Word learning in a supported-learning context by preschool children with specific language impairment

Barbara Kiernan, Shelley Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations


Word learning in a supported-learning context is described for 30 preschoolers with SLI and 30 age- and sex-matched children without SLI. Daily production probes assessed number of words learned to criterion, and daily posttests assessed comprehension of the words. Number of words produced to criterion differed between groups; however, the majority of children with SLI performed within the range of the children without SLI. Children typically comprehended words they did not produce to criterion. The relation between vocabulary-test and word-learning findings was not significant (p < .05). Findings for children with SLI indicate that (a) comprehension does not ensure same-word production, (b) word-learning potential cannot be inferred from test scores, and (c) a clinically significant variability in word- learning skills characterizes the disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-171
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1998



  • Preschool children
  • Specific language impairment
  • Supported-learning context
  • Vocabulary
  • Word learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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