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September 2021

Language repair via metalinguistic means

Journal/Book: Int J Lang Commun Disord. 2000; 35: 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4Ee, England. Taylor & Francis Ltd. 251-268.

Abstract: Children with specific language impairment (SLI) have been shown to be deficient in the use of complex sentences. In an attempt to remediate this area of weakness, two groups of such children (mean ages 9;4 and 10;6) received about 55 half-hour sessions of metalinguistic training spread over 12 months. Results showed that the use of complex sentences increased to at least normal levels in the experimental groups, and were significantly improved, at both the written and oral levels, as compared with SLI control groups, which evidenced little change over the same period. Further analysis of the data revealed the striking finding that those children who had the poorest complex sentence usage tended to benefit the most from metalinguistic training. These results are interpreted as support for the hypothesis that metalinguistic training helps to overcome the presumed neurological deficit of the language disordered child by making linguistic rules conscious, and thereby providing a 'metalinguistic bridge' via which information can bypass the damaged area.

Note: Article Hirschman M, 400 Walmer Rd, Apt 1424, Toronto, ON M5P 2X7, CANADA

Keyword(s): specific language impairment; learning disabled; language disordered; metalinguistics; complex sentences; sentence subordination; LEARNING-DISABILITIES; DISORDERED CHILDREN; WRITTEN EXPRESSION; NARRATIVES; EMERGENCE; PATTERNS; COHESION; ABILITY

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