Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Study of the immediate changes in language performance of preschool moderately retarded children after… Bembridge, Wayne Richard 1970

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1970_A8 B44.pdf [ 2.99MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0102127.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0102127-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0102127-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0102127-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0102127-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0102127-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0102127-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0102127-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0102127.ris

Full Text

A STUDY OF THE IMMEDIATE CHANGES IN LANGUAGE PERFORMANCE OF PRESCHOOL MODERATELY RETARDED CHILDREN AFTER PARTICIPATION IN ORAL LANGUAGE TRAINING t y Wayne Richard Bembridge B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of Manitoba, 196k B.Ed., U n i v e r s i t y of Manitoba, 1968 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of A r t s i n the Department of S p e c i a l Education We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the re q u i r e d standard \ THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October, 1970 In presenting t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g ain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n permission. . Department of The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date • ^ ^ g ^ ^ l * f /?76 ABSTRACT Retardation of language development or ar t i c u l a t o r y proficiency i s characteristic of children with s p e c i f i c organic or i n t e l l e c t u a l d e f i c i t s . I t i s recognized that the moderately retarded preschool youngster i s especially susceptible to delays i n language acquisition probably as a concomitant attribute of general i n t e l l e c t u a l deficiency. The l i t e r a t u r e of learning and c h i l d development documents and highlights the s i g n i f i c a n t growth experienced by the infant and preschool youngster long before he f i r s t enters school. The advent of preschool educational opportunities for exceptional children can be expected to prevent many of the d e b i l i t a t i n g results associated with general i n t e l l e c t u a l mental retardation. Research has demonstrated that much i s to be gained through early childhood compensatory education. The evidence gained from programs of intervention i n the area of language has e f f e c t i v e l y shown that intensive stimulation i n school aged mildly and moderately retarded children results i n gains i n language performance. S i m i l a r l y , investigations of language improve-ment i n younger deprived children have had positive r e s u l t s . Consequently, two important facts are to be recognized: (a) I t i s possible to effect positive change i n language a b i l i t y of young children whose i n t e l l e c t u a l functioning i s assumed capable of normalcy. (b) I t i s possible to effect positive change i n language a b i l i t y of older children whose i n t e l l e c t u a l capacities have been lim i t e d by organic or environmental factors. i v These l e a d t o an important q u e s t i o n , the subject of the research reported h e r e i n . Can language p r o f i c i e n c y be e f f e c t i v e l y improved i n moderately retarded preschool aged c h i l d r e n ? From the t h i r t y - t w o c h i l d r e n comprising the p o p u l a t i o n of the preschool f o r the retarded at the Research Uni t f o r E x c e p t i o n a l C h i l d r e n , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, s i x t e e n c h i l d r e n were s e l e c t e d t o form the experimental and c o n t r o l groups i n a s i x t e e n week p r o j e c t studying the language performance of the c h i l d r e n . The s i x t e e n c h i l d r e n were matched i n p a i r s on the b a s i s of age i n months, l e n g t h i n preschool experience, raw score on the PPVT, and raw score on a modified Stanford B i n e t . Matched p a i r s were used t o insure t h a t the experimental and c o n t r o l groups were as nearly equivalent at the outset as p o s s i b l e . For s i x t e e n weeks the experimental group p a r t i c i p a t e d f o r t h i r t y minutes per day i n a group o r a l language t r a i n i n g program. For an equal p e r i o d of time the c o n t r o l group p a r t i c i p a t e d i n a n o n - d i r e c t i v e program i n which language a c t i v i t i e s were c o r r e l a t e d w i t h motor, sensory, and s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . During p o s t t e s t i n g sessions a l l the c h i l d r e n were t e s t e d using the same, or equivalent forms of the p r e t e s t instruments. The d i f f e r e n c e between p r e t e s t t o p o s t t e s t events was considered t o be a measure of change i n language performance. S t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s of these data was a p p l i e d t o determine s i g n i f i c a n c e . At the c o n c l u s i o n of the study the c h i l d r e n of the experimental group socred s i g n i f i c a n t l y b e t t e r than the c h i l d r e n of the c o n t r o l V group on a l l v a r i a b l e s . P r e t e s t t o p o s t t e s t experimental group gain was s i g n i f i c a n t , w h i le the same measure f o r the c o n t r o l group evidenced no measurable d i f f e r e n c e . While intergroup d i f f e r e n c e s at the beginning of the study were n e g l i g i b l e , the between-group d i f f e r e n c e s a f t e r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n o r a l language t r a i n i n g were demonstrably s i g n i f i c a n t . There were, t h e r e f o r e , important gains made by the experimental group, while no r e a l gains were evidenced by the c o n t r o l group. I t seems reasonable t o assume from the data analyses that programed i n t e r v e n t i o n i n the language domain i s both f e a s i b l e and d e s i r a b l e f o r moderately retarded preschool c h i l d r e n . The immediate e f f e c t s of language t r a i n i n g however, leave other questions unanswered and i n want of f u r t h e r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Questions regarding l a s t i n g e f f e c t s of language i n t e r v e n t i o n , as w e l l as the degree of e f f e c t i v e f a c i l i t a t i o n i n l e a r n i n g of other s k i l l s as a r e s u l t of language t r a i n i n g , need i n v e s t i g a t i o n . I t has been, however, demonstrated that the f i r s t s t e p , t h a t of immediate and p o s i t i v e change i n language performance, can be f a c i l i t a t e d by d i r e c t i n t e r v e n t i o n i n the language t r a i n i n g of moderately retarded c h i l d r e n . ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The study of how retarded c h i l d r e n acquire and use language s k i l l s i s d i f f i c u l t at best. Such study cannot be performed at a l l without the a s s i s t a n c e and understanding of many people dedicated t o the care and t r a i n i n g of the mentally retar d e d c h i l d . The author i s e s p e c i a l l y g r a t e f u l t o the many persons d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d i n the research reported i n t h i s volume. P a r t i c u l a r acknowledgement i s due t o the teachers of the pre-school at the Research U n i t , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia. Their cooperation i n having many c l a s s e s d i s t u r b e d , i n grouping and regroup-in g c h i l d r e n , and i n the comings and goings of t e s t i n g occasions i s g r a t e f u l l y a ppreciated. The s p e c i a l support and encouragement of Mrs. Wanda J u s t i c e , Supervisor Coordinator, provided the s p i r i t of enthusiasm i n which the experiment was conducted. Through t h e i r a s s i s t a n c e the study began, progressed, and concluded w i t h no d i f f i c u l t y . Susan Innes and Mrs. D o l l y Pocock deserve p a r t i c u l a r p r a i s e f o r t h e i r work w i t h the experimental and c o n t r o l groups. I t i s a c r e d i t t o t h e i r teaching s k i l l t hat whenever d i f f i c u l t y was encountered, adaptations were comfortably and s a t i s f a c t o r i l y achieved. The author i s a l s o indebted t o h i s a d v i s o r s , Dr. D. K e n d a l l , Dr. C. David, and Mr. R. Pout t , f o r t h e i r frank and c r i t i c a l a p p r a i s a l s of the t e x t , design, and procedures of the study. Advice was always a v a i l a b l e and c r i t i c i s m always c o n s t r u c t i v e and h e l p f u l . Their encouragement made the w r i t i n g of t h i s report so much e a s i e r . To the c h i l d r e n who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the study goes the author's s p e c i a l g r a t i t u d e . Without knowing of t h e i r c o n t r i b u t i o n , they have made p o s s i b l e the f i n d i n g of another small piece i n the f a b r i c of man's understanding of language l e a r n i n g . TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE I INTRODUCTION 1 II PROBLEM 7 I I I NULL HYPOTHESIS l 8 IV METHOD 2 1 Population and Sample 2 1 Study Design 23 Procedures 2 8 V RESULTS 33 VI DISCUSSION OF RESULTS 39 VII SUMMARY 4 8 BIBLIOGRAPHY 50 APPENDICES 55 A. Peabody Language Development K i t , Level P .... 56" B. Test and Test Modifications 60 C. Attendance Record of Experimental and Control Groups . 6h LIST OF TABLES TABLE PAGE I DOMAINS OF DATA FOR MATCHED GROUPS (PRETEST) 2 5 II PRETEST TO POSTTEST DIFFERENCES ON THE PPVT DOMAIN 3 3 I I I INTERGROUP DIFFERENCES ON THE PPVT DOMAIN 3h IV INTERGROUP AND INTRAGROUP DIFFERENCE GAIN (LOSS) COMBINED ON THE PPVT DOMAIN 3 ^ V PRETEST TO POSTTEST DIFFERENCES ON THE STANFORD BINET DOMAIN 3 5 VI INTERGROUP DIFFERENCES ON THE STANFORD BINET DOMAIN 3 5 VII INTERGROUP AND INTRAGROUP DIFFERENCE GAIN COMBINED ON THE STANFORD BINET DOMAIN 3 6 VIII PRETEST TO POSTTEST DIFFERENCES ON THE LANGUAGE RATING DOMAIN 3 7 IX INTERGROUP DIFFERENCES ON THE LANGUAGE RATING DOMAIN 3 7 X INTERGROUP AND INTRAGROUP DIFFERENCE GAIN COMBINED ON THE LANGUAGE RATING DOMAIN 3 8 XI TOTAL PUPIL/DAYS ATTENDANCE 6h LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE PAGE 1 RANDOMIZED CONTROL GROUP PRETEST-POSTTEST DESIGN (From Understanding Educational Research, 1 ° 6 6 ) 2 6 2 REPRESENTATION OF DATA TRENDS ON THE PPVT DOMAIN 40 3 REPRESENTATION OF DATA TRENDS ON THE STANFORD BINET DOMAIN hi CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION "Language i s the a b i l i t y to express ideas and concepts" (Smith, 1 9 6 8 ) . Commonly i t i s viewed as a b i l i t y i n the vocal expression of ideas wherein the evaluation of performance derives not from how well sounds are produced ( i . e . speech), but from how e f f e c t i v e l y ideas are expressed. I t has been pointed out that research on language with the mentally retarded has escalated at an astonishing rate (Smith, 1 9 6 8 ) . Language c a p a b i l i t i e s are not discrete; they are dynamically i n t e r -related to the performance levels of the mentally retarded i n other s k i l l areas. Instead language i s an omnibus term which encompasses several major dimensions. Myklebust ( 1 9 5 6 ) suggested that the three components, reception, association, and expression, are not unlike the essential processes involved i n the perceptual motor process. Speech i s only a f r a c t i o n a l feature of the communication process. The r e a l function of language i s determined by the degree of interaction of the ind i v i d u a l and his