Linguistic performance and reading processes in pupils with Specific Language Impairment

Víctor M. Acosta Rodríguez, Ángeles Axpe Caballero y Ana Mª Moreno Santana


The aim of this investigation has been to study the linguistic performance in two levels, on one hand, in lexical-semantic and morphosyntactic components and on the other hand, the reading processes in a group of pupils with SLI and then, to compare them with other typically developing group. The final sample consisted of 35 children diagnosed with SLI and 21 children with typical language development, between 4,6 and 11,2 years old, attending 19 different schools on the island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain). The instruments used for the diagnosis of SLI were the CELF-3, the Peabody, the ITPA and the Intelligence Test K-BIT. Assessment reading processes were also carried out through PROLEC-R. The results indicated that children with SLI, when comparing to the performance achieved by the typically developing group, had lexical-semantic and morphosyntactic severe problems and moreover, most affected reading processes were linked to the grammatical and semantic processing rather than to decoding words. These results have clear educational implications, such as the need to consider more content related to language comprehension skills.


Key Words: Specific Language Impairment, oral language, semantics, morphosyntax, processes readers, decoding, understanding.

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