LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDEN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY: A REVIEW OF RESEARCH STUDIES IN THAILAND AND THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
The goal of this article is to present the current status of language development research in children with intellectual disability (CID) in Thailand and to what extent this area of study has been explored internationally. The article starts with the definition of “intellectual disability” in order to clarify the focus of this study which is a group of children who, in the past, were referred to as “mentally retarded” (MR). The review covers some selected research studies in Thailand and international platform. On the one hand, in Thailand, the area of ‘language development’ received very minimal attention from Thai researchers as only one study is found. Major attention for ID research in Thailand focused on developing children’s learning skills rather than exploring the status of their language faculty in different linguistic levels such as, phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. The studies geared very much towards education rather than linguistics. The interest in this area was limited in classroom research by teachers of special education schools in Thailand and some educational research of university graduates with similar research methods. Some strengths and weaknesses of these studies as well as suggestions for future studies were discussed. On the other hand, selected research articles from international journals and textbooks focused their interest in the examination of descriptive issues of how performance of children with intellectual disability implied their internal linguistic competence such as the delay of some phonological development features and some limited ability to acquire complex grammatical and linguistic units. Pragmatic development was also another significant issue.
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