Joy Stackhouse

The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (53)51.21 Total impact

  • Bill Wells · Joy Stackhouse
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    ABSTRACT: Children’s Intonation: A Framework for Practice and Research is a practical guide that focuses on the nature, causes and assessment of intonation problems for children and adolescents. Highlighting the importance of intonation for everyday conversational interaction and the implications of this for teaching and therapy contexts, this book addresses the following questions: How and when do children learn to use intonation for the purposes of interaction? As children get older, does intonation become more important or less important for communication? How might intonation be used to support or compensate for other aspects of language? What are the implications for practitioners, parents and caregivers when interacting with young children?
    No preview · Book · Nov 2015
  • Thomas Hopkins · Judy Clegg · Joy Stackhouse
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    ABSTRACT: Background Research has revealed that the youth offending population has low language ability when assessed on standardized language measures. However, little is known about the perceptions young offenders (YOs) have of their own literacy ability and their communicative interactions with others. Such knowledge might further our understanding of the possible association between language, literacy and offending behaviour.AimsThis study investigates the perceptions and experiences YOs have of using literacy and communicating with others. It addresses the following questions. How satisfied are YOs with their own literacy and communication skills and how important do YOs perceive these to be? How much do YOs believe they understand others in their communicative interactions? How satisfied are YOs with their communicative interactions with others and how does this influence conflict at home, school, and in the youth justice system?Methods & ProceduresAn opportunity sample of 31 YOs on court orders were recruited from a local youth offending service, excluding any who did not have English as a first language or were in receipt of current speech and language therapy provision. Twenty-six qualitative individual semi-structured interviews and two focus group interviews were carried out and analysed using a framework analysis method.Outcomes & ResultsThemes revealed participants were dissatisfied with their communication and literacy ability. Other themes identified were difficulty in understanding others, a perceived lack of support and respect gained from others, and a negative impact of communication on self-esteem. The findings suggest that YOs often found themselves in disputes with authority figures, but that they avoided using positive communication to solve such conflicts and also avoided confiding in others.Conclusions & ImplicationsThe findings support the results found from quantitative research on the language abilities of YOs. This emphasizes the value in adopting qualitative methodology to understand the relationship between literacy, communication skills and offending behaviour in YOs. The findings highlight a need for increased language, literacy and communication training, and support for YOs, and for the staff who work alongside them.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
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    ABSTRACT: Phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming (RAN), letter knowledge, and oral language are all significant predictors of successful literacy acquisition in several languages. However, their relative importance is less clear and depends on language characteristics, the specific aspect of literacy assessed, and the phase of literacy acquisition. This study, therefore, aimed to examine the development of these predictors and their relationship with literacy acquisition through a longitudinal investigation of German-speaking children. Seventy-eight children growing up monolingual German were assessed three times: a few months before starting school (mean age = 5 years 11 months), in grade 1 (mean age = 6 years 11 months), and in grade 2 (mean age = 7 years 10 months). Cognitive predictors were measured at preschool, and literacy outcomes (reading accuracy, speed, comprehension, and spelling) were measured in grades 1 and 2. Correlational and path analyses revealed a complex pattern of relationships between cognitive and literacy skills dependent on the aspect of literacy being measured and the timepoint. Overall, the most important predictor of literacy skill in grade 2 was earlier literacy skills, followed by letter knowledge and RAN. Phonological awareness was less important than RAN, and oral language skills (i.e., vocabulary, grammar comprehension) were least important. The implications of these findings for the understanding of cognitive mechanisms of literacy acquisition and for early detection of literacy difficulties are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Reading Research Quarterly
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    Li-Li Yeh · Bill Wells · Joy Stackhouse · Marcin Szczerbinski
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Two competing approaches to the analysis of the phonological structure of Mandarin syllables have been put forward. The first and more traditional approach is that a syllable can be segmented into initial consonant, medial glide, nucleus plus coda and tone. The second approach does not distinguish the non-compulsory medial glide as an independent element. To compare and evaluate these two different approaches, the development of phoneme-level awareness was investigated in 67 Mandarin-speaking children in Year 1 of school (mean age: 6;9) and Year 5 (mean age: 10;1). Results showed that at school entry some children were sensitive to glides and to a lesser extent to codas; their number increased by Year 5. This suggests that spoken language experience is enough for some children to acquire the representation of glides and codas; this is consistent with the traditional model of the Mandarin syllable, with both glides and codas as independent elements. However, the children's task performance was generally rather poor, even in Year 5, suggesting that development of phonemic sensitivity in Mandarin speaking children is not substantially improved by increased literacy experience.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics
