THE EFFECTS OF THREE INTERVENTION TECHNIQUES AND REINFORCEMENT ON SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION LEARNING

KEVIN JOSEPH MCCULLAGH, Fordham University

Abstract

The child who has a severe language problem is faced with increasing educational and social disenfranchisement unless this problem can be remediated. However, there has been controversy concerning the effectiveness of various behavioral techniques which are currently being used in the language intervention process with this type of child. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of imitation, modeling, expansion, and reinforcement upon the learning and generalization of an oral grammatical construction by language disordered children.^ The subjects were 56, randomly selected, 7- to 11-year-old children who were assigned to classes for language impairment as a result of a four-year delay in oral language. The subjects were randomly assigned into seven experimental groups: Imitation, Modeling, Expansion, Imitation with Reinforcement, Modeling with Reinforcement, Expansion with Reinforcement, and Control.^ The findings of the study were as follows: (1) Reinforcement was found to be a significant factor in learning and generalizing the training material. (2) Posttest scores on the learning of the training material were significantly higher in the Expansion and Imitation Groups than in the Control Group. However, only the Imitation Group scored higher than the Control Group on the delayed posttest. (3) Posttest generalization scores of the Expansion Group were significantly higher than the scores of the Control Group. However, while none of the groups were significantly higher than the Control Group on the delayed posttest, the scores of the Imitation Group approached significance. (4) A significant, positive difference was found between the posttest and the delayed posttest scores in the retention of the training material. (5) No significant differences were found between the posttest and the delayed posttest generalization scores although all groups except Expansion (without reinforcement) did show an increase in the number of correct responses. (6) An informal analysis of the individual scores found that the subjects who received a low score on the pretest (0 or 1) did not learn the construction. Higher scores on the pretest (2 or higher) indicated ultimate learning of the construction. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology

Recommended Citation

MCCULLAGH, KEVIN JOSEPH, "THE EFFECTS OF THREE INTERVENTION TECHNIQUES AND REINFORCEMENT ON SENTENCE CONSTRUCTION LEARNING" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8213611.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8213611

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