Anthony Koutsoftas colloquium on Sept. 20th

Anthony Koutsoftas from Seton Hall University is the first speaker at this semester’s Research Colloquium. His talk is titled: Exploring written language in children with and without language learning disabilities: Comparisons, relationships, and contributions. Colloquia are at 2pm in the 9th floor conference room of 665 Broadway. The abstract for the talk is below:
Written language is a form of language that is quite difficult for children with and without language learning disabilities (LLD). Children with LLD are particularly vulnerable to written language deficits because of the nature of the disability. Research on written language output for both clinical and typical populations is emerging and the purpose of this talk is to share two different research projects stemming from the same dataset of children with and without LLD. Fifty-six children with and without LLD participated in this research by completing an oral language assessment, reading assessment, and producing two spoken and two written language samples, the latter of which is discussed in the present talk. The first study compares how children with and without LLD perform on analytic and holistic scoring measures of writing samples and further explores the relationships between types of measures. Analytic measures are commonly employed measures of language transcription whereas holistic measures are commonly used by local and state testing agencies to demonstrate adequate yearly progress. The second study evaluates the contribution of oral language and reading abilities on writing quality across two genres: narrative and expository. Oral language was measures using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals – Fourth Edition and reading ability was represented by performance on state mandated reading assessments. Findings from both studies suggest that children with LLD fare far worse on written language tasks than their peers with typical development and that this difference is greater when scored on holistic scoring measures. Few relationships between analytic and holistic scoring systems were observed. Predictors of writing quality differed by group and by genre. Future research directions and clinical applications of findings will be discussed.

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