Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Lauri Nelson

Abstract

The number of children that are identified as having a language delay is increasing. According to Rescorla (p. 4 (1984)), “Language delay is the most common developmental problem found in preschool children.” Children with a language delay often struggle with reading and/or develop other types of learning disabilities (Aram & Nation, 1980). It is imperative that children with a language delay are identified early and that interventions are both effective and functional (Dunst, Raab, & Trivette, 2012). The preschool years are a critical period for language development. The impact of language delays can be lessened with interventions and support. Children in a preschool classroom with access to language throughout the day realize increased language development, this acts to close the gap between typical development and language delays (Ramey & Ramey, 2004). Daily routines, including snack, are functional and effective ways of maximizing preschool students’ exposure to embedded language. This is especially true in special education classrooms where children can range from minor to severe language delays. Embedding language learning opportunities may be an effective way to teach many children at differing levels at the same time. Embedded language enables children to develop generalized language skills throughout the preschool day in different settings and this may lead to continued development and maintenance of these skills throughout life (Rakap & Parlak-Rakap, 2011). There is currently a need for functional and effective instructional systems that are implemented into a child’s natural learning environments (Hemmeter, 2000; Odom, 2000; Sandall et al., 2005; VanDerHeyden et al., 2005).

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