  • Elisabeth Joy Newbold · Joy Stackhouse · Bill Wells
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    ABSTRACT: Standardised tests of whole-word accuracy are popular in the speech pathology and developmental psychology literature as measures of children's speech performance. However, they may not be sensitive enough to measure changes in speech output in children with severe and persisting speech difficulties (SPSD). To identify the best ways of doing this, we compared a range of commonly used procedures for perceptual phonological and phonetic analysis of developmental speech difficulties. Data are drawn from four children with SPSD, recorded at 4 years and again at 6 years old performing naming and repetition tasks. Measures of speech output included percentage of whole words correct (PWC), percentage of consonants correct (PCC), proportion of whole-word proximity (PWP), phonological pattern (process) analysis and phonetic inventory analysis. Results indicate that PWC captures change only when identical stimuli are used across time points. PCC is a more robust indicator of change, being less affected by the choice of stimuli. PWP also captures change across time and tasks, while appearing to be more sensitive than PCC to psycholinguistic variables. PCC and PWP are thus both potentially useful tools for evaluating speech outcomes.
    No preview · Article · May 2013 · Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics
  • Sarah Spencer · Judy Clegg · Joy Stackhouse
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    ABSTRACT: Young people's perceptions may offer an insight into the complex associations between language, education and social class. However, little research has asked young people what they think of their own talking. Forty-two British adolescents aged between 14 and 15 years were interviewed: 21 attended a school in a working class area; 21 attended school in a middle class area. This paper examines and compares interview extracts from the two groups of adolescents.Results of a thematic analysis suggest that adolescents in both schools use language to signal their identity and to identify the group membership of others. Identity was linked by participants to social class. For example, adolescents attending school in a working class area described how they avoid talking ‘posh’ and those in a middle class area avoided talking like a ‘chav’. Adolescents attending school in a working class area described differences between the requirements of talking with teachers versus with their peers. Those in a middle class area discussed how their language skills were related to literacy and educational success. Implications for educational policy and practice are examined.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Language and Education
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    Jane Speake · Joy Stackhouse · Michelle Pascoe
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    ABSTRACT: Compared to the treatment of consonant segments, the treatment of vowels is infrequently described in the literature on children’s speech difficulties. Vowel difficulties occur less frequently than those with consonants but may have significant impact on intelligibility. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of vowel targeted intervention (VTI) with two 10-year-old children with severe and persisting speech difficulties measures of (a) percentage vowels correct and (b) intelligibility outcomes by peer group listeners were used. Assessment of vowel production was used to design and carry out intervention for each child, the success of which was measured in two ways: comparing (a) percentage of vowels correct before and after the intervention, (b) the percentage of pre- vs. post-intervention utterances understood by a group of typical peer listeners (aged 9 to 11 years). Pre- and post-intervention speech samples (comprising single words, imitated sentences and spontaneous speech) were edited onto a CD for these listeners, who were asked to write down what had been said. The two children with speech difficulties made significant improvement in vowel production as measured by the percentage of vowels correct. The listeners perceived more productions accurately post-intervention than pre-intervention. There was also a reduction in the range of the listeners’ misperceptions of target words. VTI was effective in terms of both increasing PVC and intelligibility outcomes as judged by peer group listeners. It is not more complicated to carry out VTI than consonant targeted intervention; this should be considered more often when planning therapy for children where vowels are affected.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Child Language Teaching and Therapy
  • Judy Clegg · Lydia Ansorge · Joy Stackhouse · Chris Donlan
