Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


This study was an attempt to further understand how to best teach parents in the language stimulation of their children. It contributes to the understanding of how parents understand and feel about the use of modified INREAL strategies, naturalistic methods to stimulate children's language development. Historically, educators and speech-language pathologists, in particular, have attempted to teach parents effective ways to enhance the language development of children. It is well documented that those children who enter elementary school with strong language skills typically have more success academically than those who do not. Although this study has involved only a small number of families, it provides a look at what may or may not work as interventionists strive to enhance the abilities of parents in the language stimulation of their children.

Two questions guided this study: (1) What happens to the communicative interactions between parents/caregivers and their children after the parents/caregivers are taught the use of modified INREAL strategies for enhancing their efforts as language stimulators? (2) What are the perceptions of parents/caregivers of the modified INREAL methods they were taught to use with their children?

Five families were involved in the study. In each family, at least one child exhibited a diagnosed language delay. Eight parents agreed to participate in the training. I explained how to implement the modified INREAL strategies and demonstrated the methods in use while playing with each child during every visit with the family. In addition to the recorded interviews, the children and parents were videotaped during 20 minute play interactions. The interviews were audiotaped and transcribed as were the videotaped interactions. The data resulting from 36 interviews and 15 videotaped communicative interactions were analyzed qualitatively. I coded the data and looked for themes and patterns in order to gain insights into the understanding and feelings of the subjects.

This study revealed the parents found the methods beneficial and demonstrated improved communicative interactions with their children while implementing the modified INREAL strategies. This study supports the use of modified INREAL methods to enhance the communicative interactions between parents and their children.