environment. One complements the other. As the degree of interaction or re c e p t i v i t y of the ind i v i d u a l to stimulation from the environment increases, so also w i l l the individual's a b i l i t y to respond to that stimulation be increased. Language i s necessary to transcend the environment. Language enables the c h i l d to comprehend a wider world than the world he explores 2 through sensory-motor media. Immersed i n sound the very young c h i l d discovers the meaningfulness of words, and as the c h i l d develops speech and communication s k i l l s he learns to interact with other children. Through such interaction he becomes a s o c i a l being. The study of language may have any one of many different emphases. Students of language may be concerned with matters such as various language systems, structures of language, patterns of acquisition and so fort h . Application of s c i e n t i f i c methods of research has increasingly afforded researchers opportunities to explore avenues i n language study hitherto neglected. How mentally retarded children acquire and use language s k i l l s i s one of those areas which currently receives considerable investigation. Retardation of language development or arti c u l a t o r y proficiency i s characteristic of children with s p e c i f i c organic or i n t e l l e c t u a l d e f i c i t s ; i n fa c t , i t may be suggested that a common and frequent cause of retarded language development i s mental deficiency (Eisenson; i n Cruickshank, 1963). At the same time i t would be foolhardy to suggest that mentally retarded children are not susceptible to other forms of specific language disorder. In many of these children with delayed speech and diffuse cognitive d e f i c i t s the d i f f e r e n t i a l diagnosis i s d i f f i c u l t to make—particularly on the basis of c l i n i c a l examination. The course of language development i l l u s t r a t e s the profound impact of the events of a child's f i r s t f i v e or s i x years of l i f e . In the home the infant c h i l d controls his environment by actions; these actions give way to the sounds of babbling, the re p e t i t i o n of syllables and to f i r s t words near the end of the f i r s t year (McCarthy, 195^)-With practice and use, early vocalizations become systematized and infant vocalization becomes infant speech. To the stage of preverbal development and i n i t i a l vocabulary acquisition are exerted the influences of grammatical patterns, p i t c h , volume, stress. Eventually, i n l a t e r childhood, the more s o c i a l use of language develops (Piaget, 1 9 5 9 ) . Unparalleled developments occur i n the f i r s t s i x years of a child's l i f e . These developments are basic to the ove r - a l l growth of the c h i l d . The many dimensions of growth during t h i s period are c r i t i c a l to the successful education and tr a i n i n g of the school age youngster. I n t e l l e c t u a l , physical, s o c i a l , and emotional experiences cumulate and contribute to the status of the c h i l d as he approaches school age. Such areas as language cannot be neglected when the survival of the c h i l d as an ind i v i d u a l i s at stake. While the f a i l u r e of some normal children to develop language proficiency cannot be taken l i g h t l y , neglect of mentally retarded children who can be expected to exhibit language dysfunctions constitutes deprivation of serious impact To the environment of the home and the nursery-kindergarten school goes the grave r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for producing optimum development during a b r i e f but very c r i t i c a l period i n a child's l i f e . Psychometry and the behavioural sciences have provided education with the notions of measured intelligence and I.Q. Valuable as the I.Q may be, such techniques as numerical c l a s s i f i c a t i o n through the I.Q. k have had deleterious side effects. Associated with, and bound into the I.Q. i s the concept of mental age (M.A.). While M.A. i s also an invaluable concept i n a comparative sense (e.g. describing an individual's present l e v e l of performance r e l a t i v e to similar performances of average persons), the M.A. has contributed to the view that schooling for i n t e l l e c t u a l l y deficient persons should not begin u n t i l the child's mental a b i l i t y reaches the same l e v e l at which normal children begin school. Many lay persons and professional people view mental retardation as delayed development. Rarely openly expressed, such an i m p l i c i t view has interfered with the progress and development of many educational programs for mentally retarded children. One does not have to provide schooling, for example, i f one can assume the youngster not to be "ready" for school u n t i l the age of eight or ten or more as a consequence of his retardation. However, the view to be presented herein i s that some of the effects of mental retardation may be offset by early compensatory special education. One important area of ins t r u c t i o n i n such an educational program should be the area of language. Early childhood t r a i n i n g i n language should permit the extension of education for mentally retarded children. Early childhood education i s represented i n the l i t e r a t u r e on c h i l d development for over half a century. Proponents of early c h i l d -hood education have suggested that such phenomena as the increasingly large proportion of mothers i n the labour force and the consequent need to provide better care for children during the working day, has 5 led to an expansion of preschool programs. This downward extension of schooling arises from the importance placed upon good s o c i a l adjust-ment, u t i l i z a t i o n of the child's f u l l p otential for learning, stimulation of creative interests and i n t e l l e c t u a l s k i l l s . Preschool education proposes to increase the young child's chances for successful school adjustment. On the other hand, preschool t r a i n i n g i s seen to interfere with the fulfilment of the child's need for a closer relationship with the mother. Early group experience may be damaging too from the point of view regarding the kinds of demands placed on the c h i l d . Routinization and the need to conform to group demands before the c h i l d has f u l l y defined himself and his role as an ind i v i d u a l may contribute to problems of maladjustment. Perhaps the position regarding early childhood education i s best presented and summarized by Joan W. Swift i n her contribution to Review of Child Development Research, volume I: In summary, the findings reported so far have been inconclusive and c o n f l i c t i n g with respect to the extent to which attendance i n a nursery school, i n and of i t s e l f , brings about positive changes i n i n t e l l e c t u a l , s o c i a l , and physical development of young children. There i s , on the other hand, no evidence that children receiving non-r e s i d e n t i a l group care have been negatively affected i n t h e i r development or adjustment as a result of the experience. Where special  programs have been developed there i s evidence that these experiences  can have positive effects on development, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the i n t e l l e c t - ual and language area ( i t a l i c s not i n the o r i g i n a l ) . The findings do support the conclusion that when dealing with 6 c h i l d r e n from c u l t u r a l l y deprived backgrounds, or c h i l d r e n who present s p e c i a l learning problems, active intervention i n the form of s p e c i a l programs may bring about important gains for the c h i l d and i n d i r e c t l y for the community (p. 258f). CHAPTER I I PROBLEM The following paragraphs present a rationale for the execution of the study which i s described i n l a t e r chapters. Of pressing importance i s the need for education to examine the function of language acquisition by mentally retarded preschool children. Purpose of study. Today education i s confronted by many problems. For some time educators, psychologists, and other s c i e n t i s t s have vigorously pursued the study of learning as a process. The content of what to teach continues to be a pressing problem, but attention has shifted to the nature of learning i t s e l f . Children continue to be taught however. Consequently renewed attention to the immediately p r a c t i c a l aspects of teaching and learning i s necessary. While the study of the nature of learning i s a desirable and invaluable pursuit, the study of educational systems and structures (programs) cannot be neglected. The marriage of theory and practice i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of those who plan for the development of children's resources. Planning for exceptional children raises many especially formidable d i f f i c u l t i e s . One area that has recently evoked considerable interest i s the study of how children acquire and i n turn make use of language s k i l l s . As one examines t h i s issue i t becomes abundantly clear that language learning i s not a simple process. Reasonable investigation of the question of language acquisition w i l l permit educators sounder bases 8 upon which to plan programs of language stimulation. A desirable goal of any educative process i s the improvement i n performance of some s k i l l . Schools and communities are es s e n t i a l l y verbal i n nature. A major c r i t e r i o n for the success of any c h i l d i n school (or i n l i f e ) hinges upon his a b i l i t y to present himself by means of his use of language s k i l l s . The placement of an adult i n employment i s often i n direct proportion to his l e v e l of proficiency i n receptive and expressive language s k i l l s . An obvious example i s provided by the si t u a t i o n of the adult deaf whose impaired language functioning seems to be the major factor affecting t h e i r employability. As t h i s i s so, i t i s desirable to provide specific language tr a i n i n g for those children i n whom one expects the acquisition and/or per-formance of language to be delayed as a natural consequence of mental retardation. Intervention of t h i s kind i s part of the scope of t h i s research. What i s being examined i n t h i s study i s the amount of change, viewed as improvement i n language a b i l i t y , i n a group of mentally retarded preschool children as a result of t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a program of or a l language t r a i n i n g . D e f i n i t i o n of terms. In t h i s study certain terms and expressions are used i n s p e c i f i c ways. Because many words i n pedagogy today have variable meanings, some of the terms demand actual d e f i n i t i o n , while other expressions require only s l i g h t c l a r i f i c a t i o n . The term language performance should be defined c a r e f u l l y . By language performance i s implied both a child's receptive and expressive verbal language s k i l l s . Higher cognitive processes such as the role 9 of language i n concept formation are beyond the direct l i m i t s of the current research. The experimenter i s primarily concerned with the r e l a t i v e l y "mechanical" exhibition of the subject's receptive a b i l i t y and verbal repertoire. Language performance i n retarded children i s a complex blend of a multitude of influences acting upon the developing c h i l d . I n t r i n s i c factors such as disorders i n children's communication systems are not exclusive to mental retardation but spe c i f i c language d i s a b i l i t i e s frequently accompany retardation. Disorders of language demand professional detection and remediation. Factors of environment and opportunity also are involved. The setting of a preschool i s usually designed to maximize the growth potentials of children aged three to six years. Such an environment provides the opportunity to develop i n retarded children s k i l l s which are delayed or even s k i l l s which have f a i l e d to appear. Further, opportunity exists i n the preschool setting to modify the kinds of experience i n order to discover effective ways of helping children develop those s k i l l s which w i l l enable them to compensate for the d e b i l i t a t i n g effects of handicaps. The present problem i s to explore children's language performance. The problem needs to be assaulted on several fronts, but of immediate concern and importance are considerations having p r a c t i c a l kinds of implic-ations. The project i s directed at two spe c i f i c q u a l i t i e s of language performance: ( l ) can improvement i n language performance be accomplished i n preschool mentally retarded children? and, (2) by what sort of technique might such improvement be effected? 