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    ABSTRACT: This study identifies the outcomes and documents the longitudinal life experiences of adults who attended a specialist residential school for children with pervasive and complex developmental communication impairments. Semistructured interviews were carried out with 26 adult ex-pupils who had attended the school and the parents of 15 of the ex-pupils. Seven key themes were identified from the data, including (a) lack of appropriate support and the impact of this in early childhood, (b) advantages and disadvantages of specialist educational provision compared to mainstream and other provision, (c) changing impact of developmental communication impairments over time, (d) challenging transition away from specialist educational provision, (e) absence of appropriate support for adults with developmental communication impairments, (f) persisting impact of developmental communication impairments on social and emotional functioning in adult life, and (g) differences in perspective between the adult ex-pupils and their parents. Across the adult ex-pupils and their parents, the perceived reported benefits of early intervention, parental support, specialist educational provision, and guidance at times of transitions should inform current service provision for this vulnerable group of individuals and their families.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools
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    Sarah Spencer · Judy Clegg · Joy Stackhouse
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    ABSTRACT: It is recognized that children from areas associated with socioeconomic disadvantage are at an increased risk of delayed language development. However, so far research has focused mainly on young children and there has been little investigation into language development in adolescence. To investigate the language abilities of adolescents from two different socioeconomic areas. The paper aims to determine if a higher proportion of adolescents from an area of socioeconomic disadvantage have low language scores when compared with adolescents from a relatively advantaged area. Six standardized language assessments were used to measure expressive and receptive language skills across vocabulary, syntax and narrative in two cohorts of 13 and 14 year olds: one cohort attending a school in an area of socioeconomic disadvantage (103 participants) and the other cohort attending a school in an area of relative socioeconomic advantage (48 participants). The cohort from the area of disadvantage performed significantly lower than the assessments' normative mean on all measures of language ability. There were significant differences between the two cohorts on four of the six language measures. More adolescents from the school in the area of socioeconomic disadvantage had standardized assessment scores that suggest hitherto undetected language difficulties. Results suggest that socioeconomic background is associated with language ability in adolescence as measured by standardized tests. In particular, adolescents from an area of socioeconomic disadvantage were at risk of low vocabulary scores. The advantages and disadvantages of using standardized language assessments are discussed and the implications for clinical and educational practice and for school level policies are highlighted.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
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    Jenny Leyden · Joy Stackhouse · Marcin Szczerbinski
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    ABSTRACT: The role of language for learning is core across the entire school curriculum. Thus, children with speech, language and communication needs are at risk of underachieving academically. Research reports and policy drivers advocate the need for a whole school approach (WSA) to enhance children’s spoken language and communication skills, yet little is known about what it is like for schools to implement such a programme. Primary Talk is an example of a WSA, developed and piloted by the UK-based charity I CAN. This article presents an evaluation of what it was like for staff to implement a WSA in their schools. Head teachers and WSA coordinators from five schools were interviewed regarding the perceived benefits and challenges of implementing a WSA. Thematic analysis of the interview data indicated that the programme was worthwhile to implement and that it enhanced the use of visual support strategies and adult—child directed speech. The respondents also identified a number of challenges while implementing the programme relating to time constraints and maintaining the WSA as high profile in the context of competing demands in their schools.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Child Language Teaching and Therapy
  • Joy Stackhouse · Jannet A. Wright

    No preview · Article · May 2011 · Child Language Teaching and Therapy
  • Wendy Wellington · Joy Stackhouse
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are educated in mainstream classrooms where they can have difficulties with the language needed for learning. Although visual support in the classroom can help to scaffold children’s learning and socialization, many teachers feel ill equipped to use this. They do not feel confident enough to identify, differentiate and support children with SLCN. This article presents a training and mentoring programme delivered to teachers and teaching assistants (TAs) in seven mainstream primary schools. It involved a group training session outlining the nature and identification of children with SLCN, impact of SLCN on accessing the curriculum, and visual strategies and techniques for supporting learning. This was followed up by six, weekly mentoring sessions in the classroom with a speech and language therapist (SLT) or SLT assistant (SLTA). Pre- and post-training questionnaires and classroom observations were used to examine the impact of this programme. The observations were repeated after one school term to establish if the use of visual support had been maintained. Although there were differences between the teachers and TAs pre-training, they both increased their use of visual support strategies in the classroom post-training and maintained this one term after the training had ceased. The method and practical implications of this study are discussed.
