The aim of the work presented in this thesis was to provide evidence based practice for phonological contrast therapy (PCT) applied in Arabic. This thesis investigated the following approaches: minimal pairs, maximal oppositions, and multiple oppositions. It was designed to provide evidence based interventions for children who speak Arabic and are diagnosed with speech sound disorders in order to minimize their risk of facing academic failure and socio-emotional problems. Evidence shows that phonological contrast interventions will help children who speak English to improve their speech production once they receive effective and efficient therapy (Baker & McLeod, 2011). However, the impact of such interventions for children speaking Arabic is not known. The results of the studies presented in this thesis represent an original and a novel contribution to the field of speech pathology in the Middle East.
Chapter 1 is an introduction of the thesis which introduces the speech pathology services in Kuwait, and provides some back ground information about the country.
Chapter 2 is a literature review on definitions of speech sound disorders, particularly phonological-based ones. It also discusses the prevalence of speech sound disorders, and the lifelong impact of them if left untreated.
Chapter 3 is a survey investigating the current practice of Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) working in the Middle East.
Chapter 4 is a literature review on phonological contrast therapy approaches.
Chapters 5, 6, and 7 Present the core studies of the thesis, we examined maximal oppositions, multiple oppositions and minimal pairs for five children. Three children showed improvement indicating that PCT work for Arabic speaking children, but not for every child.
Chapter 8 is a discussion that synthesizes findings of all four studies.