10 The term moderate retardation expresses a degree of retardation that defines the rate of development i n children as one quarter to one half that of "normal" children. Often the synonym, trainable mentally  retarded i s used. The problems that the researcher encounters i n dealing with various levels of retardation are i n part created by the devices provided by the behavioural s c i e n t i s t . At one l e v e l the researcher i s confined by li m i t a t i o n s imposed by psychometry. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , levels of retardation have been established through a c l i n i c a l approach. More recently, however, concern has been expressed over more r e a l i s t i c and p r a c t i c a l ways of viewing levels of mental retardation. Through the concept of coping a b i l i t y , i t i s possible to view the problem d i f f e r e n t l y . The a b i l i t y to adapt or cope success-f u l l y transcends the a r t i f i c i a l boundaries.of psychometry. Therefore, i n the trainable mentally retarded youngster i s found a variety of developmental delays, not the least of which may be language. Psychom-etry dictates the expected l e v e l of competence while the notion of adaptability suggests the necessity for educational intervention of sp e c i f i c kinds. There are receptive, associative, and expressive components i n language performance. These components may be stimulated through a variety of procedures. Oral language development involves the t r a i n i n g of these features rather than the t r a i n i n g of any specific psycholinguis-t i c processes such as auditory sequencing. Reception i s mediated by the key senses of hearing, sight, and touch while expression involves both vocal and motor components. Acting as a reinforcing agent, the 1 1 mechanism of feedback provides for new learning. The Feabody Language Development K i t , Level P. (PLDK) provides a program of o r a l language t r a i n i n g . This program, devised by Lloyd Dunn and his colleagues i s designed to create a comprehensive or a l language t r a i n i n g program for a wide variety of children but i s particularly-adaptable for children who need attention i n the area of language performance. Limitations. The design of the Peabody Language Development K i t penalizes children who have d i s a b i l i t i e s i n addition to mental retardation. Impairments of v i s i o n or hearing interfere with the success of the oral t r a i n i n g . S i m i l a r l y , physical impairments l i m i t the amount of movement demanded by the lessons of the k i t . Consequently, without some degree of modification the k i t can be viewed as less e f f i c i e n t for children with physical and/or sensory impairments. On the other hand, the current study selected children thought to be free of such additional impairments. As such, then, the study can furnish l i t t l e information about the effects of or a l language tr a i n i n g upon the multiply impaired mentally retarded preschooler—an area worthy of considerable investigation. The permanence of positive changes i n language performance cannot be determined by the present project. The absolute value of a l t e r i n g and improving children's language learning w i l l continue to pose problems. Numerous recent studies i n the area of language impaired children demonstrate sudden increased rates of development as a resu l t of language stimulation (Dunn, 1 9 6 8 ; Karnes, 1 9 7 0 ; Mueller, 1 2 1 9 6 8 ; Soderberg, 1 9 ^ 9 ; Weaver, 1 9 6 8 ) . However, the longitudinal study of the retarded adult who received early language trai n i n g i s costly and time consuming and such data c o l l e c t i o n i s beyond the scope of the current research. Many writers have suggested that language i s inextricably involved i n other s k i l l s . As the growth of language proceeds, i t s involvement with other parameters of development increases. Beyond the means of t h i s study i s an analysis of transfers of learning into other aspects of maturation as cognition, reading, and sensory-motor functions. Contemporary approaches. Interest i n language development has increased rapidly. Much of the present knowledge derives from the investigations of many s c i e n t i s t s who have developed several theories and opinions regarding the acquisition of language. Piaget ( 1 9 5 9 ) and Vygotsky ( 1 9 6 2 ) have theorized about the r e l a t i o n between thought and language. Piaget admits to an inextricable interrelatedness between thought and language. One cannot be separated from the other. Vygotsky suggests that the processes of thought are b u i l t upon the foundation of communicative s k i l l s which comprise language. I t might be suggested that Piaget's thinking i s a h o l i s t i c one which views language g l o b a l l y , while Vygotsky i s mechanistic i n viewpoint, confining language to the notions of speech and verbal reproduction. In such manner, i t becomes feasible to suggest a discreteness which i n a larger sense does not e x i s t . B. F. Skinner ( 1 9 5 7 ) raised questions about the order of acquisition—development of words or the 13 acquisition of a language system. Osgood ( 1 9 6 4 ) , also a learning t h e o r i s t , has shaped current thinking on the subject of language behaviour. He maintains that language behaviour results from learned associations between observable s t i m u l i and responses. Chomsky ( 1 9 6 U ) suggests that a language system comprised of rules and universal processes accounts for language behaviour. The recent contributions of Menyuk ( 1 9 6 9 ) emphasize the firm establishment of basic s y n t a c t i c a l structures i n the language behaviour of children aged three to four. Luria ( 1 9 6 6 ) attributes differences i n patterns of language acquisition to variations i n neuronal organizations, while Lenneberg ( 1 9 6 7 ) stresses an o v e r - a l l b i o l o g i c a l base for language development. Dunn ( 1 9 6 8 ) strengthens the viewpoint that language stimulation i s valuable and necessary by suggesting that learned speech patterns and associations that are used frequently are reinforced and thereby contribute s i g n i f i c a n t l y to the child's acquisition of language a b i l i t y . This reinforcement of verbal behaviours leads to an acceleration i n the use of verbal s k i l l s i n the process of communication. The several t h e o r e t i c a l views on language acquisition makes abundantly clear the importance of communication s k i l l , the complexity of understanding l i n g u i s t i c processes i n d e t a i l , and the d i f f i c u l t y i n developing adequate methods for studying language. Most children acquire e f f i c i e n c y i n language informally and often i n c i d e n t a l l y , while other children, the disadvantaged and the retarded, are not so fortunate. Theory has f a i l e d to provide educators with the tools necessary to intervene on behalf of such children. I t becomes increasingly-clear that improved procedures are needed to measure and stimulate the language of disadvantaged and retarded children. The oral language characteristics of deprived and mildly retarded children have been documented by Weaver ( 1 9 6 5 ) , Dunn and Mueller ( 1 9 6 6 ) , Gray and Klaus ( 1 9 6 5 ) , and Cavley ( 1 9 6 7 ) . Moderately retarded children exhibit similar l i n g u i s t i c p r o f i l e s (Blount, 1 9 6 8 ) . The general findings are that mildly and moderately retarded display weaknesses i n areas related to reception and o r a l expression of language elements. Blount goes so far as to suggest that language dysfunctions i n the mentally retarded with I.Q.s below 5 0 are so common that consideration should be given to treating language dysfunction apart from the h a b i l i t a t i o n of general i n t e l l e c t u a l retardation. Such points of view suggest that spe c i f i c programs of language inst r u c t i o n can and must be designed to serve disadvantaged and retarded children. J . McVicker Hunt states that "many current preschool programs f a i l to give disadvantaged (and mentally retarded) children the things they need—language, motivation...the most immediate benefits are l i k e l y to go to disadvantaged children as a means of overcoming retardation". (Hunt, p. 1 9 ) . U n t i l recently, l i t t l e experimentation was conducted on group language development, especially for preschool aged children. Some evidence (Irwin, I 9 6 0 ; Sontastefano, 1 9 6 7 ; Durbin, 1 9 6 7 ; Soderberg and Howard, 1 9 6 9 ; Karnes et a l , 1 9 7 0 ) suggests that a program of language 1 5 stimulation begun at an early age can be eff e c t i v e . Soderberg and Howard ( 1 9 6 9 ) tested preschool four year old normal children and concluded that preschool education increases the rate of development of language functions i n young children. The study by Karnes ( 1 9 7 0 ) demonstrated general improvement i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l and language development of four year old disadvantaged children. Notable, also, was the fact that highly structured programs were c l e a r l y favoured over less structured programs. Studies of preschool interventions and mentally retarded children confirm the view that special programs designed to meet special needs are effective i n overcoming the d e b i l i t a t i n g effects of i n t e l l e c t u a l impairments (Swift, 1 9 6 4 ; Cawley, 1 9 6 7 ; S later, 1 9 6 7 ; Richardson, 1 9 6 7 ; K i t t r e l l , 1 9 6 8 ; F u s c h i l l o , 1 9 6 8 ; Mickelson and Galloway, 1 9 6 9 ; Bricker and Bricker, 1 9 7 0 ; Kadman, 1 9 7 0 ) . Research and the PLDK program. Several studies appear i n the l i t e r a t u r e regarding the efficacy of the PLDK program. The majority of such studies are related to the period of early experimentation with experimental editions of the program. Three such studies appear to give promise of the program's r e a l u t i l i t y . Gibson ( 1 9 6 7 ) reported that educable mentally retarded children gained s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n language a b i l i t y after exposure to the PLDK. An unpublished project report by Mueller and Dunn ( 1 9 6 6 ) suggests that the PLDK may be an effective means for enhancing the language development of educable children when used on a regular basis by a special class teacher. 1 6 Dunn and Mueller ( 1 9 6 6 ) offer tentative conclusions that the PLDK with another group of EMR children was effective i n improving o v e r - a l l language functioning. The instructor's manual to Level P cites one study conducted with f i f t y - t h r e e disadvantaged children who showed an experimental group gain on Stanford Binet I.Q. scores of 9 . 