Increasing Complex Syntax Use in Written Language in School-Age Students: A Multiple-Baseline Study of Sentence Combining This study used a multiple-baseline-across-participants design to measure the effect of sentence-combining treatment provided to 6 school-age students who were identified by their teachers as being weak writers. The treatment aimed to increase the number of complex sentences in written samples by instructing students to combine simple sentences using specific ... Article
Article  |   May 08, 2018
Increasing Complex Syntax Use in Written Language in School-Age Students: A Multiple-Baseline Study of Sentence Combining
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Celeste Domsch
    Department of Communication Disorders, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
  • Linda R. Rodriguez
    Department of Communication Disorders, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
  • Laura E. Titzman
    Department of Communication Disorders, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
  • Ellen Kester
    Bilinguistics, Austin, TX
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Celeste Domsch has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Linda R. Rodriguez has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Laura E. Titzman has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Ellen Kester has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Celeste Domsch has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Linda R. Rodriguez has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Laura E. Titzman has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Ellen Kester has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: These data were previously presented in a poster at the 2017 Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
    Nonfinancial: These data were previously presented in a poster at the 2017 Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Part 1
Article   |   May 08, 2018
Increasing Complex Syntax Use in Written Language in School-Age Students: A Multiple-Baseline Study of Sentence Combining
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, May 2018, Vol. 3, 4-19. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG16.4
History: Received February 6, 2018 , Revised March 9, 2018 , Accepted March 22, 2018
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, May 2018, Vol. 3, 4-19. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG16.4
History: Received February 6, 2018; Revised March 9, 2018; Accepted March 22, 2018

This study used a multiple-baseline-across-participants design to measure the effect of sentence-combining treatment provided to 6 school-age students who were identified by their teachers as being weak writers. The treatment aimed to increase the number of complex sentences in written samples by instructing students to combine simple sentences using specific conjunctions (e.g., before, while, if, until, unless). Students completed a standardized subtest of sentence combining from the Test of Written Language–Fourth Edition ( Hammill & Larsen, 2009  ) pre- and posttreatment. Data on the number of complex sentences were collected from written samples produced during the baseline, treatment, and posttreatment phases. Results indicated that 3 of the 6 students earned higher scores on the standardized subtest of sentence-combining posttreatment, whereas the other 3 did not. Five of the 6 students showed positive, albeit generally weak, treatment effects for the number of complex sentences written. These results suggest that sentence-combining treatment may have the potential to increase the use of complex syntax in writing for some students identified as weak writers, though individual responses to treatment varied considerably.

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