Skip to main content
×
×
Home

The benefit of orthographic support for oral vocabulary learning in children with Down syndrome*

  • SILVANA E. MENGONI (a1), HANNAH NASH (a2) and CHARLES HULME (a2)
Abstract

Children with Down syndrome typically have weaknesses in oral language, but it has been suggested that this domain may benefit from learning to read. Amongst oral language skills, vocabulary is a relative strength, although there is some evidence of difficulties in learning the phonological form of spoken words. This study investigated the effect of orthographic support on spoken word learning with seventeen children with Down syndrome aged seven to sixteen years and twenty-seven typically developing children aged five to seven years matched for reading ability. Ten spoken nonwords were paired with novel pictures; for half the nonwords the written form was also present. The spoken word learning of both groups did not differ and benefited to the same extent from the presence of the written word. This suggests that compared to reading-matched typically developing children, children with Down syndrome are not specifically impaired in phonological learning and benefit equally from orthographic support.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Silvana E. Mengoni, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA. e-mail:silvana.mengoni@open.ac.uk.
Footnotes
Hide All
[*]

The support of a CASE PhD studentship from the ESRC and Down Syndrome Education International is gratefully acknowledged. The authors wish to thank the children, families, and schools who took part in this project.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Abbeduto, L., Warren, S. F. & Conners, F. A. (2007). Language development in Down syndrome: From the prelinguistic period to the acquisition of literacy. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 13(3), 247–61.
Bird, G., Alton, S. & Mackinnon, C. (2000). Accessing the curriculum–Strategies for differentiation for pupils with Down syndrome. Available at: http://www.down-syndrome.org/information/education/curriculum/
Boudreau, D. M. (2002). Literacy skills in children and adolescents with Down syndrome. Reading and Writing 15(5–6), 497525.
Buckley, S. (1993). Developing the speech and language skills of teenagers with Down's syndrome. Down Syndrome Research & Practice 1(2), 6371.
Buckley, S. (1995). Teaching children with Down syndrome to read and write. In Nadel, L. & Rosenthal, D. (eds), Down syndrome: Living and learning in the community, 158–69. New York: Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Buckley, S., Bird, G., Sacks, B. & Archer, T. (2006). A comparison of mainstream and special education for teenagers with Down syndrome: Implications for parents and teachers. Down Syndrome Research & Practice 9(3), 5467.
Carey, S. & Bartlett, E. (1978). Acquiring a single new word. Papers and Reports on Child Language Development 15, 1729.
Carroll, J. M. (2004). Letter knowledge precipitates phoneme segmentation, but not phoneme invariance. Journal of Research in Reading 27(3), 212–25.
Chapman, R. S. & Hesketh, L. J. (2000). Behavioural phentoype of individuals with Down syndrome. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews 6, 8495.
Chapman, R. S., Kay-Raining Bird, E. & Schwartz, S. (1990). Fast mapping of words in event contexts by children with Down syndrome. Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders 55, 761–70.
Chapman, R. S., Seung, H. K., Schwartz, S. E. & Kay-Raining Bird, E. (1998). Language skills of children and adolescents with Down syndrome: II. Production deficits. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 41(4), 861–73.
de Graaf, E. A. B. (1993). Learning to read at an early age. Case study of a Dutch boy. Down Syndrome Research & Practice 1(2), 8790.
Dodd, B., Holm, A., Hua, Z. & Crosbie, S. (2003). Phonological development: A normative study of British English-speaking children. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics 17(8), 617–43.
Duffen, L. (1976). Teaching reading to teach language. Remedial Education 11(3), 139–42.
Ehri, L. C. & Wilce, L. S. (1979). The mnemonic value of orthography among beginning readers. Journal of Educational Psychology 71(1), 2640.
Fidler, D. J., Hepburn, S. L. & Rogers, S. (2006). Early learning and adaptive behaviour in toddlers with Down syndrome: Evidence for an emerging behavioural phenotype? Down Syndrome Research & Practice 9(3), 3744.
Hulme, C., Stothard, S. E., Clarke, P. J., Bowyer-Crane, C., Harrington, A., Truelove, E. & Snowling, M. J. (2009). York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension: Early Reading. London: GL Assessment.
Jarrold, C., Baddeley, A. D. & Hewes, A. K. (1999). Genetically dissociated components of working memory: Evidence from Downs and Williams syndrome. Neuropsychologia 37, 637–51.