6 points and PPVT gains of 1 2 . 0 ( c ^ = . 0 5 ) points, compared to a loss of - 2 . 3 Binet points and an i n s i g n i f i c a n t 7-8 point PPVT gain by a control group. The conclusions have been summarized as follows: ...The language teaching device known as Level P of the PLDK may be expected to contribute s i g n i f i c a n t l y to the development of certain expressive language s k i l l s and to a much greater degree than the t r a d i t i o n a l program offered i n day care centers for c u l t u r a l l y deprived preschool children (p. x x v i ) . Another important study involved twenty-nine mentally retarded children. Their performance before and after seven months of t r a i n i n g was compared using the I l l i n o i s Test of Psycholinguistic A b i l i t i e s . A l l children began i n the M.A. range of three to f i v e years and had I.Q. scores clustered about 5 0 . Three groups of children demonstrated positive gains i n language age; these gains were 1 0 . 2 , l h . 2 , and lh.0 months for the Adjustment, Pre-kindergarten groups respectively. While the long range assessment of effects of such language gains need need yet to be determined, i t i s important to note the i n i t i a l changes i n performance after treatment with the PLDK program. The general findings of current studies i n group language development appear to have dealt with certain groups of children or certain levels of handicap. The PLDK represents one of the f i r s t 17 comprehensive approaches at group intervention designed for the purpose of stimulating global verbal functioning. The l i t e r a t u r e contains studies pertaining to ( l ) preschool aged children of r e l a t i v e l y high potential ( i . e . PLDK and group language are found effective with c u l t u r a l l y disadvantaged preschool aged children) or (2) older children with less i n t e l l e c t u a l a b i l i t y ( i . e . school aged mentally retarded children have gained i n language performance as a result of the PLDK). I t remains for the current study to advance knowledge about (3) the effectiveness of group language intervention for very young i n t e l l e c t u a l l y deficient children. Improvement i n the language performance of mentally retarded preschool children i s the problem under investigation. Several issues such as the actual degree of improvement, the permanency of improvement, and the effects upon other kinds of s k i l l s are suggested by t h i s study, but remain secondary to the primary purpose of determining the d i r e c t i o n of changes i n language functioning. The actual investigation of t h i s problem i s described i n the following chapters. Chapter three establishes a viable hypothesis for testing the results of the investigation. Chapter four describes the procedures used i n the investigation. The ensuing sections analyze and discuss the findings of the study. CHAPTER I I I NULL HYPOTHESIS The rationale of t h i s study i s based upon propositions drawn from developmental, b i o l o g i c a l , psycholinguistic, behavioural, and learning theory: ( l ) A c h i l d acquires language s k i l l s i n accordance with developmental law and b i o l o g i c a l growth; (2) Psycholinguistic structures suitable to a child's acquisition are the only language structures which children w i l l accept with f a c i l i t y . ( i . e . Children acquire language proficiency through a set of rules and these rules specify the ordering and pairing of l i n g u i s t i c elements into communication.) A syntac t i c a l system or the ordering of l i n g u i s t i c units are learned i n a pre-arranged form before they are produced i n word form (Chomsky, 196k). (3) Behaviours that are reinforced tend to be repeated; (k) A c t i v i t i e s and events that have special significance to the ind i v i d u a l are those that w i l l f a c i l i t a t e his acquisition and use of language s k i l l s ; (5) Specific language disorders may accompany mental retardation but such disorders may be remediable through intervention where aspects of mental retardation do not respond to remediation. I t i s reasonable to assume that mentally retarded children pass through developmental stages similar to t h e i r normal counterparts. Current research indicates that the si g n i f i c a n t difference between mentally retarded and normal children may be ess e n t i a l l y a temporal one. Rates of development are variously delayed i n retarded children with the consequence that developmental milestones are passed at l a t e r and 1 9 l a t e r points i n time i n r e l a t i o n to chronological age. This notion of regularity i n developmental stages compares with the p r i n c i p l e of delays i n maturation l e v e l . I t leads to the general concept of c r i t i c a l periods of growth. The suggestion can be raised that mentally retarded children w i l l not, and also cannot, acquire l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l u n t i l they reach a certain developmental stage or mental age. On the other hand, provision for a compensatory kind of tutoring combined with an advantageous environment may succeed i n as s i s t i n g mentally retarded children to acquire and use l i n g u i s t i c tools at an e a r l i e r age, thereby easing many of the educational problems involved i n t h e i r l a t e r t r a i n i n g . From t h i s , research hypotheses can be constructed; these general hypotheses may be stated as follows: (a) l i t t l e can be accomplished by assis t i n g mentally retarded children i n acquiring language beyond the schedule of language learning established by nature; and (b) mentally retarded children can be encouraged to acquire l i n g u i s t i c s k i l l s at a r e l a t i v e l y early age through interventive techniques. Translation of the research hypotheses into empiric hypotheses results i n the establishment of a n u l l hypothesis (H ) which can therefore be treated a n a l y t i c a l l y . Experimental n u l l hypothesis. The present investigation i s directed at a resolution of the following s p e c i f i c hypothesis: Trainable mentally retarded preschool children (experimental group) who participate i n a structured o r a l language tr a i n i n g pro-gram w i l l not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from similar children (control group) who do not participate i n a special program. Experimental alternative hypothesis. I f the n u l l hypothesis i s 20 rejected, i t w i l l be reasonable to accept the alternative hypothesis which states: Trainable mentally retarded preschool children (experimental group) who participate i n a structured oral, language t r a i n i n g pro-^ gram w i l l d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n a positive manner from similar children (control group) who do not participate i n a special program. CHAPTER IV METHOD The purpose of s c i e n t i f i c inquiry i s to determine facts. The experimenter strives for purity i n the results of an empiric study. In any experiment, equalizing or eliminating the effects of complex intervening variables i s extremely d i f f i c u l t , i f not impossible. Educational phenomena are so i n t r i c a t e and complex that non-laboratory settings for research are necessarily imperfect. Further, i t would be fa l l a c i o u s to assume that experiments conducted i n the rigorously controlled settings of the laboratory are en t i r e l y generalizable to the school and the processes of education. The study described below was as controlled and as s c i e n t i f i c i n design as the manipulation of children, teachers, and program at the Research Unit, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, would permit. Also, while questions of external v a l i d i t y were recognized as important, t h i s chapter examines primarily c r i t e r i a for the in t e r n a l v a l i d i t y i n the study. I. POPULATION AND SAMPLE Population. Approximately thirty-two children attend classes i n f a c i l i t i e s at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia. These f a c i l i t i e s and the preschool program are sponsored j o i n t l y by the University, 22 B.C.M.R.I, and the Vancouver A.M.R.1 A l l the children have been assessed and diagnosed as moderately mentally retarded and, with the exception of a few, a l l were aged three to six years. The preschool operates daily i n the mornings only. From t h i s population the study sample was selected. Sample. The treatment variable ( i . e . o r a l language t r a i n i n g with the PLDK) i s a multi-sensory program demanding a child's use of the distance senses and locomotor s k i l l s . Because the train i n g program has t h i s bias, children were automatically excluded from the study i f they were known to have impairments of v i s u a l or auditory functioning. Retarded motor development i s a common part of moderate mental retardation. The experimenter, therefore, excluded those children whose l e v e l of motor development was s u f f i c i e n t l y retarded to cause reasonable expectation that performance i n motor a c t i v i t y would be d i f f i c u l t . Randomized selection of candidates for the study and the methods by which the subjects were grouped and matched are described i n the section below. Experimental and control groups. Of the remaining children, i t was possible to match test data and personal data for sixteen children res u l t i n g i n the formation of eight pairs of children. These eight "*"B.C .M.R .1. i s the abbreviation given to the B r i t i s h Columbia Mental Retardation I n s t i t u t e , an i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y project established i n 1 9 6 8 to promote professional t r a i n i n g and research i n areas related to mental retardation. A.M.R. stands for Association for Mentally Retarded. This organization and i t s many branches are devoted to the care, t r a i n i n g , and study of the mentally retarded. 23 pairs of children were formed on the basis of: (a) Age i n months (b) Peabody Picture Vocabulary t e s t — r a w score (c) Length of preschool experience •(d) Stanford Binet language items (e) Language ratings—from teacher estimations. One member of each pair was randomly assigned to a group; such assignment to "A" or "B" was by means of a name drawn from a hat. Group "A" was then designated as the Experimental Group as a res u l t of the toss of a coin; Group "B" became designated as the Control Group. Table I demonstrates the relationship between the randomized matched groups i n the several domains of data. Means for the experimental group (E) and the control group (C) are provided also. I I . STUDY DESIGN Randomized control group pretest-posttest. The strategy of experimental research demands that the researcher t r y to control the many variables that may interact with the variable under investigation. To t h i s end, the experimenter selected a methodology which s a t i s f i e d many of those factors which could influence the purity of the dependent variable. The paradigm found i n Figure 1 (p. 2 6 ) demonstrates the design of the experimental phase of the current research. Reference to Figure 1 shows the p a r t i c u l a r advantages of t h i s model of s c i e n t i f i c investigation. The equivalency of the experimental and control groups i s such that, to a l l intents and purposes, they d i f f e r only i n the application of variable (X). In t h i s way, the experimenter has been able to determine the amount of change i n the dependent variable (Y) 2k as a result of treatment by the independent variable (x). Validation and control. The optimum conditions of control -were determined by the day to day operation of the preschool classes. I t i s hoped that any remaining extraneous variables that may affect the dependent variable are controlled within the framework of t h i s design. The equivalency of the experimental and control groups balance out the effects of intersessional variables—extraneous variables occurring between T^  and T^ . Events of contemporary hist o r y , changes i n measuring instruments, and maturational processes are equally experienced by a l l children; hence, the effects of these conditions are equalized and cannot be mistaken i n the effect of (x). 