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Speech-Language Pathology Professor's Research on Written Language Receives National Attention
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Anthony KoutsoftasA research study conducted by Anthony Koutsoftas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, an assistant professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at the School of Health and Medical Sciences, was featured in The ASHA Leader, a newsmagazine for and about speech-language pathologists, audiologists and speech, language and hearing scientists. Koutsoftas began the study while a doctoral student at Arizona State University and completed the study in 2012, while a faculty member at Seton Hall University.

"It was exciting to see this study highlighted as a school research trend reaching a broader audience of speech-language pathologists," Koutsoftas says. "This study is the first in a series of studies examining written language abilities of children with learning disabilities, the findings of which are relevant for speech-language pathologists, educators and administrators."

Click here or read below for the full report in The ASHA Leader. To learn more about Koutsoftas' research, visit his Reading, Oral Language and Writing Lab blog.

Below is the excerpt from the August 28, 2012, edition of The ASHA Leader that features Koutsoftas' work in the "Schools: Research Trends" section:

"Research on written language uses analytic writing measures to assess students' writing, but high-stakes tests—like those required by the No Child Left Behind Act (2002)—use more holistic measures, such as the six-traits writing rubric. How do the deficits of students with language learning disabilities (LLD)—who demonstrate difficulties with written language, especially in the areas of productivity, complexity, and grammar—affect performance on high-stakes tests as compared to the traditional analytic measures?

"To answer that question, Arizona State University researchers used the same writing samples to compare how students with and without LLD scored on analytic writing measures and on the six-traits writing rubric. In the study, 56 fourth- and fifth-graders with typical development (TD) or LLD produced one narrative and one expository writing sample. Researchers measured the participants' oral language ability and handwriting accuracy-speed, and scored the writing samples using five to six separate analytic measures and six separate traits on the writing rubric.

"On narrative writing, the TD group scored significantly higher than the LLD group on five analytic measures and all six traits; similarly, the TD group outscored the LLD group on three analytic measures and all six traits on expository writing. The analytic scores of productivity, sentence complexity, and lexical diversity were correlated significantly with a higher overall score on the writing rubric for narrative writing samples only.

"Results suggest that exclusive use of analytic scores to select treatment goals and to document writing progress may not translate into increased scores on writing rubrics, particularly for expository writing samples. The study appears in Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools [doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0018)]."

For more information please contact:
Anthony Koutsoftas
(973) 275-2865


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