    No preview · Article · May 2011 · Child Language Teaching and Therapy
  • Sarah Spencer · Judy Clegg · Joy Stackhouse
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    ABSTRACT: Assessing adolescent language skills poses significant challenges due to the subtle nature of language proficiency at this age, along with the high linguistic demands both academically and socially. As with young children, the current range of language assessments designed specifically for adolescents mostly includes standardized tests. This article explores how interviews can contribute to the assessment of adolescents’ language and communication skills. Two case studies of adolescents with previously undetected language difficulties are presented. The case studies show how the adolescents were able to reflect upon their language skills in an interview situation. Case studies also compare adolescents’ comments with the outcomes of standardized assessments. The interview allowed consideration of adolescent’s perceptions of strengths and difficulties, and identified possible barriers for these adolescents to both language intervention and education. Relationships between assessment and interview data are discussed and implications for assessment procedures are highlighted.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2010 · Child Language Teaching and Therapy
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    PhD Joy Stackhouse · Michelle Pascoe · Hilary Gardner
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    ABSTRACT: This paper illustrates a psycholinguistic approach to investigating children's speech and literacy difficulties by describing a “three-way” intervention plan for Jarrod, a 7 year old boy with unintelligible speech. First, a speech processing profile, a speech processing model and developmental phase models of speech and literacy were used to determine the relationship between his spoken and written language skills and what strengths could be built on in an intervention programme. Second, an analysis of the speech data was used to examine contributing factors to Jarrod's unintelligibility and what intervention targets might be selected to promote his speech, phonological awareness and literacy skills. Third, who might be involved in his intervention programme is suggested and what training might be needed to ensure appropriate interaction between child and listener in the therapy/teaching situation. A psycholinguistic approach can be helpful for children like Jarrod as it tackles speech and literacy simultaneously and has inbuilt assessments, monitoring and evaluation. The intervention can also be carried out by others and in groups. However, this approach needs to be combined with that derived from other perspectives (e.g. linguistic, educational, medical and psychosocial) to ensure a comprehensive management programme is carried out.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: The development of phonological awareness (PA), the ability to reflect on the sound structure of words independent of their meaning, has been extensively explored in English-speaking children. However, this is not the case for other languages. The aim of this study was to develop a comprehensive PA test battery for German-speaking preschool children, considering psycholinguistic, linguistic, and cognitive aspects and to carry out analyses of its psychometric properties. Cross-sectional data from a sample of 55 children (CA 4;0-6;11 years) were collected. Preliminary findings confirm validity and reliability of the test battery, and support previous findings that PA develops from larger to smaller linguistic units. Phoneme-level tasks were consistently associated with letter knowledge. The new instrument is a promising tool for basic research (e.g. cross-linguistic comparisons of PA development) as well as for clinical and educational practice (e.g. planning speech and language therapy or literacy-oriented intervention).