25 TABLE I DOMAINS OF DATA FOR MATCHED GROUPS (PRETEST) PAIR NO. AGE DOMAINS PRE. PPVT S—B Exp. Con. Exp. Con. Exp. Con. Exp. Con. 1 7^ 46 1 1 3 h 15 6 2 72 73 2 2 11 11 26 21 3 65 67 1 1 12 11 21 31 k 57 60 2 2 10 8 24 15 5 6l 6o 2 1 22 23 29 35 6 67 65 3 2 11 11 29 24 7 71 68 2 3 10 16 29 32 8 53 h9 2 1 5 h 23 13 TOTAL 493 488 15 13 84 88 196 177 MEAN 6l.6 6l.0 1.8 1.6 10.5 11.0 24.5 22.1 LEGEND: AGE: PRE. PPVT S—B Exp. Con. Age of pup i l i n months Length of preschool experience i n years Peahody Picture Vocabulary Test—raw score Stanford Binet test score Experimental Group Control Group 2 6 Randomly Assigned Pretest Treatment Posttest 'R) Experimental Group (R) Control Group Experimental Group Control Group. i _ T = D " 2 1 e e e L1 - T = D 2 1 c c c X (Difference between pretest and posttest means scores) (Difference between pretest and posttest means scores) D >• D S t a t i s t i c a l test of significance to determine i f e c mean group gains are s i g n i f i c a n t at .05 l e v e l or better. (R) indicates randomization of both assignment of Ss to groups and the selection of (X). Randomization procedures have been described i n previous sections. FIGURE I RANDOMIZED CONTROL GROUP PRETEST-POSTTEST DESIGN1 The effects of pretesting procedures are s i m i l a r l y equalized for both groups. Rigorous attention was given to t h i s matter. Children were tested i n random order within the same testing room with the same testing devices. Assignment to groups was performed after a l l the testing was concluded. The effects of pretesting conditions upon (x) should be ne g l i g i b l e . Both experimental and control group high and low scores are expected to regress toward the mean by approximately the same amount. "Understanding Educational Research, ( 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 2 6 2 . 2 7 Consequently, inaccuracy i n (Y) should not be caused by s t a t i s t i c a l  regression. D i f f e r e n t i a l selection of Ss for comparison groups i s controlled by the randomization process. Further, s t a t i s t i c a l tests of s i g n i f -icance provide a safeguard i n t h i s matter. At the outset there was no noted mathematical difference between the experimental and control groups. A comparison of and data that the design provides makes possible the determination of the degree of subject mortality. No subjects dropped out of the experiment; t o t a l pupil/days of attendance at treatment sessions does not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y between the two groups (see Appendix C, p. 64). As two teachers performed the treatment portion of the study, i t was convenient to counterbalance the variable of teacher interaction. Each teacher spent an equal amount of time with both the experimental and the control groups. Midway through treatment, the teachers traded groups. Hence, the effect of such interaction upon (Y) can be ruled out. Also of importance was a consideration that changes i n (Y) may not be a res u l t of (x), but rather a product of the interaction of the  groups and the dependent variable (Y). The fact that the children formed groups different from t h e i r usual groups suggested a pot e n t i a l l y hazardous source of error. To offset t h i s interaction error, the control group was encouraged to continue language t r a i n i n g . Control group lessons were a continuation of the multi-dimensional routinejof 2 8 the preschool environment consisting of gross and fine motor a c t i v i t y , perceptual t r a i n i n g , s o c i a l and personal development, and language learning. The presence of a control group which met as a group at the same time and for the same period of time as the experimental group balances the p o s s i b i l i t y of the novelty of new group dynamics ( i . e . Hawthorn) affecting language learning. Matters r e l a t i n g to external v a l i d i t y are discussed at greater length i n Chapter VI. Par t i c u l a r attention was paid to certain c r i t i c a l factors which could affect the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the re s u l t s . I t was noted, for example, that the Ss of both groups did not d i f f e r from one another i n terms of c u l t u r a l background or socio-economic status. Children i n both groups represented a di v e r s i t y of c u l t u r a l and socio-economic backgrounds. The interaction of factors such as etiology and history was considered also. Several different etiologies were present i n the Ss, but most frequent were Down's Syndrome and c u l t u r a l - f a m i l i a l retardation. I l l . PROCEDURES Testing. Pretesting of children was conducted during the l a s t two weeks of February, 1 9 7 0 . No previous test data was used; a l l data was gathered immediately prior to the beginning of treatment March 2 , 1 9 7 0 . A l l children were tested with the same test instruments i n the same testing room. Matching of children and grouping for treatment has been 2 9 described above and "was performed with randomization and group equivalency as f i r s t considerations. Posttesting of children was conducted during the second and t h i r d weeks of June, 1 9 7 0 , with treatment ceasing at the end of the second week of June. A l l the children were tested again with the same instruments and i n the same room. Pretest and posttest rooms were also the same. Test modifications. Pretest and posttest devices were the same with certain modification noted below. Test "A" was the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. At the pretest session Form A was used, and at the posttest session, the equivalent form, Form B, was used. Test "B" was a modification of year I I — 0 and year I I — 6 levels of the Stanford Binet. Because the independent variable ( Y ) was l i n g u i s t i c functioning, and because the Stanford Binet has a high verbal load, items that were primarily verbal i n nature were selected. Test "C" consisted of an improvised language rating scale to be completed by the pupils' daily classroom teacher. I t consisted of a numerical assessment of the pupils' current expressive and receptive functioning. For a more complete description of the portions of the Stanford Binet that were used, a sample score sheet, and an example of the language rating scale, consult Appendix B. Treatment. Between pretest (T^) and posttest (T^), the experimental and the control groups formed da i l y for t h i r t y minutes. 30 The experimental group was provided with the scheduled lessons of the Peabody Language Development K i t , Level P_, while the control group was furnished with a teacher-directed program consisting of various a c t i v i t i e s including language t r a i n i n g . The essential difference i n the treatment for the two groups was i n the kind of language t r a i n i n g . The experimental group received an intensive, structured, s p e c i f i c a l l y planned o r a l language tr a i n i n g program, while the control group participated i n diverse a c t i v i t i e s of which language stimulation was a part. Appendix A provides a more complete description of the PLDK, i t s contents and i t s method. Also contained i n Appendix A are sample lessons from the PLDK, and indications of necessary teacher modifications, S t a t i s t i c a l n u l l hypothesis• "S.^-.yCo =y / U^ c where/^ represents sample mean R_^:yU- ^  ^ /^c e r e P r e s e n t s experimental group c represents control group Test s t a t i s t i c . A rank test for independent samples taken from Ferguson, S t a t i s t i c a l Analysis i n Psychology and Education provides the test s t a t i s t i c . This method uses a Z transformation approximating a standard normal d i s t r i b u t i o n , corrected for continuity and t i e d scores. Analysis of data. At the conclusion of the study, a s t a t i s t i c a l test of significance was applied to the data. When the actual sum of ranks from two independent samples of and N observations (arranged i n order, ranked, and sum of ranks taken) 31 approximates the value of the expected sum of ranks, one concludes that the samples of observations are not s t a t i s t i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t . Further, when both N^ and are equal to, or greater than eight (as i n the case of the current study) the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the sample may be regarded as approximately normal. The test s t a t i s t i c becomes a transformed Z score corrected for t i e d scores and continuity from the formula"'": where: E(R X) E (Rn 1 2 (N-1) N" 1 2 = sum of the ranks of the sample group = expected value of rank sum of sample derived from: 1 ) N„ N 2 + E(R„ N. £ T T = number of observations i n sample 1 = number of observations i n sample 2 = sum of t i e d scores when T i s derived from: 3 - t 1 2 and t i s equal to the number of t i e d ranked scores. The levels of confidence^" ( i . e . s t a t i s t i c a l significance) for a Ferguson, George A. S t a t i s t i c a l Analysis i n Psychology and Education. (New York: McGraw H i l l Book'Co. 1 9 6 6 ) , " p . ' 2 6 8 . 1 r b i d , p. 3 0 8 . 32 one-tailed test are: . 0 5 (5%) = 1.6k . 0 1 (1%) = 2.32 When the value of Z i s less than 1 . 6 4 there i s no reason to reject the n u l l hypothesis. When the value of Z i s equal to, or greater than 1.6k or 2.32, H q w i l l he rejected and the alternate hypothesis w i l l be accepted. Decision Rule. Reject the n u l l hypothesis i f Z i s > 1 . 6 4 = - 0 5 ) . CHAPTER V RESULTS The following tables summarize the data obtained from the experiment. Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. TABLE I I PRETEST TO POSTTEST DIFFERENCES OH THE PPVT DOMAIN Pretest Posttest Difference Significance Prob'. Exper. Group 84 130 +46 . 0 6 5 Control Group 88 7 6 - h .323 Although H q was upheld, there was notable improvement (near significance) by the experimental group. While Table I I presents group gains and losses from the outset of the study to the conclusion of the study, Table I I I summarizes inter-group differences at the beginning of the experiment and at the conclusion of the experiment. "Significance Probability determined from Wm. M. Meredith, Basic  Mathematical and S t a t i s t i c a l Tables for Psychology and Education (New York: McGraw H i l l , 1 9 6 7 ) , p. 2 6 7 f . 34 TABLE I I I INTERGROUP DIFFERENCES ON THE PPVT DOMAIN Exper. Group Control Group Difference Significance Prob. Pretest 84 88 - h .439 Posttest 130 T6 +54 .OUl* The n u l l hypothesis was rejected indicating-a marked difference between the groups at the conclusion of the study. Table IV summarizes the intergroup difference gain (loss) from the beginning of the study to i t s conclusion. TABLE IV INTERGROUP AND INTRAGROUP DIFFERENCE GAIN (LOSS) COMBINED ON THE PPVT DOMAIN Exper. Group Control Group Over-all Significance Difference Difference Difference Probability Pretest/Posttest 5 0 5 8 1 0 8 .003 A strong indication of rejection of the n u l l hypothesis i s apparent, ^Significant at . 0 5 or 5% l e v e l of confidence. **Significant at . 0 1 or 1% l e v e l of confidence. 