What about 'us'? - High Frequency Words - Considering Lexical Properties in Target Selection


Lexical Properties


Frequency

High Frequency and Low Frequency Words


High frequency words (e.g., come, go, good, look, one) occur often. That is, they are said and heard more frequently than low frequency, unusual words. High frequency words are recognised faster by children than low frequency words.


Density

High Neighbourhood Density and Low  Neighbourhood Density Words


The words in a neighbourhood are based on one sound substitution (e.g., sat to pat or sat to sit), one sound deletion (e.g., sat to at) or one sound addition (e.g., sat to scat). High neighbourhood density words are phonetically similar to many other words and have 11 or more neighbours.

Children recognise and repeat high neighbourhood density words slower and less accurately than low-density words which have 10 or fewer neighbours. Also, children name high-density words more accurately than low-density words. This suggests that lexical processing in children entails a high-density disadvantage in recognition and a high-density advantage in production (Storkel, Armbruster & Hogan, 2006).


Choosing words to use in intervention


In choosing treatment words, consider using high frequency words like 'us', or words like 'fruit' and 'storm' that have low neighbourhood density (Storkel & Morrissette, 2002). For more on neighbourhood density see Neighbourhood density and 'Jack' - Considering Lexical Properties in Target Selection.


Calculating word frequency


Mitchell S Sommers' Neighborhood Activation Model Database can be used to calculate word frequency.

For example, if you wanted to know whether 'us' is a high frequency word you would go to the 'item search', enter 'us' and select 'phonological' and 'frequency’, and click 'search'. The result will be that 'us’ has a frequency score of 672, indicating that it is a high frequency word.

If you choose a less familiar word you can compare it with the score for 'us'. For example 'pluck' has a score of 2, 'pig' scores 8, 'dense' scores 9, 'trust' scores 52.

Running a range of SIWI and SFWF /s/ words through this procedure resulted in the high frequency /s/ words pictured in the following worksheet and the table displayed below.

Worksheet

High frequency /s/ SIWI and SFWF words

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cell
cent
city
said

same
sat
saw
say

scene
seam
season
second

seven
six
small
son

sort
sound
south
summer

audience
case
class
close

face
force
house
less

miss
office
peace
place

police press
price
race
science

six
space
us
voice
yes