Service delivery methods for adolescent language intervention in Australia: A scoping review

Kellie Utley, Suzanne Hopf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Provision of language support for Australian adolescents with communication and learning needs is supported by Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) and the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). This literature review aims to describe the settings in which an adolescent may interact with speech and language pathology (SLP) services and the service delivery methods engaged for language intervention.
Method: A comprehensive and systematised database search was conducted. Extracted literature was measured against recognised quality, validity, and applicability standards then thematically analysed and critiqued.
Results: Australian research regarding service delivery settings and intervention methods for adolescents is scant. Prevalence rates were found to vary significantly across settings; however, available current data is limited and discrepancies within settings were found to be influenced by a range of factors. Available data demonstrated that Australian adolescents presently receive language intervention within secondary schools, health-based services, private practice, and juvenile justice. Service delivery methods used in these settings included one-on-one, pull-out methods, collaborative and consultative methods, and response to intervention.
Conclusion: High prevalence rates in juvenile justice and flexible learning programs suggest significant need for language intervention which in turn may reflect the need for additional language support in secondary school settings to address the school-to-prison pipeline. Factors that influence SLPs’ decisions for service delivery methods are largely unknown from available Australian literature. Further research across all settings is critical to guide best practice principles for SLP service delivery decisions for this age group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalSpeech, Language and Hearing
Issue number2
Early online date01 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 03 Apr 2021


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