Gestures and speech in children with specific language impairment during a naming task and mother-child conversation  (2013)

Lavelli M.; Majorano M.
Gestures and speech in children with specific language impairment during a naming task and mother-child conversation
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Abstract in Atti di convegno
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Abstract in Atti di convegno
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A Stampa
Child Language Seminar 2013
Manchester, UK
June 23-25
University of Manchester
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gesture, speech, children with specific language impairment
Short description of contents:
Several studies have shown that children with specific language impairment (SLI) are less conversationally responsive than typically-developing (TD) children; however, some studies have suggested that these children can use gesture to compensate for their expressive language difficulties, but this issue is still controversial. Our research examined the relationship between spontaneous gesture production and speech in children with SLI compared with TD children during a picture naming task (Study 1) and a naturalistic context as shared book-reading with their mothers (Study 2). In addition, Study 2 investigated the relationship between gesture and speech in maternal communicative strategies, and the potential effectiveness of gestures accompanying maternal speech on the conversational responsiveness of children with SLI. Fifthteen preschoolers with expressive SLI were compared with 15 age-matched and 15 language-matched TD children. Each child answer during the task and each child and maternal utterance during two videotaped sessions of shared book-reading was coded for modality (Spoken, Gestural, Bimodal), gesture type, communicative function. In the naming task children with SLI, as younger language-matched children, produced pointing and representational gestures together with spoken responses more than TD peers, F(2,42)=8.94-p=.001-·p2=.33,-Bonf.(I-J)=14.97-p=.002. Study 2 confirmed that, relative to TD peers, children with SLI used more Bimodal utterances during conversational interaction, F(2,42)=3.48-p=.04-·p2=.14,-(I-J)=11.95-p=.037. These differences were mirrored in maternal communication: mothers of children with SLI, as mothers of language-matched, produced fewer Spoken and more Bimodal utterances than mothers of TD peers, F(2,42)=4.22-p=.021-·p2=.17,-(I-J)=12.10-p=.052. In addition, results from sequential analysis revealed that only in SLI group maternal reading accompanied by gestures was significantly followed by child's initiatives, and when maternal non-informative (without crucial information) repairs were accompanied by gestures, they had a higher probability to elicit adequate answers from children (Fig.1). On the whole, these findings support the hypothesis of a gesture advantage in children with SLI, and have implications for educational and clinical practice.
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Deposited On:
September 29, 2013
Last Modified:
November 2, 2016
Bibliographic citation:
Lavelli M.; Majorano M., Gestures and speech in children with specific language impairment during a naming task and mother-child conversation  in Child Language Seminar 2013University of ManchesterProceedings of "Child Language Seminar 2013" , Manchester, UK , June 23-25 , 2013pp. 46-47

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