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Exploring Speech-Language Pathologists' Perception of and Individualized Education Program Goals for Vocabulary Intervention With School-Age Children With Language Disorders.

PURPOSE: Among the varied roles and responsibilities of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are the planning and delivery of effective vocabulary intervention for students with language disorders. Despite the abundant literature regarding effective vocabulary intervention, practice patterns indicate that the research has not yet translated to practice. The purpose of this study was to examine SLPs' beliefs and expectations regarding vocabulary instruction and the content of Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals to better inform continuing education and research programs to generate lasting effects on SLP practices.

METHOD: We queried a national sample of school-based SLPs via an online survey regarding their perspectives on robust vocabulary instruction, vocabulary intervention practices, and IEP goal development targeting vocabulary skills for school-age children with language disorders.

RESULTS: There was consistency across the sample for SLPs' beliefs about the importance and impact of robust vocabulary instruction. However, they reflected varied expectations about the vocabulary intervention they provide. Qualitative analysis of IEP goals for vocabulary reveals the range and frequency of strategies and intervention targets as an artifact of implementation of robust vocabulary instruction.

CONCLUSIONS: School-based SLPs believe that vocabulary is important and have a strong understanding of the impact robust vocabulary instruction can have on reading and writing outcomes. SLPs in this sample had varying expectations regarding the way their instruction is implemented and generalized. Implications and limitations of these results are discussed.


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