Jarrold, C., Thorn, A. S. C. & Stephens, E. (2009). The relationships between verbal short-term memory, phonological awareness, and new word learning: Evidence from typical development and Down syndrome. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 102, 196218.
Kay-Raining Bird, E., Chapman, R. S. & Schwartz, S. (2004). Fast mapping of words and story recall by individuals with Down syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 47, 1286–300.
Kay-Raining Bird, E., Gaskell, A., Dallaire, M. B. & MacDonald, S. (2000). Novel word acquisition in children with Down syndrome: Does modality made a difference? Journal of Communication Disorders 33, 241–66.
Kumin, L., Councill, C. & Goodman, M. (1994). A longitudinal study of the emergence of phonemes in children with Down syndrome. Journal of Communication Disorders 27, 293303.
Laws, G. & Bishop, D. V. M. (2003). The comparison of language abilities in adolescents with Down syndrome and children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 46(6), 1324–39.
Laws, G., Buckley, S., Bird, G., MacDonald, J. & Broadley, I. (1995). The influence of reading instruction on language and memory development in children with Down syndrome. Down Syndrome Research & Practice 3(2), 5964.
Laws, G. & Gunn, D. (2002). Relationships between reading, phonological skills and language development in individuals with Down syndrome: A five year follow-up study. Reading and Writing 15, 527–48.
Määttä, T., Tervo-Määttä, T., Taanila, A., Kaski, M. & Livanainen, M. (2006). Mental health, behaviour and intellectual abilities of people with Down syndrome. Down Syndrome Research & Practice 11(1), 3743.
McDuffie, A. S., Sindberg, H., Hesketh, L. J. & Chapman, R. S. (2007). Use of speaker intent and grammatical cues in fast-mapping by adolescents with Down syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 50, 1546–61.
Morris, J. K. & Alberman, E. (2009). Trends in Down's syndrome live births and antenatal diagnoses in England and Wales from 1989 to 2008: Analysis of data from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register. British Medical Journal 339, b3794b3794.
Mosse, E. K. & Jarrold, C. (2011). Evidence for preserved novel word learning in Down syndrome suggests multiple routes to vocabulary acquisition. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 54, 1137–52.
Næss, K-A. B., Lyster, S-A. H., Hulme, C. & Melby-Lervåg, M. (2011). Language and verbal short-term memory skills in children with Down syndrome: A meta-analytic review. Research in Developmental Disabilities 32(6), 2225–34.
Nash, H. M. & Heath, J. (2011). The role of vocabulary, working memory and inference making ability in reading comprehension in Down syndrome. Research of Developmental Disabilities 32(5), 1782–91.
Perfetti, C. A. & Hart, L. (2002). The lexical quality hypothesis. In Verhoeven, L. T., Elbro, C. & Reitsma, P. (eds), Precursors of functional literacy, 189213. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishers.
Pickering, S. & Gathercole, S. (2001). Working Memory Test Battery for Children. London: Psychological Corporation.
Price, J., Roberts, J., Vandergrift, N. & Martin, G. (2007). Language comprehension in boys with Fragile X syndrome and boys with Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 51(4), 318–26.
Ricketts, J., Bishop, D. V. M. & Nation, K. (2009). Orthographic facilitation in oral vocabulary acquisition. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 62(10), 1948–66.
Roberts, J., Steven, L. H., Malkin, C., Barnes, E., Skinner, M., Hennon, E. A. & Anderson, K. (2005). A comparison of phonological skills of boys with Fragile X syndrome and Down syndrome. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 48(5), 980–95.
Roch, M. & Jarrold, C. (2008). A comparison between word and nonword reading in Down syndrome: The role of phonological awareness. Journal of Communication Disorders 41(4), 305318.
Rosenthal, J. & Ehri, L. C. (2008). The mnemonic value of orthography for vocabulary learning. Journal of Educational Psychology 100(1), 175–91.
Snowling, M. J., Stothard, S. E., Clarke, P. J., Bowyer-Crane, C., Harrington, A., Truelove, E., Nation, K. & Hulme, C. (2009). York Assessment of Reading for Comprehension: Passage Reading. London: GL Assessment.
Treiman, R. & Bourassa, D. (2000). Children's written and oral spelling. Applied Psycholinguistics 21(02), 183204.
Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence. San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Assessment Inc.
Wechsler, D. (2003). Wechsler Pre-School and Primary Scale of Intelligence IIIUK. Oxford: Psychological Corporation.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Child Language
  • ISSN: 0305-0009
  • EISSN: 1469-7602
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-child-language
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed