The investigators compared two techniques for teaching expressive vocabulary to late talkers: modeling with an expectant pause and modeling with an evoked child production. They also explored the influence of neighborhood density on children’s real word learning. Three late talkers (ages 25–33 months) received two alternating vocabulary treatments (expectant pause and evoked production) in the home. Two participants were identified as having an expressive language delay, and one participant was identified as having an expressive and receptive language delay. During the expectant pause treatment, the clinician paused several seconds after each target word model, looking at the child expectantly. In the evoked production condition, after each target word model, a child was prompted to say the word using a cloze procedure of the modeled phrase. Both treatments were effective for all participants; no consistent advantage of one treatment technique over the other was noted. Two participants produced denser words than sparse words, one in early sessions and one in later experimental sessions, but a consistent pattern was not present across all participants. This study provided support for focused vocabulary intervention with late talking toddlers. Receptive language skills and word form characteristics may help explain individual variations in response to treatment for late talkers.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/shari-deveney/9/