Language Intervention Practices with School-Age Children with Spoken Language Disorders: A Systematic Review.

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools.





Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



Purpose: This systematic review focuses on peer-reviewed articles publishedsince 1985 that assess the outcomes of language interventionpractices for school-age students with spoken language disorders.

Method: We conducted computer searches of electronic databases and handsearches of other sources for studies that used experimentaldesigns that were considered to be reliable and valid: randomizedclinical trials, nonrandomized comparison studies, and multiple-baselinesingle-subject design studies.

Results: The review yielded 21 studies concerning the efficacy or effectivenessof language intervention practices with school-age childrensince 1985. Eleven of the studies limited participants to childrenin kindergarten and first grade, and no studies were locatedthat focused on students in middle grades or high school. Therelatively high quality of the studies that met our criteria,and the moderate-to-high effect sizes we calculated for themajority of studies, suggests that clinicians can have someconfidence in the specific language intervention practices examined.

Conclusion: The fact that only 21 studies met our criteria means that thereis relatively little evidence supporting the language interventionpractices that are currently being used with school-age childrenwith language disorders. We outline significant gaps in theevidence and discuss the implications for clinical practicein schools.