Research Update: Cognitive and language acquisition in typical and aided language learning

Child Language Teaching and Therapy, Vol. 25, No. 1, 31-58 (2009)
Cognitive and language acquisition in typical and aided language learning: A review of recent evidence from an aided communication perspective


Janice Murray

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK,

Juliet Goldbart

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK


Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a discipline that has seen recent developments as a consequence of the worldwide technological revolution. Children with complex communication needs, who benefit from such systems, are now afforded an opportunity to develop independent communication skills.

The aim of this paper is to review theory and research relating to language acquisition in typical and aided language learning. Becoming a skilled aided communicator takes many years, but as this review demonstrates, little is known about the processes of skill development. In particular there is limited research evidence to support current language and communication intervention strategies typically used by practitioners working in the field of AAC. This review synthesizes current knowledge within an evidence-based framework and provides a summary to support practice and future research activity.



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