School of Communication Science and Disorders (SCSD) Doctoral Candidate Keisey Fumero and FSU Professor Dr. Carla Wood Publish Paper in “Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools” Journal

Doctoral candidate Keisey Fumero, studying in the School of Communication Science and Disorders (SCSD), and Dr. Carla Wood, Director of SCSD, are publishing their research in the journal Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools. Their publication is titled, “Grammatical Verb Errors: Differences between English Learners with and without Diagnosed Language-Based Learning Disabilities,” and covers how student writing samples and the verb errors made in these samples may be useful to educators and clinicians when diagnosing English Learners (ELs) with language-based learning disorders (LLD). This information will assist educators and clinicians during differential diagnosis, ultimately covering an important topic.

To begin their research, Fumero and Dr. Wood utilized writing samples from EL students during the school year (October to May) to analyze differences in verb errors between typically developing ELs and ELs with LLD. The term EL refers to students speaking a language that isn’t English at home, sometimes causing academic difficulties when in predominantly English-speaking educational environments. Verb errors, including verb omissions, verb agreement, and verb tense errors, were noted and blindly coded by Fumero and trained research assistants. Finally, Fumero and Dr. Wood ran SALT analyses to gather frequencies for each error code and ran statistical analyses to answer their research questions.

“The interesting find was that at the beginning of the year there was no statistical difference between any the typically developing ELs and the ELs with LLD, but at the end of the year, there was,” said Fumero. She shares that this aligns with previous findings that EL students can typically learn the correct use of verbs after time, while LLD students, EL and English proficient alike, benefit from explicit intervention and assistance to overcome those challenges.

Fumero shared, “I enjoyed learning about the research process while completing this project and I feel like taking on the project and writing the manuscript has definitely helped me grow not only as a researcher but as someone who is passionate about furthering our understanding related to EL populations.”

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