were not observed. However, supplementary investigations found that parents and educators were positive towards the use of digital tools, and findings relating to the implementation of the intervention have been identified, which provide useful information for settings looking to use digital tools to promote speech and language skills in children.

References

  1. Berko Gleason, J. (2005). The development of language (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education Inc..Google Scholar
  2. Blackwell, C. K., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers & Education, 77, 82–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Broomfield, J., & Dodd, B. (2004). Children with speech and language disability: Caseload characteristics. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 39(3), 303–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen, Y.-P. P., Johnson, C., Lalbakhsh, P., Caelli, T., Deng, G., Tay, D., et al. (2016). Systematic review of virtual speech therapists for speech disorders. Computer Speech and Language, 37, 98–128.Google Scholar
  5. Cohn, C. (2008). Phonetics in phonology and phonology in phonetics. Working Papers of the Cornell Phonetics Laboratory, 16, 1–31.Google Scholar
  6. Crowe, K., Cumming, T., McCormack, J., Baker, E., McLeod, S., Wren, Y., et al. (2017). Educators’ perspectives on facilitating computer-assisted speech intervention in early childhood settings. Child Language Teaching and Therapy. Advance online publication. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0265659017717437.
  7. Davenport, M., & Hannahs, S. J. (2010). Introducing phonetics and phonology. London: Hodder Education.Google Scholar
  8. Dodd, B., Hua, Z., Crosbie, S., Holm, A., & Ozanne, A. (2002). Diagnostic evaluation of articulation and phonology (DEAP). London: Pearson.Google Scholar
  9. Dunn, M., & Dunn, L. M. (1997). Peabody picture vocabulary test—3. Circle Pines: AGS.Google Scholar
  10. Durlak, J. A., & DuPre, E. P. (2008). Implementation matters: A review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 327–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ebbels, S. (2007). Teaching grammar to school-aged children with specific language impairment using shape coding. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 23, 67–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lidström, H., & Hemmingsson, H. (2014). Benefits of the use of ICT in school activities by students with motor, speech, visual, and hearing impairment: A literature review. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 21(4), 251–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. McAllister, L., Dunkley, C., & Wilson, L. (2008). Attitudes of speech pathologists towards ICTs for service delivery. ACQuiring Knowledge in Speech, Language and Hearing, 10(3), 84–88.Google Scholar
  14. McAllister, L., McCormack, J., McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2011). Expectations and experiences of accessing and participating in services for childhood speech impairment. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13, 251–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McCormack, J., McLeod, S., McAllister, L., & Harrison, L. J. (2009). A systematic review of the association between childhood speech impairment and participation across the lifespan. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11(2), 155–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McCormack, J., Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., & McAllister, L. (2011). A nationally representative study of the association between communication impairment at 4–5 years and children’s life activities at 7–9 years. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 54(5), 1328–1348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2009). Epidemiology of speech and language impairment in a nationally representative sample of 4- to 5-year-old children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52(5), 1213–1229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McLeod, S., Baker, E., McCormack, J., Wren, Y., Roulstone, S., Crowe, K., et al. (2017). Cluster randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of computer-assisted intervention delivered by educators for children with speech sound disorders. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication doi:https://doi.org/10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0385.
  19. Moore, D., Rosenberg, J., & Coleman, J. S. (2005). Discrimination training of phonemic contrasts enhance phonological processing in mainstream school children. Brain and Language, 94, 72–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mullen, R., & Schooling, T. (2010). The national outcomes measurement system for pediatric speech-language pathology. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 41, 44–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Parsons, S., Law, J., & Gascoigne, M. (2005). Teaching receptive vocabulary to children with specific language impairment: A curriculum-based approach. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 21, 39–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rice, M., Oetting, J., Marquis, J., Bode, J., & Pae, S. (1994). Frequency of input effects on word comprehension of children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 37, 106–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rvachew, S. (2009). Speech perception intervention. In A. L. Williams, S. McLeod, & R. McCauley (Eds.), Interventions for speech sound disorders in children. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  24. Rvachew, S., Nowak, M., & Cloutier, G. A. (2004). Effect of phonemic perception training on the speech production and phonological awareness skills of children with expressive phonological delay. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13(3), 250–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Segers, E., & Verhoeven, L. (2004). Computer-supported phonological awareness intervention for kindergarten children with specific language impairment. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 35(3), 229–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stackhouse, J., & Wells, B. (1997). Children’s speech and literacy difficulties: A psycholinguistic framework. London: Whurr.Google Scholar
  27. Strong, G. K., Torgerson, C. J., Torgerson, D., & Hulme, C. (2010). A systematic meta-analytic review of evidence for the effectiveness of the ‘Fast ForWord’ language intervention program. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52, 224–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tallal, P., Miller, S. L., Bedi, G., Byma, G., Wang, X., Srikantan, S. N., et al. (1996). Language comprehension in language impaired children improved with acoustically modified speech. Science, 271, 81–84.Google Scholar
  29. Thorpe, K., Hansen, J., Danby, S., Zak, F. M., Grant, S., Houen, S., et al. (2015). Digital access to knowledge in the preschool classroom: Reports from Australia. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 32, 174–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wagner, R. K., Torgesen, J. K., Rashotte, C. A., & Pearson, N. A. (2013). Comprehensive test of phonological processing–2nd ed (CTOPP-2). Austin: Pro-Ed.Google Scholar
  31. Winner, M. G., & Crooke, P. (2009). Executive functioning and social pragmatic communication skills: Exploring the threads in our social fabric. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 12, 42–50.Google Scholar
  32. Wren, Y. & Roulstone, S. (2005). Phoneme factory sound sorter. London: SEMERC.Google Scholar
  33. Wren, Y., & Roulstone, S. (2008). A comparison between computer and tabletop delivery of phonology therapy. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 10(5), 346–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wren, Y., & Roulstone, S. (2013). Phoneme factory sound sorter (version 2, Australian adaptation) [computer software]. Bristol: Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit.Google Scholar
  35. Wren, Y. E., Miller, L. L., Peters, T. J., Emond, A., & Roulstone, S. (2016). Prevalence and predictors of persistent speech sound disorder at eight years old: Findings from a population cohort study. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 59(4), 647–673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvonne Wren
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jane McCormack
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sarah Masso
    • 4
  • Sharynne McLeod
    • 4
  • Elise Baker
    • 5
  • Kathryn Crowe
    • 4
  1. 1.Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit, North Bristol NHS TrustSouthmead HospitalBristolUK
  2. 2.Bristol Dental SchoolUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  3. 3.University of SheffieldSouth YorkshireUK
  4. 4.Charles Sturt UniversitySydneyAustralia
  5. 5.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations