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Title: Working memory and sentence comprehension of Hong Kong Chinese children with specific language impairment
Authors: Siu, E
Man, DWK 
Keywords: Sentence comprehension
Specific language impairment
Working memory
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Source: International journal of rehabilitation research, 2006, v. 29, no. 3, p. 267-269 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of rehabilitation research 
Abstract: Children with Specific Language Impairment present with delayed language development, but do not have a history of hearing impairment, mental deficiency, or associated social or behavioral problems. Non-word repetition was suggested as an index to reflect the capacity of phonological working memory. There is a paucity of such studies among Hong Kong Chinese children. This preliminary study aimed to examine the relationship between phonological working memory and Specific Language Impairment, through the processes of non-word repetition and sentence comprehension, of children with Specific Language Impairment and pre-school children with normal language development. Both groups of children were screened by a standardized language test. A list of Cantonese (the commonest dialect used in Hong Kong) multisyllabic nonsense utterances and a set of 18 sentences were developed for this study. t-tests and Pearson correlation were used to study the relationship between non-word repetition, working memory and specific language impairment. Twenty-three pre-school children with Specific Language Impairment (mean age=68.30-months; SD=6.90) and another 23 pre-school children (mean age=67.30 months; SD=6.16) participated in the study. Significant difference performance was found between the Specific Language Impairment group and normal language group in the multisyllabic nonsense utterances repetition task and the sentence comprehension task. Length effect was noted in Specific Language Impairment group children, which is consistent with the findings of other literature. In addition, correlations were also observed between the number of nonsense utterances repeated and the number of elements comprehended. Cantonese multisyllabic nonsense utterances might be worth further developing as a screening tool for the early detection of children with Specific Language Impairment.
ISSN: 0342-5282
EISSN: 1473-5660
DOI: 10.1097/01.mrr.0000210058.06989.f6
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