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EBP Compendium: Summary of Systematic Review

Office of Special Education Programs
Language Intervention Practices for School-Age Children with Spoken Language Disorders: A Systematic Review

Cirrin, F. M., & Gillam, R. B. (2008).
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 39(1), S110-137.

Indicators of Review Quality:

The review addresses a clearly focused question Yes
Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided Yes
Search strategy is described in sufficient detail for replication Yes
Included studies are assessed for study quality Yes
Quality assessments are reproducible Yes

Description: This is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews, meta-analyses, nonrandomized comparison studies, or multiple baseline single subject designs investigating the effect of language intervention for school-age children with spoken language disorders.

Question(s) Addressed:

Are there high-quality studies in the past 20 years that document the efficacy or effectiveness of language intervention practices for school-age students with spoken language disorders?

Population: School-aged children with primary spoken language disorders that are receiving a language intervention.

Intervention/Assessment: Language interventions focusing on one of the following areas: syntax & morphology, semantics & vocabulary, phonological awareness & metalinguistics, language processing, pragmatics & discourse.

Number of Studies Included: 21 studies

Years Included: From 1985



"[T]his systematic review of EBP of language intervention for school-age students with language disorders is a narrow sample of what needs to be done given the extensive scope of practice of communication disorders in schools. This review has identified a number of critical gaps in the evidence base for language intervention practices. In general, the quantity and quality of research for informing EBP optimally in schools must be enhanced. Specifically, resources are needed for studies on effective language intervention practices for school-age children (i.e., in Grades K–12)" (p. S133).

Keywords: Language Disorders

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Added to Compendium: January 2012

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