Learning Of Coherent Speech Of Pre-School Age Children With Mental Retardation


The article deals with results of studying level of actual development of coherent speech of pre-school children with mental disorders. All children participating in the study attend regular primary schools. Authors based on idea of influence the level of intellectual development to forming coherent speech of pre-school children and determines specific of further socialization of this children. Here are described features of actual level of development of coherent speech of pre-school age children. Theoretic and methodological base of search are conceptions of general and special psychology, pedagogic, linguistics and psycholinguistics viewing general approaches in education – activistic, environmental, differentiated, situative, actual notions of structure and displays of older pre-school children’s speech progress impairments, actual statements of inclusive and integrative teaching organization, hypothesis of unity of regularities of normal and anomal child’s development, general philosophic, general psychological and special bases of rehabilitation and socialization of children with limited possibilities of health. They are based on scientific works by L.S. Vigotskiy, P.Ya. Galperin, A.N. Leontiev, S.L. Rubinshteyn, R.E. Levina, N.S. Jukova, R.I. Lalaeva, G.A. Kashe, Z.A. Repina, I.A. Filatova, V.V. Korkunov, N.N. Malofeev etc. ( Galperin, 2017 ; Shipicina, 2000 ; Sohin, 1959 ). The authors researched coherent speech of 30 children with mental retardation (10) and delay of psychical development (20). They describe characteristics coherent speech of the children, gave examples of children`s speech.

Keywords: Pre-school agedisturbance of intellectmental retardationdelay of psychical developmentcoherent speech


Necessity of changes was caused by understanding importance and relevance of pre-school education because further successful development and teaching every individual lay and are formed on this level.

Now to results of mastering program are represented as purposes of pre-school education. One of these purposes is a coherent speech progress – the most complicated form of speech activity. For pre-school age children this progress normally goes gradually in conjunction with thinking progress and connected with complication child activity and forms of communication.

To the end of pre-school education all children are to master sufficient speech habits to satisfaction their social and educational needs. Thereby the standard of pre-school education for persons with limited possibilities of health shows concrete and clear demand to results of mastering educational program. (Ginkin, 1982; Gluhov, 2004; Korkunov, 1998).

In this article we view two category of persons with limited possibilities of health: delay of psychical development (DPD) and mental retardation (MR).

Appealing results of studies dedicated to features speech activity progress of children with delay of psychical development revealing problems appearing when they vocally design their actions, we admit interiority of spontaneous and reflected speech. Lack of derivative processes like one of features of speech of children with delay of psychical development. Detailed speech statement, particularly operation of inner programming and Grammatik structuring is not formed children of this category. The problem of forming coherent speech at pre-school age is significant and actual because a lot of specialists consider successful teaching and parenting children with delay of psychical development is is a precondition to complete training of socialization (Leontyev, 1969; Lubovskiy, 2007; Malofeev, 1997) Actual stage of development system of special education in Russia: study results as).

Problem Statement

Pre-school age children with impairment of intellect studying in inclusive groups have sizeable difficulties mastering coherent speech. As a result they are badly trained to further socialization.

Research Questions

The object of search is learning features of coherent speech of pre-school age children with impairment of intellect studying in conditions of inclusion (Boryakova, 2002; Brizgalova, Zak, 2010).

Purpose of the Study

The present study had been conducted in 2014 – 2016 at nursery school № 163 and № 123 in Yekaterinburg. Pre-school age children with DPD (20) and mental retardation (10) took part in research. Analyses of results carried for each group. Total amount of sapling was 30 pre-school age children. We learned actual level of coherent speech progress of pre-school age children with intellectual progress impairments studying in inclusive group.

Research Methods

We learned actual level of coherent speech progress of pre-school age children with intellectual progress impairments studying in conditions of inclusion.

Research methods were chosen accordant to purposes and aims of work:

  • Theoretic: analysis of psycho-pedagogical, linguistic and courseware devoted to learning pre-school age children’s with impairment of intellect coherent speech.

  • Empiric: learning children’s psycho-pedagogical and medical documentation, collection and analysis of anamnestic results of psycho-pedagogical observation.

  • Standard diagnostic methods: methods of quality-quantitative treatment of experimental information, confrontive, forming and control stages of retrieval work.

Participants of study were to describe 4 pictures: “The girl waters flowers”, “The boy skies”, “The girl builds the house from sand”, “Children watch cartoon”. In the second task were 4 series of pictures, three separate pictures connected thematically in each: “An autumn leaf, an umbrella, children walk”, “a pin-feather, a basket of mushrooms, a Teddy bear”, “a cabbage, a carrot, a rabbit”, “a fish, a fishing-rod, a boy”. For doing the third task and making paraphrase was reading the text “Teddy bear is waiting guests” and shown pictures reflecting the main actions in the text. The forth task for researching coherent speech was run of action pictures. The fifth task required a story from children’s experience. The quality of doing tasks were valued in scoring scale: 1 point – Absence of adequate phrasal answer using additional question. Making phrase substitutes for naming objects at the picture. 2 points – Adequate phrase-statement made using additional question which points an act. Not all of task are done.

