Aided language skills in children (completed)
Becoming aided communicatiors: Aided language skills in children aged 5–15 years – a multi-national investigation.
About the project
Children who use communication aids follow a path of language development that is very different from the typical path of speaking children, a path that reflects both the children’s failure to acquire spoken language and their ability to learn an aided communication mode. This process will provide insight also into the nature of the underlying processes of language development in general. There are however no detailed descriptions of the development of children who use communication aids from a language perspective.
The lack of crucial knowledge within the field of aided communication is the motivation for the present project. It is a joint international effort, including 16 countries. The goal is to obtain a large corpora of utterances produced with communication aids by children aged 5–15 years, comprising a large range of topics and produced in a variety of situations for different purposes, as well as systematic knowledge about how the children interpret utterances produced by others in their own communication form. By providing this information, the present study will be a much needed reference study for research on aided communication development.
The project will give information about the typical course and variation of developmental aided communication histories of the children developing aided language (age at first communication aid, type of graphic system and aid, etcetera), the size, content and structure of the vocabularies, and how do the vocabularies compare to the growth in expressive vocabularies in normally speaking children, the length of the graphic utterances produced by the children at different age levels, and to what extent the structure of aided utterances follow the spoken language(s) surrounding the child, or are similar across language with different word order and grammar (e.g., English, Finnish and Spanish).