Article published in:Toegepaste aspekten van de taalpsychologie: 3 november 1979 te Nijmege
[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 7] 1979
► pp. 235–247
Taalstimulering Bij Zwakzinnigen
Two recently developed language programs for the mentally retarded are discussed: 1. A program aiming at the improvement of syntactic skills. 2. A program designed to teach locative expressions with the prepositions 'in', 'on' and 'under'. In addition, the results of a training study that incorporates the syntax program are reported. In this study, two groups of 17 MR children were given training on Dutch subject-verb-object sentences. During the first half of the training period, experimental group I was trained on the use of SOV word orders which, while grammatically incorrect, are very common in the language of young Dutch children; during the second half of the training period, the subjects were trained on (correct) SVO orders. Exp. gr. II was trained only on (correct) SVO orders. The aim of the study was to see whether training on the incorrect 'child model' (SOV) sentences would facilitate the later learning of the correct 'adult model' sentences. Pre- and posttests included a sentence imitation task, a picture description task and a video-description task. Pretest results showed that the children indeed had a marked preference for the OV-word order. Pretest-posttest comparisons showed significant gains for both experimental groups when compared with a control group (no training) on a sentence complexity score. The two experimental groups did not differ from each other in this respect. With respect to the use of word order, experimental groups showed an increase in the use of the VO order. The increase was, however,much more pronounced in exp. gr. II. These results are discussed in the light of possible implications for speech therapy with the mentally retarded.
Published online: 24 March 2014