One current definition of language delay, on the basis of the Cognitive Hypothesis model, assumes that children who have similar levels of language and cognitive development are unlikely to gain from specific language intervention. Children who have cognitive skills developed to a greater degree than their language skills, in contrast, are identified as appropriate candidates for specific language facilitation. In order to examine this premise, the present study compares the effects of language intervention over a 1-year period for two groups of young children with delayed language: one group with cognitive skills markedly above their language level, and the other group with similar delays in cognitive and language skills. Eighteen subjects (13 boys, 5 girls, mean age 4;11) had cognitive skills developed above their language level, and 32 subjects (20 boys, 12 girls, mean age 5;3) had similar delays in language and cognition. Evaluation measures were Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised (PPVT-R), MLU, Preschool Language Assessment Instrument, and Basic Language Concepts Test (BLCT). Of the four measures, only the BLCT resulted in significant gain differences favoring the students with higher cognitive than language skills. PPVT-R standard scores indicated that both groups made gains at a faster rate during intervention than prior to intervention. Clinical implications of the results are discussed.