Our speech therapy is drenched with reading comprehension and decoding support.  We just need the right information to validate what we are already doing.

This post is a follow-up to last week’s essay: Where Speech Therapy and Literacy Meet: Let everyone know how you ALREADY support reading

speech therapy and reading

Here is what the ASHA Mothership has to say about speech therapy and reading:

SLPs play a critical and direct role in literacy development, due to established connections between spoken and written language.

  • Spoken language is the foundation for reading and writing
  • Spoken language and reading and writing build on each other
  • Children with speech-language impairment often have difficulty reading
  • Instruction in spoken language can affect growth in reading and writing

Let’s skip the chit-chat and use this post to give you the references for the hard work you are already doing.

Statistics on Reading Deficits and Language Impairments

  • 52% of children with language impairment also have reading difficulties (Tomblin, Zhang, Backwalter & Catts, 2000).
  • Poor reading skills have an ongoing, negative influence on vocabulary and language development (Catts & Kamhi, 2005).
  • Reading comprehension skills in 3rd grade were the best predictors of high school dropouts (California Dept. of Education)
  • Children with language delays are likely to need more frequent instruction that is shorter in duration (Cook, 2000; Verhoeven & Van Balkom, 2004)
  • Language of instruction should be kept at a suitable level of complexity and clarification to better accommodate children’s speed of oral language processing (Bishop & Leonard, 2000; Nation, 2005)

Socio-Economic Status (SES) as a factor

  • Children from higher SES homes (due to social, language, and literacy enhancement abilities) are advanced in later reading achievement (Raz & Bryant, 1990; Wasik & Bond, 2001; White, 1982)
  • Children from higher SES homes are more successful in making the transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” (Campbell, Kelly, Mullis, Martin & Sainsbury, 2001)

Research looking at Reading Fluency

  • There is a strong relationship between early language and phonological awareness/sensitivity and later reading and spelling development (Joshi & Hulme, 1998; Lipka & Siegel, 2007; Snowling ,Adams, Bishop & Stothard, 2001)
  • Phonological Awareness:
    • Is a strong predictor of reading fluency, especially in orthographically inconsistent systems
    • Is more taxed in orthographically inconsistent systems (e.g. English) than in orthographically consistent systems (Spanish, Greek)
    • Phonological awareness and letter naming in kindergarten predicted at-risk or typical reading development in Grade 3 for ESL and monolingual students

Efficacy of Intervention

  • Engaging children in reciprocal verbal interactions that support the child in producing more linguistically complex dialogues directly facilitates the development of children’s language proficiency and indirectly the development of their reading skills
  • Both visual and verbal models of intervention resulted in gains in reading comprehension for adequate decoders/poor comprehenders (Hay, 2003)

Research looking at Reading Comprehension

  • Early language development is a developmental precursor and good predictor of children’s early reading development (Teal & Sulzby, 1986)
  • Improving vocabulary and word knowledge is an important part of developing reading comprehension (Vaughn et al, 2006)
  • Processing resources, such as working memory, may more strongly influence word learning and reading ability than the availability or knowledge of language structures (Gilliver & Byrne, 2009)
  • Semantic skills at age 3 and phonological awareness at age 6 both predicted reading skills at age 16 (Frost, et. al., 2005)
  • Letter identification, working memory, rhyme detection and phoneme deletion (phonological awareness) in kindergarten predicted fourth-grade word reading (Lesaux, Rupp, & Siegel, 2007)
Literacy-Based Speech and Language Therapy Activities

References and further reading

Content for this essay adapted from Literacy-Based Speech and Language Activities. Use it to learn how to create powerful language therapy using predictable books.
Berninger, V. W. (2008). Defining and differentiating dysgraphia, dyslexia, and language learning disability within a working memory model. Brain, behavior, and learning in language and reading disorders, 103-134.
Campbell, J. R. (2001). Framework and specifications for PIRLS assessment 2001. Pirls Internat. Study Center.
Gilliver, M. L., & Byrne, B. (2009). What’s in a name? Preschoolers’ noun learning performance in relation to their risk for reading disability. Reading and Writing, 22(6), 637-659.
Hay, I., Elias, G., Fielding-Barnsley, R., Homel, R., & Freiberg, K. (2007). Language Delays, Reading Delays, and Learning Difficulties Interactive Elements Requiring Multidimensional Programming. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 40(5), 400-409.
Lipka, O., & Siegel, L. S. (2007). The development of reading skills in children with English as a second language. Scientific Studies of Reading, 11(2), 105-131.
Lesaux, N. K., & Siegel, L. S. (2003). The development of reading in children who speak English as a second language. Developmental psychology, 39(6), 1005.
Morais, J., Mousty, P., Kolinsky, R., Hulme, C., & Joshi, R. M. (1998). Reading and spelling: development and disorders. Reading and spelling: development and disorders.
Tomblin, J. B., Zhang, X., Buckwalter, P., & Catts, H. (2000). The association of reading disability, behavioral disorders, and language impairment among second‐grade children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41(4), 473-482.
Snowling, John W. Adams, DVM Bishop, Susan E. Stothard, Margaret. “Educational attainments of school leavers with a preschool history of speech-language impairments.” International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders 36.2 (2001): 173-183.
Sulzby, S. A., & Teal, W. H. (1986). The importance of reading aloud: Encouraging literacy development from an early age. Journal of Early Childhood Development, 4(3), 45-47.
Stanovich, K. E. (2000). Progress in understanding reading: Scientific foundations and new frontiers.     Guilford Publications, Inc., Dept. 3R, 72 Spring St., New York, NY 10012 (Catalog no. 0565: $38).
Verhoeven, L., & van Balkom, H. (2004). Developmental language disorders: classification, assessment, and intervention. CLASSIFICATION OF DEVELOPMENTAL LANGUAGE DISORDERS, 3.
Wasik, B. A., Bond, M. A., & Hindman, A. (2006). The effects of a language and literacy intervention on Head Start children and teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(1), 63.
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