Specific Language Impairment

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In most instances, talking comes naturally to the majority of children, and at times the normality of the situation denies potential review of the complexities attached to the achievement. Typically, the majority of children develop the ability to communicate effectively by the age of four, and children with disabilities develop the capacity to communicate through other means (Montgomery & Evans, 2009: Im-Bolter et al., 2006: Bishop, 2006). However, in some cases, children are unable to talk despite showing development in other areas such as physical growth. The occurrence refers to specific language impairment that delimits the children’s ability to talk after the first four years. According to Bishop (2006), specific language impairment (SLI) identifies a diagnosis among children that develops while a child’s language development remains deficient. SLI maintains that the child develops the ability to talk and communicate at a later stage in comparison to peers within the society. In most instances, the term SLI remains adopted towards children whose language development remains slow up until school age. The progress in SLI remains critical in the elaboration of an understanding of toddler and school-age child development.

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The extension of an understanding of SLI remains critical to parents and teachers, as a child with SLI requires additional attention and time for development of language skills (Im-Bolter et al. 2006: Bishop, 2006). The adoption of specific learning processes for children and students with SLI remains essential as it facilitates the conveyance of information in a manner that a child can handle and understand (Montgomery & Evans, 2009: Im-Bolter et al., 2006: Bishop, 2006). Additionally, the majority of children diagnosed with SLI exhibit low capacity for concentration, which remains critical in enhancement of learning curriculums that incorporate the needs of students diagnosed with SLI. The study seeks to provide an informed review of SLI through the identification of the impact of SLI in learning.

The next section will provide a literature review of SLI through the analysis of studies conducted by researchers concerning SLI.

Literature Review

SLI and Reading Difficulties

The development of a child’s capacity for learning and reading creates a strong association to early language skills within population as it facilitates the information processing ability of a child (Im-Bolter et al. 2006: Bishop, 2006). Reading involves decoding and oral comprehension of a child. Comprehension skills develop in alignment with decoding skills. As in most instances, children with normal levels of learning have adequate comprehension and decoding skills (Montgomery & Evans, 2009: Im-Bolter et al., 2006: Bishop, 2006). On the contrary, children diagnosed with SLI experience difficulties in decoding and comprehension that directly impact their learning capacity. Recent studies in SLI maintain that the majority of children diagnosed with SLI have a higher likelihood of experiencing literacy problems (Montgomery & Evans, 2009: Im-Bolter et al., 2006: Bishop, 2006). Children diagnosed with reading problems such as dyslexia tend to have troubles in the development of oral language skills. Dyslexia has transformed into a mild form of SLI, which contributes to language challenges identified by children with SLI (Montgomery & Evans, 2009: Im-Bolter et al., 2006: Bishop, 2006).

Several studies have presented the existence of an interrelationship between reading skills and language profiles of children with SLI (Montgomery & Evans, 2009: Im-Bolter et al., 2006: Bishop, 2006). The severity of language impairment identifies a factor that delimits the level of performance experienced by children concerning standardized tests of receptive and expressive language (Leonard et al., 2007). The child’s receptive and expressive language capability develops a direct correlation to reading achievement. According to Bishop (2006), children’s vocabulary together with phonology remained at greater risk of experiencing reading problems. Bishop (2006) maintains that the risk attached to the development of literacy difficulties experiences an increase with the existence of impaired language domains such as receptive and expressive language together with sound articulation encountered by a child. Bishop (2006) believes that there is a high probability of a child with SLI to experience reading difficulties at school age. Additionally, children with SLI with severe impairments in more than one language domain remain at higher risk of developing reading difficulties.

