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 There is an increased need for speech-language-hearing therapists (STs) to deal with language problems in school-age children, since an estimate of 6% of children in the regular classrooms are reported to have developmental disorders in the new school system. These children are sent to the speech-language clinics to be assessed and receive interventions to improve their learning. Unfortunately, many STs who work with children having language disorders think that children master language in preschool years and that there is little role for an ST to play. Throughout the school-age years, however, there is a tremendous increase in the size and complexity of the child's linguistic repertoire, and in the use of the repertoire in conversation and narration. Paul (2007) refers to the language learned in school-age as "language for learning," that is characterized as being abstract, socially shared, non-literal, and de-contexualized.

 In this article, we first describe the typical development in phonology, semantics, and narrative ability in school age. Secondly, we describe the language problems in school-age children, most of whom are not identified before school as having dyslexia or a learning disorder (LD) because their daily communication is fine. Thirdly, we present the Simple View of Reading model (Tummer et al, 1992) as a framework to assess and intervene with the children whose language problems extend across spoken and written modalities. Fourthly, we introduce the narrative-based language intervention (NBLI) model as a preventive intervention for 5-6 year-olds who have language weaknesses as seen in children with specific language impairment (SLI), but without cognitive or social problems. Finally, we discuss the important role of STs in helping school-age children with language-learning disorders.

Copyright © 2009, Japanese Association of Speech-Language-Hearing Therapists. All rights reserved.


電子版ISSN 印刷版ISSN 1349-5828 日本言語聴覚士協会