Title page for ETD etd-08042008-174658

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Strauss, Ilse
Email strauss_ilse@yahoo.com
URN etd-08042008-174658
Document Title Typically developing 4-year-old children with AAC systems using different language organization techniques
Degree Master of Arts
Department Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Advisor Name Title
Prof E Alant Co-Supervisor
Dr C Uys Supervisor
  • schematic grid organization
  • language organization
  • learning demands
  • taxonomic grid organization
  • slot-filler categories
Date 2007-09-05
Availability unrestricted

The learning demands placed on young children by current language organization techniques used to organize language concepts in AAC systems, are high. This influences the ease of learning and the accuracy with which AAC users use their AAC systems. It is therefore important to investigate the way in which children relate to different language organization techniques to better understand the learning demands placed on them in using these techniques.

The aim of this study was to investigate the difference between two groups of 4-year old children’s accuracy levels when locating vocabulary in AAC technologies. The study is a replication of a part of the study conducted by Light, Drager, McCarthy, Mellot, Millar, Parrish, Parsons, Roads, Ward and Welliver (2004). Each group of subjects was assigned a specific language organization technique, i.e. schematic and taxonomic grid organization. The children had to locate vocabulary on a dynamic display system, i.e. the Dynamo. This study considered the language organization technique that best reflects the child’s developmental level. Sixteen subjects, 8 in each group, participated in 4 learning and testing sessions and 1 generalization session. The results revealed that there was no difference in the performance of the children in the two groups. This was in accordance with Light et al.’s (2004) results who also observed no difference in the 4-year-old’s performance with the schematic and taxonomic organization techniques. These results were in contrast with the literature on young children’s semantic organization, which illustrates that preschool children tend to use schematic organizations and begin to use taxonomic organizations once they reach school-age. Recommendations for future research are provided.

© University of Pretoria 2007

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