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Friday, April 29
03:30 pm – 05:00 pm

Session 18

Colin Macpherson, MA, CCC-SLP; Katie Squires, PhD, CCC-SLP
Level of Instruction: Intermediate   –   Coronado I

Speech-language pathologists encounter preschool and kindergarten aged children from low socio-economic status (SES) families who exhibit decreased language abilities. The diagnostic question faced is whether these children exhibit a primary language impairment or have impoverished language skills resulting from factors associated with low SES (Hart & Risley, 1995; Nelson, Welsh, Trup, & Greenberg, 2011). This presentation will report the findings of an implementation study that addressed the use of a Response to Intervention (RTI) approach for oral language instruction. The use of a universal screening tool for language (i.e., Structured Photographic Expressive Language Test Preschool 2), student tier assignment, teacher education for tier 1 & 2 instruction, dialogic book reading curriculum design, and the role of the SLP in the RTI project will be discussed. Data obtained through universal language screening at three different time points will be presented at both individual and group level of statistical comparison. Language facilitation approaches utilized across all three tiers of oral language instruction will be discussed in detail. Findings from this preliminary study suggest that the use of an RTI model for oral language instruction may assist the SLP in identifying and supporting children with weak oral language skills in the regular education classroom. Findings also suggest that use of an oral language RTI approach can decrease the need for special education referrals with at-risk learners.

Learner Outcomes:  At the completion of this presentation, participants will be able to improve their knowledge of the relationships between factors associated with low SES status, language development and early literacy skills, improve their ability to apply an RTI model for oral language instruction with at-risk learners and improve their knowledge of language intervention approaches for children at all tier levels in a RTI model.