3 points – Combination of shown deficiencies in informational content and lexico-grammatic structuring of phrase doing majority of tasks. 4 points – Adequate phrase by implication has one of deficiencies: a) lack of informational content; b) mistakes in using words (choosing grammatical form of word) wich disturb connection words in the sentence; c) a disturbance of normative word order in collocations; d) long pauses searching proper word. 5 points – The answer looks like properly structured phrase adequate by implication and content of the shown picture full and exactly reflected its objective content. All of tasks are done on the level accordable pointed characteristics.


Study’s coherent speech of pre-school age children with delay of psychical development result analyses

Average grades of doing the first two tasks making sentences about single situative pictures and making sentences about three connected pictures were 2,35 of 5.

Received result’s analyses showed two children – Kolya and Anton have done tasks the best. Their average grades 3 of 5. Kolya structured logical consecution of actions at the pictures using teacher’s prompt. There were some pauses among the pictures. Statement corresponded to the action at the picture. Kolya’s answers: “A girl flowers to water. The boy goes skis from the hill. The girl makes a house at the sand. A girl and a boy watch a cartoon”. Anton also have done the task. His phrasal speech was logically consecutive but he needed a teacher’s prompt to begin describe an action at the picture. Anton had low speech rate and forgetting (lowering of prepositions). Other children (most of them) structured phrases resting on the questions with pointing objects at the pictures, almost all of children lowered prepositions and changed or named inexactly verbs. Their phrases were simple and inextended, consisted mostly from nouns and verbs. Three of probationers got average grades 2,5 after the first two tasks.

Half of participants of research got average grades 2 from 5. They had difficulties making phrase, couldn’t begin a sentence, stumbled describing pictures, needed helping question from the teacher, sometimes they needed suggestive question and pointing object at the picture and action (Example: Masha O. was asked a question to the picture “A girl waters flowers”: Who is pictured? She answered: “A girl to water flowers”; she got a prompt to the picture “A girl builds a house from the sand” in gesture pointing a girl and a house and answered: “A girl makes a house a sand”; she asked about the picture “A boy skies”: What does the boy do? and answered: “A boy goes hill”; she answered herself the question to the picture “Children watch cartoon”: “They watch TV, cartoon”). Doing the second task to make phrase about three connected pictures the group demonstrated average grades 2 of 5 showed a majority of children with delay of psychical development (70% of children). It is also true that the second task’s result have lower meaning. This facts may be explained an ability to find general feature of actions at the pictures and logical connection and connect it to phrasal speech. Let’s example from the tale of Denis S. (A boy, a girl, leafs and an umbrella is here. A bear and a basket, and mushrooms. A rabbit eats a carrot and a cabbage. A boy, a fish and river. A bucket. ).

All children of this group were the most successful in making story based on personal experience, three children showed emotional expression (intonation and gestures saying a phrase). An example is a tale of Kirill B. , the boy telling a story gestured a size of car, tells he fell and shows an abrasion. (Brother and dad and mom went to the zoo, drove a car red big. And drove and drove to the hole and fell, and the car is safe, I scratched my hand and Kostya eat cotton candy and I eat ice-cream in a can big strawberry. I saw also a bear, a tiger and an elephant. We went home by car).

The most difficult for participants was doing task to make a story based a line of action pictures, average grades of group is 2,2, two of children (Oleg K. and Tanya N. ) got 1 point of 4. Probationers needed additional verb prompt like subsidiary question and visual tooltip pointing actions between objects at the pictures.

There were agrammatisms in children’s phrasal speech, simple actions named properly but without logical order of structuring pictures. In the speech of two children was only naming actions and objects. Received facts about pre-school children’s with delay of psychical development skill to make paraphrase were expressed in average grades 2,5 of 4. Seeing individualistic characteristics we have admit that 50% of probationers got average grades 3, children made paraphrase according to logical order but using help of subsidiary questions, there were pauses in the sentences and wrong using of words. The second half of group shown average grades 2 of 4, in this case traced disturbance of logical order of actions. Phrases were short and reflected only names of objects and single actions.

There were not emotional-artistic expressive means in children’s paraphrase, they needed subsidiary questions to remember the text, often used repeating to continue structuring new phrase. Children were read a story of Inshakova’s album (Teddy bear waits for visitors) and shown pictures for a clearness. Masha O. were asked additional questions to make paraphrase. She answered: “Washed berries. Teddy bear for visitors waited. Then tied the mouth. It became less on the plate. Got a cup to drink tea”.

