University Of Tasmania

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Evaluating two different dose frequencies and cumulative intervention intensities to improve past tense production for early school-aged children with developmental language disorder

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 11:35 authored by Samuel CalderSamuel Calder, Claessen, M, Leitao, S, Ebbels, S

Aims: This study compared two dose frequency conditions of an explicit intervention with 50 trials per session designed to improve past tense marking in early school-aged children with developmental language disorder (DLD). The influence of allomorphs on intervention effects was also examined.

Methods: Data from previously conducted intervention studies were combined and analysed. Participants included nine children (mean age = 6;5 years) who received 20–30-min intervention sessions provided twice per week for 10 weeks (1000 trials; 400–600 min) and 20 children (mean age = 6;6) who received 20–30-min intervention sessions provided once per week for 10 weeks (500 trials; 200–300 min). Repeated measures included criterion-referenced probes for production of untrained past tense verbs collected throughout baseline, intervention, and maintenance phases. The rate of progress in each phase was analysed using logistic regression. The proportion of participants who produced past tense allomorphs correctly at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and maintenance testing points was analysed.

Results: Logistic regression showed a stable baseline, highly significant progress during the intervention phase, and a marginally significant shallow decline during the maintenance phase. Those in the twice per week group showed a greater rate of progress during the intervention phase leading to significantly higher scores in the maintenance period when compared with the once per week group. The allomorphic category of past tense verbs did not appear to influence outcomes.

Conclusions: Participants receiving intervention twice per week appeared to demonstrate a greater rate of progress with intervention than those receiving it once per week, although once per week was also effective. However, these results should be interpreted with caution. Limitations to study design indicate that a larger randomised controlled trial is required. All past tense allomorphs improve to a similar degree when treated with this intervention.


Publication title

International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders








School of Health Sciences


Taylor & Francis Ltd

Place of publication

4 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, England, Oxon, Ox14 4Rn

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© 2021 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

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  • Restricted

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Provision of health and support services not elsewhere classified

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