A Case Study of Children in a Year 3 Primary School Class

A Case Study of Children in a Year 3 Primary School Class and their Predilections for Social Interaction within School: are there Preferences for Interaction with Children with Typical Speech rather than Children with Speech and Language Impairments.


Children learn through engaging in all forms of communication with both adults and peers, with language being a fundamental part of the learning process. However, for children with speech and language impairments (SLI’s), peer interaction may not be easily obtainable. The importance of positive peer interaction cannot be overstated; as Justice et al (2011) advocate, peer influence facilitates both children’s learning and their language development. However, the literature reviewed found that some children with speech and language impairments may face marginalisation and isolation by peer rejection. Moreover, Menting et al (2011) suggests, children with poorer language skills may not only struggle to interact with peers, but their lower language level may hinder their ability to maintain peer relationships. Furthermore, Law (2012) asserts that, symptoms of peer rejection may range from withdrawal and depression to a lack of self esteem. Therefore the necessity to ascertain the motivation for peer rejection is imperative, in order to facilitate initiatives to promote inclusion.

Whilst a particular strength of the existing literature is the overwhelming consensus of the importance of positive peer interaction upon the language and emotional wellbeing of children with SLI’s, reviewing the literature also highlighted a lack of research undertaken with children to determine their reasons for peer rejection; with only one study undertaken by Langevin et al (2009) which utilised a peer response survey. Furthermore, research which highlighted outcomes of peer intervention programmes, such as Turnball’s (2006) research into promoting peer awareness of stammering, were conducted with children in the...