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics
  • Janet Lees · Joy Stackhouse · Gordon Grant
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    ABSTRACT: Part of a multimethod ethnographic study that aimed to explore the knowledge of local parents concerning children learning to talk is described. The study was carried out with parents from several different ethnic and language groups in a socially disadvantaged part of Sheffield, a large city in the northeast of England. In the phase of the study reported here, parents (either English, Urdu/Punjabi and Arabic speakers) took part in interviews, as well as contributing to the validation of the project. This study found that parents from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds living in this socially disadvantaged area, believed learning to talk to be very important and that family, community, including faith community, and professionals, have roles in promoting learning to talk. They indicated that local community groups, including faith communities, could play a positive role in supporting and developing their knowledge. This paper will be of interest to those seeking innovative ways to support parents in socially excluded communities, particularly parents of children learning to talk, and so contribute to better outcomes for children, families and communities. It also contributes to our understanding of the development of parental knowledge about learning to talk in socially disadvantaged communities.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs
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    ABSTRACT: In the UK, exclusions from school because of behaviour problems usually occur when other alternatives have proved unsuccessful. There is some evidence to suggest that behaviour problems and resulting school exclusions are associated with language impairment. In older children who are permanently excluded, expressive rather than receptive language impairment is more common and this is associated with increased rates of emotional problems (Ripley and Yuill, 2005). The language abilities of secondary age pupils at risk of permanent school exclusion who are still in mainstream educational provision have not yet been a focus of study. Fifteen pupils attending a mainstream secondary school located in an area of socio-economic deprivation were studied. All the pupils were at risk of permanent exclusion owing to significant behaviour problems. Measures of language and behaviour identified language difficulties in 10 of the 15 pupils, where five of these pupils had significant and severe language difficulties. In contrast, the remaining five pupils showed age-appropriate or typical language abilities. Although differences were identified in language abilities, severe behaviour problems were found in both the pupils with language difficulties and those with age-appropriate language. Mixed receptive-expressive language difficulties were more common than expressive only difficulties but these were not associated with a particular type of behaviour problem. For a high proportion of secondary age pupils at risk of permanent school exclusion, language difficulties are a factor in their behaviour problems and school exclusion. The preliminary findings are discussed with reference to the relationship between language impairment and behaviour problems, the criteria for defining language impairment in this population, the need for further research and potential implications for education and speech and language therapy.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2009 · Child Language Teaching and Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: International research findings have repeatedly confirmed the significance of speech and language processing skills and letter knowledge for successful literacy acquisition. However, the importance of these skills for early literacy success in German speakers remains uncertain. The present longitudinal study aimed to explore this issue. Sixty-nine German-speaking children were assessed in nursery a few months before starting school (mean age 5;11) and in Grade 1 (mean age 6;11) with tests of phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, expressive vocabulary, grammar comprehension, letter knowledge, and nonverbal reasoning. Grade 1 assessments also included measures of reading accuracy, speed, comprehension, and spelling. The results confirmed that speech and language processing skills and letter knowledge before and around the time of school enrolment explain individual differences in early literacy development, with letter knowledge and phonological awareness emerging as most important predictors. No variance in literacy performance was uniquely predicted by nonverbal reasoning.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · Written Language & Literacy
  • Jannet A. Wright · Joy Stackhouse · Janet Wood
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    ABSTRACT: The recent focus on joint training programmes to support the development of interagency/interdisciplinary collaboration places considerable emphasis on interprofessional education at undergraduate and postgraduate level. It is therefore important to ensure that interprofessional learning is embedded in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and that professionals across health and education who work together to support children with communication problems can develop a better understanding and appreciation of each other's roles (Wright et al., 2004). This paper presents the findings from a study of interdisciplinary training for early years practitioners aimed at improving identification, understanding and practical support for children at risk of language and literacy difficulties (Wood, Wright and Stackhouse, 2000). Specific activities designed to facilitate interdisciplinary learning are presented and what the practitioners on the courses took away in terms of knowledge, skills and attitude is discussed.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Child Language Teaching and Therapy
  • S. Fricke · J. Stackhouse · B. Wells
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    ABSTRACT: Phonological awareness (PA) defines the ability to notice and analyse the phonological structure of a spoken word. It is a competence, that starts developing at preschool age and is important for pronunciation as well as literacy skills. For the present pilot study, a PA test battery taking into account both the complex structure of the PA construct and a speech-processing model was applied to investigate the PA skills of 38 monolingual, normally-developing German preschool children a few months before starting school. The aim of the study was to gain preferably comprehensive insight into the PA competences in German-speaking children near school enrolment.
    No preview · Article · May 2007