Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

Language & Literacy

First Advisor

Diane DeFord

Second Advisor

Julia Lopez-Robertson

Abstract

With a growing body of research that supports a link between language and literacy, governing bodies in the field of speech and language pathology have recognized the need to reconsider the role of speech-language pathologists in addressing the emergent literacy needs of preschoolers who struggle with literacy and language concepts. This study contributes to the research on speech and language pathology's clinical approaches by researching a blended approach to therapy using individualized language needs with embedded emergent literacy practices to expand not only the expressive and receptive language repertoire but also the emergent literacy learning of language-delayed preschool children receiving speech and language therapy services. The theoretical framework that informs this research includes the constructs of dynamic learning, oral language as viewed through sociolinguistics, and instructional practices and theoretical constructs from the field of emergent literacy. Each area of research serves as a supporting pillar in the argument for a multifaceted paradigm in the field of speech and language pathology, where language and literacy are equal partners in constructing literacy and language understandings. Using a mixed-methods research design that drew upon interpretive narrative, parent questionnaires, and quantitative assessment data analysis, this study sought to clarify the relationship between preschoolers' early language and literacy abilities in order to better understand how to conceptualize emergent literacy practices within a language therapy session. The results of this study will be specifically useful to speech and language pathologists working with the preschool population in the public school system, Head Start programs, and private practice or clinical settings.

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