3 5 Stanford Binet test r e s u l t s . TABLE V PRETEST TO POSTTEST DIFFERENCES ON THE STANFORD BINET DOMAIN Pretest Posttest Difference Significance Pro"b. Exper. Group 1 9 6 2 6 5 + 6 9 . 0 0 2 * * Control Group 1 7 7 1 8 9 + 1 2 . 4 3 9 Significance at one per cent l e v e l indicates s i g n i f i c a n t gains by the experimental group and no such gain by the control group. While Table V represents intragroup gain from the beginning of the study to i t s conclusion, Table VI summarizes intergroup v a r i a b i l i t y over the period of the study. TABLE VI INTERGROUP DIFFERENCES ON THE STANFORD BINET DOMAIN Exper. Group Control Group Difference Significance Prob. Pretest 1 9 6 1 7 7 + 1 9 . 4 3 9 Posttest 2 6 5 1 8 9 + 7 8 . 0 5 2 * 3 6 Significance at f i v e per cent l e v e l indicates a si g n i f i c a n t difference between the groups at the conclusion of the study. Table VII summarizes the between group difference gain from the beginning of the study to i t s conclusion. TABLE VII INTERGROUP AND INTRAGROUP DIFFERENCE GAIN COMBINED ON THE STANFORD BINET DOMAIN Exper. Group Control Group Over-all Significance Difference Difference Difference Probability Pretest/Posttest 5 7 5 9 + 1 1 6 . 0 0 5 * * Significance at one per cent l e v e l indicates rejection of the n u l l hypothesis i n favour of the gains made by the experimental group. Language rating domain. I t w i l l be noted from the following three tables that i n a l l cases the n u l l hypothesis was upheld. However, while no significance was obtained, i t should be noted that d e f i n i t e trends i n favour of the experimental group are apparent i n Tables V I I I , IX, and X. 3 7 TABLE VIII PRETEST TO POSTTEST DIFFERENCES ON THE LANGUAGE RATING DOMAIN Pretest Posttest Difference Significance Prob. Exper. Group 3 5 6 3 8 l + 2 5 . 3 6 0 Control Group 3 0 8 3 1 5 + 7 - 5 2 0 While Table VIII represents group gains from the beginning to the conclusion of the study, Table IX summarizes intergroup differences at the outset of the experiment and at the conclusion of the experiment, TABLE IX INTERGROUP DIFFERENCES ON THE LANGUAGE RATING DOMAIN Exper. Group Control Group Difference Significance Prob, Pretest 3 5 6 3 0 8 +hQ . 2 5 3 Posttest . 3 8 1 3 1 5 . + 6 6 . 1 9 1 Table X.summarizes the between-group gains from the beginning of the study to i t s conclusion. 38 TABLE X INTERGROUP AND INTRAGROUP DIFFERENCE GAIN COMBINED ON THE LANGUAGE RATING DOMAIN Exper. Group C o n t r o l Group O v e r - a l l S i g n i f i c a n c e D i f f e r e n c e D i f f e r e n c e D i f f e r e n c e P r o b a b i l i t y P r e t e s t / P o s t t e s t 1 8 1 8 36 .139 CHAPTER VI DISCUSSION Results. The samples of data obtained from the study are generally encouraging. There appears to he f a i r l y r e l i a b l e evidence supporting the alternate hypothesis. Rejection of the H q occurs i n several instances (Tables I I I , IV, V, VI, VI I ) . Structured o r a l language tr a i n i n g e f f e c t i v e l y improved the language performance of the children i n the experimental group. There was no essential difference between the experimental group and the control group on any of the measurement variables at the beginning of the study. At the conclusion of the study i t i s evident (from Tables I I I , VI) that experimental and control groups d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y on the measures provided by the PPVT (.05) and the Stanford Binet ( .05). Language rating data upheld H q and showed no significance. The evaluation of one group against i t s e l f ( i . e . experimental group pretest data versus experimental group posttest data) shows only one s i g n i f i c a n t measurement variable. Pretest to posttest gains on the Stanford Binet experimental group data pool were s i g n i f i c a n t beyond the one per cent l e v e l of confidence (Table V). As anticipated, control group pretest to posttest scores realized no si g n i f i c a n t gain or loss on any data domain. While the control group f a i l e d to achieve any marked advances beyond the expected gains of maturation and natural acquisition of s k i l l , i t i s recognized that the preschool ho program i n which they regularly participate successfully maintains a desirable l e v e l of progress. Intergroup and intragroup data, when combined, produced si g n i f i c a n t results also. For example, the ove r - a l l within-group and between-group difference i s s i g n i f i c a n t within one per cent on the PPVT domain (Table IV) and within one percent on the Stanford Binet domain (Table VII). Combined language ratings approached the f i v e percent l e v e l of confidence, but f a i l e d to reach i t (Table X). On no occasion did the language ratings reach the f i v e per cent l e v e l of confidence; however, significance p r o b a b i l i t i e s were generally supportive of the experimental group. Intragroup difference was . 3 6 0 against . 5 2 0 (Table VIII) i n favor of the experimental group. Intergroup differences were . 1 9 1 against . 2 5 3 (Table IX) i n favor of the experimental group. In general, i t may be concluded that the language ratings support the trend exhibited by the other data samples. Figure 2 (below) summarizes p i c t o r i a l l y the trends demonstrated by the PPVT data. Pretest Posttest (.323) Control Group Exper. Group ( . 0 6 5 ) FIGURE 2 REPRESENTATION OF DATA TRENDS ON THE PPVT DOMAIN 41 Notice that the in s t r u c t i o n a l program results i n better perform-ance for the treatment group than the non-treatment group, and that the treatment group examined against i t s e l f approaches significance. When actually combined, the difference becomes evident and r e l i a b l e at the one per cent l e v e l . Figure 3 summarizes the data analysis of the Stanford Binet. Pretest Posttest Control Group (.439) Exper. Group (.439! (.002) FIGURE 3 REPRESENTATION OF DATA TRENDS ON THE STANFORD BINET DOMAIN (.052) (5%) Notice the support given to intergroup differences at the conclusion of the study. In t h i s case, also, intragroup difference presents with a better than one percent confidence. A high degree of confidence was discovered when differences were combined. I t i s not surprising that the data pool showing the strongest evidence i n support of the alternate hypothesis were the Stanford Binet items. The PPVT tests primarily the receptive functioning of language, while the Stanford Binet consists of broader assessment of numerous 12 language components. The children, therefore, were permitted upon the l a t t e r test to demonstrate motor expressive s k i l l s , v erbalization s k i l l s , manipulative s k i l l s , i n addition to receptive a b i l i t i e s . The nature of the testing device, i t s broader.sampling, l i k e l y contributes to the degree of significance of the experiment. It i s th i s property of the Stanford Binet instrument which could explain that only the Stanford Binet data pool demonstrated s i g n i f i c a n t group gain for the experimental group against i t s e l f over the duration of the study. The diagonal lines of figures 2 and 3, i n t h e i r r e l a t i v e l y high values of significance, may b e l i e a property of s t a t i s t i c s which would affect the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the conclusion. The effect of mathem-a t i c a l l y adding the significance p r o b a b i l i t i e s may spuriously raise the l e v e l of confidence beyond a r e a l l e v e l . This fact notwithstanding i t i s to be concluded that a combination of group difference results i n a demonstration of children's language performance. Nevertheless, what has been demonstrated i n th i s study i s the reje c t i o n of the n u l l hypothesis by the demonstration of a marked difference i n the language functioning of the experimental group and control group at the conclusion of the study. No differences were apparent at the beginning of the experiment. PPVT and Stanford Binet data are si g n i f i c a n t at the fi v e per cent l e v e l ; language ratings, while not s i g n i f i c a n t , have a trend i n th i s d i r e c t i o n . Implications. In an age characterized by rapid expansion of knowledge and enormous demands upon employable c i t i z e n s , populations of mentally retarded persons are i n grave danger of becoming outsiders Yet these persons have a manifest right to belong to t h i s world. Instead of being s o c i e t a l assets, they can w e l l become so c i e t a l l i a b -i l i t i e s . Unemployable and untrainable, even marginally, the per capita cost of maintenance becomes astronomical. Learning and i n t e l l e c t u a l development are part of, and accelerated by the degree of language functioning. Language a b i l i t y i n part determines the number of opportunities available to the mentally retarded person. I t i s not infrequent that judgments about mentally retarded individuals are emotional and subjective. Two mentally retarded persons having comparable s k i l l s and a b i l i t i e s to perform some form of endeavour, may e a s i l y be received i n e n t i r e l y different manners. One of these may have achieved a l e v e l of language proficiency higher than the other. Tolerance and even employability w i l l be extended to the former much sooner than to the l a t t e r whose language s k i l l s are inadequate. While both persons are equally capable of performing an a c t i v i t y , one of them i s penalized for his inadequate language s k i l l . Rapid extension of knowledge about the mentally retarded and about learning demonstrates the d e s i r a b i l i t y of developing language s k i l l s i n young children. Training for the mentally retarded youngster may occur even before he reaches the t r a d i t i o n a l school age of s i x years. This study has demonstrated two conclusions especially suited to the in s t r u c t i o n of the mentally retarded. There i s evidence to hh suggest that there i s an effective difference i n types of methodology i n the teaching of language s k i l l s to moderately retarded children. There i s also evidence i n support of the fact that s i g n i f i c a n t language performance gains accrue to groups of children exposed to appropriate methodology. I t has been impossible to rule out e n t i r e l y the effect the preschool i t s e l f has had upon the language growth of the children. While both groups were es s e n t i a l l y equal i n preschool p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and while the design maintained comparable amounts of exposure to preschool stimulation, moderately retarded children who have not attended preschool programs may be unresponsive to the type of language instruction suggested by the study. In arguing for an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of language programs for moderately retarded children, the author argues also for int e n s i f y i n g and increasing opportunities of preschool education for exceptional children. The effect of preschool stimulation per se and the effect of group language stimulation per se cannot be parcelled into convenient and discrete packages. Any generalization about language improvement, therefore, necessarily supports the need for a wide variety of increased experiences on a diverse number of planes or l e v e l s . I t i s recognized that the results of the current project are to be added to the growing weight of evidence supporting early c h i l d -hood compensatory education and stimulation for exceptional children. The p o s s i b i l i t y of modified and accelerated language development has been demonstrated by many researchers working with different numbers and groups of children. Some researchers have been concerned with the most opportune time to intervene i n language