Non-word repetition has, not without controversy, been considered a reliable index of phonological memory in children with language impairment (LI). Recent studies do, however, emphasize the strong link between non-word repetition skills and phonological output in pre-school children with LI. The purpose of the present study was to explore the relationship between non-word repetition and different aspects of language comprehension (comprehension of words, sentences and fables) in 27 children with LI. The results showed that non-word repetition significantly correlated with all measures of language comprehension in the children with LI. Partial correlations revealed a weaker relationship between vocabulary comprehension, comprehension of fables and non-word repetition than between non-word repetition and comprehension of grammar. A possible explanation for the findings may be that the tests assessing comprehension of grammar strained language processing and storage more than the other tests. It is concluded that non-word repetition cannot be considered to be a single, reliable index of phonological memory in pre-school children with LI. Non-word repetition incorporates a range of processes necessary for language comprehension and production, and thus mirrors the general language status of the child.
Subject classification (UKÄ)
- Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified
- Non-word Repetition
- Language Comprehension
- Language Impairment