Speech and Hearing Sciences - Journal Articles

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    Developmental Language Disorder: Ask the experts
    (RCSLT, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2022-10) Frizelle, Pauline; McKean, Cristina
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    An exploration of speech and language pathology student and facilitator perspectives on problem-based learning online.
    (Taylor & Francis, 2022-04-19) O'Leary, Norma; Brouder. Niamh; Bessell, Nicola; Frizelle, Pauline
    This mixed-methods study explored the perspectives of second and third-year Speech Language Pathology (SLP) students and facilitators on Problem-Based Learning (PBL) online. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, PBL was delivered online for the academic year 2020-2021 via a virtual learning environment. Forty-seven students and five facilitators completed an online survey designed to evaluate the quality of individual and collaborative learning in the PBL online context. All participants had experience of pre-COVID-19 face-to-face PBL. Thematic analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyse qualitative and quantitative data, respectively. Demonstrated a preference from both students and facilitators to maintain PBL in a face-to-face format. Aspects of functionality offered by the virtual platform assisted in the PBL process, however technical and environmental barriers impeded virtual delivery. Responses suggest that the development of rapport and interactivity levels online are not equivalent to face-to-face PBL, and these factors were perceived by participants to negatively influence the learning process. Perspectives on the role of the facilitator online convey divergent views between second and third years which reflected a change in facilitator style to support more independent learning in line with students' progression through the course. Our findings demonstrate that students and facilitators are open to future implementation of a blended model of PBL. Participants reported benefits such as reduction in indirect education costs and acquisition of a digital skillset. However, our study indicates a preference for enhanced social presence afforded by face-to-face PBL.
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    Embedding key word sign prompts in a shared book reading activity: The impact on communication between children with Down syndrome and their parents
    (Wiley, 2022-12-31) Frizelle, Pauline; Allenby, Rebecca; Hassett, Elizabeth; Holland, Orlaith; Ryan, Eimear; Dahly, Darren; O'Toole, Ciara; Lámh - Communication Augmentation Sign System Ltd., Ireland
    Background: Children with Down syndrome have speech and language difficulties that are disproportionate to their overall intellectual ability and relative strengths in the use of gesture. Shared book reading between parents and their children provides an effective context in which language development can be facilitated. However, children with Down syndrome often take a passive role in shared book reading and the use of key word signing (KWS) as a shared book reading technique has never been investigated. Aims: This study aimed to compare children with Down syndrome's participation and use of KWS across two methods of shared book reading – one in which a book had key-word sign prompts embedded (signed condition) and the other in which a book was read as normal (unsigned condition). Measures of child and parent communicative behaviour were taken in each condition to establish if differences emerged. Methods & Procedures: A total of 36 children with Down syndrome (aged between 18 and 61 months) and their mothers took part in the study. Parent–child dyads were videoed at home reading two books, one in a signed and one in an unsigned condition. Child measures included total number of signs produced in each condition and levels of attention and initiation as measured by the Pivotal Behaviour Rating Scale. Parent measures included total number of utterances, mean length of utterance (MLU) in morphemes and vocabulary diversity (VOCD). Parental measures were transcribed using the Codes for Human Analysis Transcripts (CHAT) software and analysed by the Computerised Language Analysis software (CLAN). Contrasts in outcomes between the signed and unsigned conditions were estimated using Poisson and linear mixed-effects models, determined by the type of data. Outcomes & Results: Results showed that children attempted to sign significantly more in the signed than unsigned condition, as well as showing significant increases in their levels of attention and initiation. There was also a significant increase in the total number of utterances used by parents in the signed versus unsigned condition and a decrease in MLU. VOCD was similar in both conditions. Conclusions & Implications: This study shows that the simple act of embedding key word signs into commercially available books, during shared book reading between parents and young children with Down syndrome, positively affects children's participation (initiation and attention) and use of KWS. The use of KWS as a core shared book reading technique may therefore be a fruitful avenue to facilitate growth in the language abilities of young children with Down syndrome.
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    Editorial perspective: Maximising the benefits of intervention research for children and young people with developmental language disorder (DLD) - a call for international consensus on standards of reporting in intervention studies for children with and at risk for DLD
    (Wiley, 2022-09) Frizelle, Pauline; McKean, C.; Eadie, P.; Ebbels, S.; Firicke, S.; Justice, L. M.; Kunnari, S.; Leitao, S.; Morgan, A. T.; Munro, N.; Murphy, C. A.; Storkel, H. L.; Van Horne, A. O.; Irish Research eLibrary
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    The development of a core key word signing vocabulary (Lámh) to facilitate communication with children with down syndrome in the first year of mainstream primary school in Ireland
    (Taylor & Francis, 2022-04-13) Frizelle, Pauline; Lyons, Caoimhe; Irish Research Council
    Key word signing, an unaided augmentative, and alternative communication (AAC) system is commonly used by children with Down syndrome who attend mainstream primary schools. To ensure the successful use of key word signing within a mainstream environment, a meaningful, contextually appropriate sign vocabulary must be available to all communication partners. The aim of this study was to develop a core school-based key word signing vocabulary to facilitate effective communication between children with Down syndrome and their communication partners in the first year of mainstream primary school. Four key groups-participants with Down syndrome, their peers, teachers, and special needs assistants-and a speech-language pathologist contributed to the vocabulary over the course of an academic year, through observations, semi-structured interviews, and guided tours of the school environment. Based on criteria of frequency and commonality, 140 words were considered to be core vocabulary. The current study provides new insights into the complex process of vocabulary selection for children who use key word signing at school and highlights the importance of access to a functional sign vocabulary in facilitating inclusive education practices.