areas. This study suggests the importance of early educational intervention i n children's language tr a i n i n g . Limitations. True acceleration i n language acquisition should assist i n the acquisition of other s k i l l s i n such areas as reading and perceptual motor a c t i v i t i e s . Before a generalization of t h i s nature i s possible there are, however, certain delimiting factors which need to be i d e n t i f i e d and which could affect the g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y of the conclusion. Disregarding such l i m i t a t i o n s could result i n an u n j u s t i f i e d extension of the results of the study. While the composition of the study sample was s u f f i c i e n t l y heterogeneous to permit generalizations for a variety of mentally retarded children, the size of the sample (N = 16) requires consideration. The one per cent of the general population who are moderately mentally retarded may not be f u l l y represented by sixteen cases of a study. On the other hand, the mathematical expression of the data assumed that the d i s t r i b u t i o n of the study sample approx-imated a normal d i s t r i b u t i o n . The test s t a t i s t i c has been corrected for group continuity and i s assumed normal for any number of cases beyond eight. The selection of the proper mathematical expression of the data was based upon a need to i s o l a t e improvement i n language performance by a r e l a t i v e l y small group. Nonparametric s t a t i s t i c s for small group designs suitably met the demands of the study. Intricate examination of variances (and therefore a more powerful s t a t i s t i c ) was not required to demonstrate the p o s s i b i l i t y or fact of being able to a l t e r language patterns. A rank sum for independent samples e f f e c t i v e l y determined the degree and d i r e c t i o n of change rather than i s o l a t i n g the causative variables. One property of the study design could impose a severely l i m i t i n g quality upon the r e s u l t s . The study extended over a period of only sixteen weeks. To generalize about language acquisition which, developmentally, takes years to accomplish from sixteen weeks of investigation may indeed be spurious. On the other hand, during the treatment period there was obtained s u f f i c i e n t change i n language performance for significance to be attained. Despite the l i m i t e d period of time provided by the design of the study, the gains by the treatment group are favourable and lead to the question of how much increased gain i s possible i f the experiment were repeated over a longer period of time. Suggestions for further research. Effective methods can be devised for the improvement of language patterns of children during the preschool years. Such early improvement i n language s k i l l promises more effective learning i n other areas throughout the school years. The correlation between language improvement and other areas of learning during the early stages of development needs to be hi demonstrated. This study requires that other investigations follow to determine the degree of f a c i l i t a t i o n i n learning of other s k i l l s such as motor s k i l l s , perceptual s k i l l s , and school readiness afforded "by increased language proficiency. C r i t i c a l also i s the necessity to investigate the s t a b i l i t y of gain i n language proficiency. Longitudinal studies need to he performed to demonstrate whether or not gains are maintained. Testing of the children i n the two groups at periods of s i x months, a year, and two years following posttesting sessions could demonstrate t h i s . In review and recognizing the lim i t a t i o n s imposed by the study design and the need for continued investigation i n a l l areas related to language learning, there i s now increased evidence supporting the concept of language tr a i n i n g for exceptional children. Language tra i n i n g may be provided within the framework of a preschool designed for exceptional children. Specialized compensatory t r a i n i n g i s found effective i n assisting preschool moderately retarded children to obviate some of the d e b i l i t a t i n g effects of delayed language development. Educators cannot be permitted to deny trainable mentally retarded preschool children the opportunity to experience language stimulation i n the l i g h t of such evidence. CHAPTER VII SUMMARY From the thirty-two children comprising the population of the preschool at the Research Unit for Exceptional Children, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, sixteen children were selected to form the experi-mental and control groups i n a sixteen week project studying the language performance of the children. The sixteen children were matched i n pairs on the basis of age i n months, length of preschool experience, raw score on the PPVT, and raw score on a modified Stanford Binet. Matched pairs were used to insure that the experi-mental and control groups were as nearly equivalent at the outset as possible. For sixteen weeks the experimental group participated for t h i r t y minutes per day i n a group or a l language tr a i n i n g program. For an equal period of time the control group participated i n a non-directive program i n which language a c t i v i t i e s were correlated with motor, sensory, and s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . During posttesting sessions a l l the children were tested using the same, or equivalent forms of the pretest instruments. The difference between pretest to posttest events was considered to be a measure of change i n language performance. S t a t i s t i c a l analysis of these data was applied to determine significance. At the conclusion of the study the children of the experimental group scored s i g n i f i c a n t l y better than the children of the control group on a l l variables. Pretest to posttest experimental group gain was s i g n i f i c a n t , while the same measures for the control group h9 evidenced no measurable difference. While intergroup differences at the beginning of the study were ne g l i g i b l e , the between-group differences after p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n o r a l language tr a i n i n g were demonstrably s i g n i f -icant. There were, therefore, important gains made by the experimental group, while no r e a l gains were achieved by the control group. It seems reasonable to assume from the data analyses that programmed intervention i n the language domain i s both feasible and desirable for moderately retarded preschool children. Immediate eff e c t s , however, leave other questions unanswered and i n want of further investigation. Questions regarding l a s t i n g effects of language intervention, as we l l as the degree of effective f a c i l i t a t i o n i n learning of other s k i l l s as a result of language t r a i n i n g , need investigation. I t has been demonstrated however, that the f i r s t step, that of immediate and positive change i n language performance, can be f a c i l i t a t e d by direct intervention i n the language trai n i n g of moderately retarded preschool children. BIBLIOGRAPHY 5 1 Blount, W. R. "Language and the More Severely Retarded: A Review". American Journal of Mental Deficiency, pp. 7 3 ( l ) , 1 9 6 8 . B ricker, William A. and Diane D. "Development of Receptive Vocabulary i n Severely Retarded Children". American Journal of Mental Deficiency, pp. 7 6 ( l ) , 1 9 7 0 . Cawley, John F. "Psycholinguistic Characteristics of Preschool Children", Training School B u l l e t i n , pp. 6k ( 3 ) , 1 9 6 7 . Chomsky, N. Current Issues i n L i n g u i s t i c Theory. The Hague: Mouton Press, 1 9 6 4 . ' -- ' Cruickshank, Wm. M. (ed.). Psychology of Exceptional Children and  Youth. Second edition. Englewood C l i f f s ; Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1 9 6 3 . Dunn, Lloyd M., Horton, Kathryn B., and Smith, James 0. (eds.). Peabody Language Development K i t s , Manual for Level P.. C i r c l e Pines: American" Guidance Services, Inc., 1 9 ^ 8 . Dunn, Lloyd M. and Mueller, M. W. "The Effectiveness of the Peabody Language Development K i t s and the I n i t i a l Teaching Alphabet with Disadvantaged Children i n the Primary Grades: After One Year". I n s t i t u t e on Mental Retardation and I n t e l l e c t u a l  Development"' (lMRIDT~Science Monograph, "No. 2 , 1 9 6 6 . Durbin, Mary Lou. Teaching Techniques: For Retarded and Pre-reading  Students. Springfield: Charles' C. Thomas, 1 9 6 7 . Eisenson, Jan. "The Nature of Defective Speech". Psychology of Exceptional Children and Youth. Wm. M. Cruickshank, editor. Englewood C l i f f s : Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1 9 6 3 . Ferguson, George A. S t a t i s t i c a l Analysis i n Psychology and Education. Second edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1 9 6 6 . F u s c h i l l o , Jean C. "Enriching the Preschool Experience of Children from Age 3 : 1 1 , the Evaluation". Children, 1 5 (k), 1 9 6 8 . Gibson, Robert C. "Effectiveness of the Peabody Language Development Program with a Class of Educable Mentally Retarded Children". Paper read at the 9 1 s t meeting of the American Association on Mental Deficiency, Denver, Colorado, 1 9 6 7 . Gray, S. W. and Klaus, R. A. "An Experimental Preschool Program for C u l t u r a l l y Deprived Children". Child Development, pp. 3 6 : 8 8 7 - 8 9 8 , 1 9 6 5 . 5 2 Hunt, J. McVicker. "Where Education Begins". American Education, h ( 9 ) , 1 9 6 9 . Irwin, Orvis C. "Infant Speech: Effect of Systematic Reading of Stories". Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 3 : 1 8 7 - 9 0 , I 9 6 0 . Johnson, G. O r v i l l e , and Blank, Harriett D. (eds.) Exceptional  Children Research Review. Washington: the Council for Exceptional Children, 1 9 6 8 . Karnes, Merle B., Teska, James A. and Hodgins, Audrey S. "The Effects of Four Programs of Classroom Intervention on the I n t e l l e c t u a l and Language Development of k Year Old Disadvantaged Children". American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 40 ( 1 ) , 1 9 7 0 . K i t t r e l l , Flemmie P. "Enriching the Preschool Experience of Children from Age 3 : I , the Program". Children, 1 5 ( 4 ) , 1 9 6 8 . Kodman, Frank. "Effects of Preschool Enrichment on I n t e l l e c t u a l Performance of Appalachian Children". Exceptional Children, 3 6 : 5 0 3 - 5 0 7 , 1 9 7 0 . Lenneberg, E. H. B i o l o g i c a l Foundations of Language. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1 9 6 7 . L u r ia, A. R. Higher C o r t i c a l Functions i n Man. Hew York: Basic Books Inc., 1 9 6 6 . Luria, A. R. Human Brain and Psychological Processes. New York: Harper and Row, 1 9 6 6 . McCarthy, Dorothea. "Language Development i n Children". Manual of Child Psychology, Second e d i t i o n , Leonard Carmichael, editor. New York: Wiley Press, 1 9 5 4 . Menyuk, P. Sentences Children Use. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1 9 6 9 . Meredith, William M. Basic Mathematical and S t a t i s t i c a l Tables for  Psychology arid Education. New'York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1 9 6 7 . Mickelson, Norma I. and Galloway, Charles G. "Cumulative Language D e f i c i t Among Indian Children". Exceptional Children, 3 6 , November 1 9 6 9 • Mueller, M. W. and Dunn, L. M. "Peabody Language Development Program with Educable Mentally Retarded Children. After Four and One Half Months". Unpublished project report, Peabody College, 1 9 6 6 . 5 3 Exceptional Children Research Review, G. O r v i l l e Johnson and Harriett D. Blank,, editors. Washington:. The Council for Exceptional Children, 1 9 6 8 . Myklebust, H.. R. (ed.). "Language Disorders i n Children". Exceptional  Children. 