Attention transforms into a critical construct that influences the information processing capacity of children with SLI. The working memory capacity of children remains directly related to child’s attention capability in the learning process (Leonard et al., 2007). Therefore, the existence of factors that limit the attention capacity of an individual would impair the required level of performance that develops its basis on working memory. In this case, attention defines a critical component to language learning as it facilitates the information processing elements leading to increased knowledge development (Finneran et al., 2009). The growth of an understanding of attention and language in children involves examination of co-morbidity of language impairments and attention deficit. There are numerous studies and overwhelming evidence that show that children with clinical attention deficits remain predisposed to the incidence of language impairment (Finneran et al., 2009: Alloway & Archibald, 2008). Attention deficit delimits language development among children with SLI as the majority of them have limited attention capacity, which delays language development of the child. The understanding of low attention capacity among students remains instrumental to the learning process as it necessitates its adoption of exercises that require limited levels of attention.

The next section of the study provides evidence of the factors related to SLI identified within the literature review. The evidence section will provide information from studies conducted by researchers in the field.

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Finnerman et al. (2010) maintain that children with SLI experience market communication problem in absence of associated factors that include hearing loss, neurological damage, and mental retardation. Leonard et al. (2007) mention that although the children may exhibit normal to high IQ scores, they experience information-processing deficits attributed to limited working memory capacity. Leonard et al. (2007) say that verbal working memory deficits experienced by children with SLI facilitated the level of variance experienced relating to composite language test scores. Attention develops into a critical component influencing the information processing capacity. A survey carried out by Leonard et al. (2007) argues that clinical attention deficits together with developmental language impairments influenced by the pre-existence of neuro-developmental deficits. Additional studies shows that the existence of deficiencies in one area may negatively affect another (Alloway & Archibald, 2008).

A study conducted by Montgomery and Evans (2009) sought to integrate an analysis of information processing among children with SLI in comparison to peers. The study determined that children with SLI highlighted response prohibition attributed to working memory updating together with visual and verbal processing tasks. The study maintained that children with SLI experienced low memory capacity that directly influenced information processing and sequential execution of verbal and visual activities. The study determined that the adoption of processes that promoted effectively information processing would remain instrumental in facilitating the information capacity of children thus facilitating information processing and consequent language development (Leonard et al., 2007: Montgomery & Evans, 2009). The study revealed that attention deficit developed into a critical factor limiting children’s with SLI capacity to process information that directly affected language development (Leonard et al., 2007). The study showed that adoption of learning processes with limited memory stipulations and requirements would remain critical in reducing the negative impacts on developing from attention deficit and in turn influence the development of the child’s processing and language skills.

The next section provides an analysis of the evidence developed from the literature review and the evidence sections of the study. The analysis section seeks to develop a link between the objective of the study and the evidence derived from the research.


Attention and information processing identify critical component to children with SLI as the elements directly impact their learning capacity (Leonard et al., 2007: Finneran et al., 2009). According to Finnerman et al. (2009), selective attention transforms into a challenging component for children with SLI for auditory information. The development of an understanding of the existent link between memory, attention capacity and information processing among children with SLI will remain instrumental to the learning process (Leonard et al., 2007). As identified, children with SLI have lower attention capacity in comparison to their peers. The evidence study provided ascertains the following hypothesis: the learning should take into account student’s level and involvement in classes (Finneran et al., 2009: Alloway & Archibald, 2008). For instance, the adopted learning process should develop study lessons requiring limited amount of time, which will remain essential in retaining the student’s level of attention. Additionally, the execution of an experience in limited time such as ten to fifteen minutes will ensure that students have interacted with the learning process. Moreover, it entails instructing in a manner that students can understand and comprehend within a provided timeline.

Finneran et al. (2009) determined that low memory among children with SLI is one of the contributing factors that slow down language development. The adoption of activities that use repetitive learning styles and measures will remain essential to the learning processes as they will facilitate the adoption of learning structures that promote memory development through regular comprehension of learning aspects (Leonard et al. 2007; Finneran et al., 2009). For instance, in developing student’s arithmetic skills, a teacher may engage in normal activities that may be carried out in the course of the week concerning the learning material. The repetitive nature of the learning process will remain essential in developing language skills of children with SLI (Leonard et al., 2007).

