First Advisor

Rhea Paul

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication


Language awareness in children, Language acquisition



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iv, 66 p.)


Children with slow expressive language development often catch up to their normally developing peers in expressive language, but may still exhibit difficulties with metalinguistic skills. Research shows that children who have difficulty with phonemic awareness also have difficulty with reading, which is important for success in school. Speech-language pathologists assist children who have difficulty with expressive oral language and facilitate language development in children who have difficulties with learning metalinguistic skills, such as phonemic awareness. The purpose of the present study was to compare the phoneme segmentation skills in three groups of children: (a) children with a history of oral expressive language delay (HELD) (n= 22) who were identified as toddlers with slow developing expressive language, but caught up to their normally developing peers by first grade; (b) children identified as toddlers with slow developing oral expressive language and by first grade still maintained the expressive language delays (ELD) (n= 7); and (c) children who were identified at age two as developing normal oral expressive language and maintained normal oral expressive language development (NL) (n= 23) in first grade. The children participated in a phonological segmentation test. The study answered four questions: Is there a significant difference among the three groups of children in the number of correct responses on a phonological segmentation test at ( 1 ) the one phoneme level, (2) the two phoneme level, (3) the three phoneme level, and ( 4) the total number of correct responses. Utilizing an ANOVA test, a significant difference was found among the groups at the two phoneme level, with a trend toward a significant difference at the one phoneme level. Other significant differences were not found. The difference at the two phoneme level was between the ELD group and the normal group, as well as between the ELD group and the HELD group.


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