22, 1 9 5 6 . Myklebust, H. R. (ed.) Progress i n Learning D i s a b i l i t i e s , Vol. I. New"York: Grune and - S t r a t t o n 1 9 6 8 . " Osgood, C. E. Method and Therapy i n Experimental Psychology. Hew York: Oxford University Press, 1961+7 Osgood, C. E., Sebeak, T., Diebold, R., and M i l l e r , G. A. Psycho- l i n g u i s t i c s : A Survey of Theory and Research Problems with a_ Survey of Psycholinguisties Research, 1 9 5 4 - 6 4 and the  Psycholinguistics • Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1 9 6 5 -Piaget, Jean. The Child's Conception of the World. Hew York: The Humanities P r e s s , " 1 9 5 1 . Piaget, Jean. The Language and Thought of the Child. Hew York: The Humanities Press, 1 9 5 9 -Richardson, Sylvia 0. "Language Training for Mentally Retarded Children". Language and Mental Retardation: Empirical and  Conceptual Considerations. Richard L. Schiefelbusch and Ross H. Copeland, editor. Hew York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1 9 6 7 • Santostefano, Sebastiano, and Stayton, Samuel. "Training the Preschool Retarded Child i n Focusing Attention: A Program for Parents". American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 3 7 (4), 1 9 6 7 • Skinner, B. F. Verbal Behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1 9 5 7 . Slater, Marie. "Preschool Education for the Young TMR Child". Special Education, 42 ( l ) , 1 9 6 7 . Smith, Robert M. C l i n i c a l Teaching, New York: McGraw H i l l Book Co., 1 9 6 8 . Soderberg, George A. and Howard, Merle R. "Effect of Preschool Education on Receptive Vocabulary". Journal of Communication  Disorders, 2: 220-223, I 9 6 9 . Swift, Joan W. "Effects of Early Group Experience: The Nursery School and the Day Nursery"; Review of Child Development Research, Vol.'" I , Martin L. Hoffman and Lois Wladis' Hoffman, editors. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1 9 6 4 . Van Dalen, Deobald B. Understanding Educational Research. New York McGraw H i l l Book Company, 19'66. Vygotsky, L. Thought and Language. Boston: MIT Press, 1 9 6 2 . Weaver, S. J. "Use of the ITPA with Exceptional Children". Un-published paper, Peabody College, 1 9 6 5 . Peabody Language  Development K i t s , Manual for Level P, Circles Pines: American Guidance Service, Inc., 1 9 6 8 . Wood, Nancy E. Verbal Learning. San Rafael: Dimensions Publishing Company, 1 9 6 9 . APPENDICES APPENDIX A PEABODY LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT KIT, LEVEL P The Peabody Language Development K i t , Level P, (PLDK) represents one of the newest and better innovations i n educationally programmed learning experiences i n recent years. Developed by L. M. Dunn and his colleagues at the George Peabody College for Teachers, Tennessee, i t i s a multi-sensory and multi-dimensional approach to group o r a l language t r a i n i n g . The k i t consists of sundry materials which are u t i l i z e d frequently and regularly i n a developmentally staged series of 180 d a i l y lessons. Each daily lesson i s devised i n two parts and the authors expect that approximately forty minutes per day be devoted to the program. Typically the lessons would be taught i n two daily sessions, each l a s t i n g about twenty minutes, one i n the morning and one i n the a f t e r -noon. The study modified t h i s approach because the children who attend the preschool at the Research Unit for Exceptional Children, University of B r i t i s h Columbia attend only i n the mornings. The lessons were conducted systematically and sequentially. Part A of any lesson would be taught on one day and Part B of the lesson would be taught the succeeding day. whenever the content of a lesson was deemed too d i f f i c u l t or to have too much variety i n stimulation and a c t i v i t y , parts of a lesson were not performed. The manual of instructions which accompanies the PLDK provides 5 7 guidelines to instructors. These guidelines encourage the resourceful teacher to maintain the orderly progression of the sequence of lessons but at the same time to preserve a climate of high interest and to establish, through f l e x i b i l i t y and modification, appropriate degrees of stimulation. Such an intensive and systematic approach was u t i l i z e d by the workers i n the study i n the conducting of the d a i l y lessons. Through th e i r recognition that the PLDK as conceived by i t s authors provides a potential means for overcoming retarded language development, the lessons were carried out staying as close to the text and guidelines as possible. There follows below a sample of one of the d a i l y lessons taken from the manual. Part A would be taught one day, and Part B would be taught on the succeeding day. DAILY LESSON NO. 6 1 MATERIALS—Animal Cards ( A ) : ( 5 ) cat ( l 8 ) puppy (19) rooster ( 2 1 ) turkey ( 2 2 ) bear ( 2 9 ) frog (40) f l y / P. Mooney Bag / Record- 5 - B - 3 (The Is. Are Song) / Record Player (not i n k i t ) PART A 1 . NAMING—SENTENCE BUILDING TIME. Before the lesson, place the Animal Cards l i s t e d above.in the P. Mooney Bag. Wear the bag and say: I have some pictures of animals for you to see today. We Taken from Manual for Peabody Language Development Kits,' Level P; Lloyd M. Dunn, author; (Circle Pines, Minnesota: American Guidance bervice, Inc., 1 9 6 8 ) , p. 1 1 . 58 are going to learn the names of these animals. Present the pictures, one at a time, from the P. Mooney Bag, and say: What i s this? Have the children name, i n unison, each of the animals using the sentence pattern: This i s a (cow). I f the children respond spontaneously with the single word "cow", say: Yes, t h i s i s a (cow). How l e t ' s a l l say the sentence together: This i s a (cow). Place the cards on the chalk ledge as they are i d e n t i f i e d . Review the cards by having volunteers name them. Be sure they use the correct sentence pattern. Leave the cards on the chalk ledge for A c t i v i t y 2. CONVERSATION TIME. Say: I wonder what kinds of sounds these animals make? Encourage the children to discuss and make the animal sounds. To end the a c t i v i t y , randomly pick up each of the cards and have the children, i n unison, make the sound of that animal. PART B SOUND IDENTIFICATION TIME. Place the eight Animal Cards back on the chalk ledge. Say: Now l e t ' s play a guessing game. I w i l l make the sound of one of these animals. Each time I w i l l c a l l on one of you to go to the front of the room and show me (point to) the picture of the animal that makes that sound. Make the sounds i n random order for the children to match to the pictures on the chalk ledge. LISTENING TIME. Have Record 5-B set up on the record player prior to the lesson. Play Band 3 several times. (The Is.Are Song, 59 sung with musical accompaniment). Then sing or chant the words of the song substituting the names of the Animal Cards used. Encourage the children to respond, i n unison, with the appropriate sounds. Go through the series several times. Have children j o i n i n the chant i f they are able to do so. (Bear) i s one; (bears) are two. What do they say, when they t a l k to you? Grrr; g r r r ; grrr APPENDIX B TEST AND TEST MODIFICATIONS Three different psychological and evaluative instruments formed the pretest and posttest materials. The following paragraphs i l l u s t r a t e how these materials were applied. PPVT. As a f i r s t t e s t , the experimenter selected the Peahody  Picture Vocabulary Test. The test was administered according to the standardized directions for administration provided by the test manual. Form "A" was used during pretest, and the equivalent form, Form "B" was used at posttest. The children tended to score below the l e v e l required for deriving accurate scaled scores. Extrapolation caused children with varying raw scores to be given similar extrapolated scaled scores. For comparison purposes t h i s was undesirable; hence, the author preferred to u t i l i z e children's raw scores d i r e c t l y . Stanford Binet. Items selected from the Stanford Binet  Intelligence Scale formed the second testing device. The experimenter chose subtests from the year I I — 0 and I I — 6 levels on the basis of t h e i r verbal content. The number of actual tasks to be performed i n a l l the selected subtests were t o t a l l e d and each task was given a value of one point. Children's scores were the t o t a l number of actual successes i n a l l the items (maximum 4 8 ) . The s p e c i f i c items from the Stanford Binet are enumerated below, 6 1 together with an indication of the scoring system. Note that the tasks involve a sampling of both receptive and expressive language functioning. Test data from the Stanford Binet: Subtest Taken From Score 1 . Body Parts Year I I — 0 6 (six parts of the body I I — 6 to be id e n t i f i e d ) 2 . Picture Vocabulary Year I I — 0 (Naming of one to eighteen I I — 6 1 8 vocabulary cards) I I I — 0 3 . Objects by Name Year I I — 0 6 (identifying objects by name, s i x possible) h. Objects by Use Year 1 1 - 6 6 (identifying objects by use, s i x possible) 5 . Naming Objects Year I I — 6 6 (S required to name objects, s i x presented) 6 . Repeating Digits Year I I — 6 3 (Repetition of two d i g i t s , three t r i a l s given) 7 . Simple Commands Year I I — 6 3 (Performance of three simple instructions, presented separately) Total Score hQ Language Rating. The experimenter selected several items that describe two observable aspects of language performance, receptive and expressive functioning, and asked the teachers to evaluate each c h i l d on a f i v e point scale ranging from zero to four. The evaluations were 62 summed and the sum was then taken as a measure of the child's current language performance. Following i s a sample of the form completed by the teachers on both pretest and posttest occasions. Language Rating Scale (Sample): Date ' Pupil's Name Rater's Name Instructions. For each of the following items please indicate the number which you f e e l best describes the pupil's present l e v e l of functioning. 0 very weak 1 weak Total "A" 2 average Total "B" 3 strong Total "A" & "B" h very strong A. Expressive Language Pupil makes sounds Pupil babbles Pupil names objects Pupil names pictures Pupil names animals Pu p i l uses nouns Pupil uses verbs correctly Pupil uses descriptive words (adjectives) Pupil's speech i s echolalic Pupil prefers to use gestures for communications Pupil speaks c l e a r l y Pupil speaks loudly Pupil speaks i n sentences Pupil can describe a picture or relate an event Receptive Language Pupil points to named object Pupil points to named pictures Pupil recognizes animals (or animal sounds) .... Pupil follows simple directions P u p i l can follow s e r i a l commands (2, 3'. or 4 tasks"! Pupil follows gestural commands Pupil attends ( l i s t e n s ) to teacher s u f f i c i e n t l y to comprehend or a l instructions ... APPENDIX C ATTENDANCE RECORD OF EXPERIMENTAL AND CONTROL GROUPS This appendix contains a cumulative record of the number of pupil/days attended by the children of the experimental and control groups. Notice that the t o t a l pupil/days for each group are simi l a r . The obtained levels of significance i n the data pools cannot, therefore, be attributed to an overexposure to the treatment program by one group r e l a t i v e to the other. TABLE XI TOTAL PUPIL/DAYS ATTENDANCE Pupi l Pupil/Days Pupil/Days Experimental Group Control Group 1 48 6 l 2 64 42 3 63 64 k 65 63 5 67 67 6 65 63 7 64 l+l 8 56 66 Total Pupil/Days 482 467 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            data-media="{[{embed.selectedMedia}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0102127/manifest

Comment

Related Items