Study’s result analyses of coherent speech of pre-school age children with mental retardation

The majority of pre-school mental retarded children couldn’t do the task to make phrasal statements, their average grades were 1 of 5. Adequate answer to subsidiary questions were absent, almost all of children just named single objects at the pictures. The participants had mach difficulties with making phrase about three objective pictures, children couldn’t to connect them logically even after given prompt. The task to make a phrase showing simple acts was successfully done by two children of five. So the highest mark in this group is 2 of 5. Irina S. made a phrase, there was properly named an object and action but grammatically disturbed all norms of congruence and government. Example: Irina S. answered to the picture “The girle washes flowers”: “The girl flowers to pour water”. A tale about the pictures was difficult to access for Matvey Sh., he needed subsidiary questions and there were echolalia in answers, he also needed a prompt an action at the picture. Example of Matvey’s telling: Who? A boy? A boy. What does the boy do? Does he eat or play? He plays. What does he play with? What does he play with? Does he play car? He plays car. What is shown at the picture? Name it. The boy bip-bip.

The most difficulties the participants of this group had with paraphrase, the highest mark 1 of 5 got 25% of children. For other this task was infeasible. Maxim A. made paraphrase by means of subsidiary questions and viewing pictures: “A Teddy Bear. Sits. Eats berries. Sits. Tea”.

For making a story about a line of action pictures the highest mark was 1 of 5, two of probabilities fell down the task. Julia P. needed questions for definition correct order of pictures. The participant’s tale was little with concrete naming objects at the pictures: “The boy sleeps, a bed. Went. To wash hands. A ball. Clothes. Sleepers”.

The task to make a story from individual experience did all of participants but the highest mark was 1 of 5. The feature of all stories was recent vivid emotional recollection: buying a pet, week end with a family, trip to a grandma. For example a story from Sergey’s B. experience: “I went to grandma. A house. I am … (about the age) now. Blew a cake flickers. Grandma gave a dog. Woof-woof”. There was impossibility to begin new phrase and needed subsidiary questions. Children’s stories were restricted in vocabulary, they used small amount of words, repeated them, there were changes to more simple onomatopoeias.

The most difficult task for the group of children with mental retardation was to make a paraphrase, only two children did the task by means of subsidiary questions the best in group but the order of actions in paraphrase did not accordant to logical sense. For three children the task was inaccessible, they only said single phrases and there also were echolalia: children repeated subsidiary questions. Doing task to make a paraphrase about an action pictures children also needed subsidiary questions and visual prompt to connect a character and an action he does.

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Pre-school age children with delay of psychical development have higher indicators of speech activity in the context of coherent speech and ability to make a story but in any of the tasks the average grades weren’t higher than 2,6 of 5. The same time in the group of children with mental retardation indicators in this parameters are much lower (not higher than 1 mark). While for children with DPD the easiest task was making a story based on individual experience and for mental retarded children – making sentences about single situative pictures. These results are explained by as features of thinking development both category of children as features of their emotional-willed sphere and also by conditions of staying children with limited possibilities of health in educational organization where all of children are presented the same claims to coherent speech progress based on FSES Pre-School education intended for children with normal development.


Pre-school age children with disturbance of intellect development studying at comprehensive educational organization of the study showed insufficient level of coherent speech development. Speech of this category of children is severely limited, vocabulary is insufficient, dominates simple phrase with disturbance of language norms and as a result children have difficulties in society communicating with normally developed own ages because their speech is difficult for understanding. The result of data findings is connected with the fact that not all of teachers have an idea of features of such children development and don’t know how to organize their educational activity. It should be noted that children with disturbance of intellect development pass the same stages of coherent speech formation and development their normally developed own-aged but in longer time frames. Since integration of children with limited abilities of health to comprehensive educational organization is realized from pre-school level of education it seems appropriate to make a program of coherent speech development of pre-school age children with disturbance of intellect development in conditions of inclusion. It should also be noted that deficiency of coherent speech of this category of children demonstrates disturbances of cognitive processes and higher mental functions, and also insufficient corrective focus of educational process in pre-school organization.

Doing corrective work, designing and applying individual plan of development it can and could be developed and raised the quality of children’s coherent speech. All the above and the fact that now both categories of children study at comprehensive groups poses need for adaptation of educational program content of pre-school organization for these children.


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13 July 2018

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Child psychology, developmental psychology, child care, child upbringing, family psychology

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Rashitovna, T. T., Ludmila, T., Vladimirovna, K. A., & Olegovna, B. S. (2018). Learning Of Coherent Speech Of Pre-School Age Children With Mental Retardation. In S. Sheridan, & N. Veraksa (Eds.), Early Childhood Care and Education, vol 43. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 133-139). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.07.19