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Identification of fluency and word-finding difficulty in samples of children with diverse language backgrounds

Howell, P; Tang, K; Tuomainen, O; Chan, SK; Beltran, K; Mirawdeli, A; Harris, J; (2016) Identification of fluency and word-finding difficulty in samples of children with diverse language backgrounds. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders , 52 (5) pp. 595-611. 10.1111/1460-6984.12305. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Stuttering and word-finding difficulty (WFD) are two types of communication difficulty that occur frequently in children who learn English as an additional language (EAL), as well as those who only speak English. The two disorders require different, specific forms of intervention. Prior research has described the symptoms of each type of difficulty. This paper describes the development of a non-word repetition test (UNWR), applicable across languages, that was validated by comparing groups of children identified by their speech and language symptoms as having either stuttering or WFD. AIMS: To evaluate whether non-word repetition scores using the UNWR test distinguished between children who stutter and those who have a WFD, irrespective of the children's first language. METHODS AND PROCEDURES UNWR was administered to ninety-six 4–5-year-old children attending UK schools (20.83% of whom had EAL). The children's speech samples in English were assessed for symptoms of stuttering and WFD. UNWR scores were calculated. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Regression models were fitted to establish whether language group (English only/EAL) and symptoms of (1) stuttering and (2) WFD predicted UNWR scores. Stuttering symptoms predicted UNWR, whereas WFD did not. These two findings suggest that UNWR scores dissociate stuttering from WFD. There were no differences between monolingual English-speakers and children who had EAL. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: UNWR scores distinguish between stuttering and WFD irrespective of language(s) spoken, allowing future evaluation of a range of languages in clinics or schools.

Type: Article
Title: Identification of fluency and word-finding difficulty in samples of children with diverse language backgrounds
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1460-6984.12305
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12305
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Linguistics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1522455
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