The information processing capacity of children with SLI remains limited, which necessitates the adoption of learning processes that will engage the students in a manner that will promote the information processing and capacity of the students (Leonard et al., 2007). Information processing remains critical to the learning process as it compounds on the student’s ability to comprehend relayed information relayed within classes. SIL students exhibit low level of information processing capacity, which necessitates the relay of information in a manner easily understood by children (Finneran et al., 2009: Alloway & Archibald, 2008). The use of a learning structure that promotes the provision of limited information within each session will limit bombarding children with information hence promote their information processing capacity. Increased levels of information processing among children with SLI will lead to continuous improvement in students’ language.

The integration of learning structure that promotes student engagement in classes through games and activities may facilitate the efficiency attached to the information processing capacity of the students (Leonard et al., 2007: Finneran et al., 2009). Involvement of student’s engagement ensures that they remain as a critical construct of the learning process. Increased student participation promotes their memory capacity they develop the abbility to remember the majority of learning activities through active participation. A study conducted by Alloway and Archibald (2009) maintained that increased student participation in exercises remained critical in promoting the level and pace of language development experienced among children. The study stipulated that the adoption of student involvement is an essential construct of the learning process. The majority of children with SIL require additional attention during classes encouraging high levels of participation. Game exercises provide children with the ability to interact and engage with peers in activities considered funny and memorable (Alloway & Archibald, 2008). Additionally, gaming activities provide children with an opportunity to interact and hence facilitates the development of a child’s social skills (Finneran et al., 2009). The integration of games in the learning process ensure that activities would be considered funny hence easily remembered by students and necessary in ensuring continued language development through the level of interaction. Therefore, incorporation of play within the learning process will promote the development of an informed understanding of learning content through enhanced information processing by children during play.

The data derived from the analysis included within the study remains instrumental in the development of an understanding of the impact of SLI on learning (Leonard et al., 2007: Finneran et al., 2009). The study identifies that the child’s memory, information processing and attention capacity among SLI children directly influence the learning process and remain essential in the development of an understanding of SLI. Adoption of repetitive exercises remains essential for children to develop a proper comprehension of the class aspects presented in the learning process. Additionally, the integration of repetitive activities within the learning process will facilitate student’s development of an association to specific learning aspects and processes. Use of an education program that incorporates the elements that facilitate the integration of children with SLI in classroom activities remains effective (Leonard et al., 2007: Finneran et al., 2009: Alloway & Archibald, 2008). The process increases the level of student involvement and engagement in the learning process.

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Specific language impairment (SLI) identifies a condition that progresses in children leading to slow language development. The growth of an understanding of SLI remains essential to the learning process as it ensures that the teaching faculty develops renewed awareness of the diagnosis and facilitates the adoption of exercises geared towards improving the student’s language proficiency through continuous activities. The findings derived from the study identifies three key components that directly influence the learning capacity of the children within the school setting. The key factors include the memory, information processing, and attention capacity of students. The analysis of the study shows that children diagnosed with SLI have low memory capacity, which necessitates the integration of repetitive actions to ensure the processes remain ingrained within the child’s memory.

The development of an understanding of a child’s memory capacity remains critical in ensuring that the adopted learning methods facilitate the use of repetitive teaching concepts. As such, they are repeated in a manner relatable to students and limit the potential of monotony but ensures that children develop a solid understanding of the information. The study determines that children with SLI have lower information processing capacity. Therefore, reduced ability call for and necessitates the adoption of activities geared towards ensuring that teaching occurs promptly that places emphasis on student understanding as opposed to completion of the learning content. The knowledge of the student’s limited attention capacity remains essential to teaching. Consequentially, such understanding is critical as it ensures that the adopted learning structures attach limited time to the introduction of new concepts and practice repetitive exercises. Repetition and consistency serves to promote student’s attention capacity and involvement in the learning process.

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