Comparing the Effects of Structural and Natural Language Use during Direct Instruction with Children with Mental Retardation
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Effects of structural and natural language use during direct instruction in teaching color and shape concepts to children with moderate mental retardation were compared using an adapted alternating treatments design. Subjects of the study were eight children with mental retardation receiving individual instruction in a preschool program in Turkey. Four of the subjects were taught color concepts and four of them were taught shape concepts. The results indicated that natural language use was as effective as or more effective than structural language use in teaching color and shape concepts. According to these results, teachers of children with mental retardation might be encouraged to modify the type of verbal interactions they use during direct instruction.