Child Language Teaching and Therapy
School of Education
Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) commonly present with oral language weaknesses which disrupt the development of literacy and impede related academic progress. While there is evidence to support the delivery of manualised Tier 2 interventions with this population, little is known about the effects of Tier 1 interventions. A retrospective cohort comparison was used to evaluate whether there was an observable effect of a manualised Tier 1 intervention compared to ‘business-as-usual’ on early literacy skills for children with DLD. Participants were 140 children attending a specialised education program with equivalent oral language skills and alphabetic knowledge at baseline. After 18 months formal literacy intervention, both groups were assessed on measures of early literacy skills. The differences between group means on all measures favoured the manualised intervention group, and they performed significantly better on a measure of nonword reading fluency. The findings indicate that a manualised Tier 1 intervention may be advantageous for children with DLD in developing proficiency in phonological recoding. This research contributes to the sparse evidence-base supporting the implementation of Tier 1 interventions for at risk populations, and findings warrant future research using experimental designs with tighter controls.
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