Dynamic Assessment of School-Age Children’s Narrative Ability: An Experimental Investigation of Classification Accuracy Two experiments examined reliability and classification accuracy of a narration-based dynamic assessment task. Purpose The first experiment evaluated whether parallel results were obtained from stories created in response to 2 different wordless picture books. If so, the tasks and measures would be appropriate for assessing pretest and posttest change ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2006
Dynamic Assessment of School-Age Children’s Narrative Ability: An Experimental Investigation of Classification Accuracy
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth D. Peña
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Melynn Malek
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Roxanna Ruiz-Felter
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Maria Resendiz
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Christine Fiestas
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Tracy Sabel
    University of Texas at Austin
  • Contact author: Elizabeth D. Peña, University of Texas at Austin, 2504-A Whiteside Avenue, Room 7-214, Austin, TX 78712. E-mail: lizp@mail.utexas.edu
  • Ron Gillam is now at Utah State University, Logan, UT; Tracy Sabel is now with Infant Parent Program, Texas Early Childhood Intervention, Austin, TX; Melynn Malek is now at DeTar Hospital, Victoria, TX; Roxanna Ruiz-Felter is now at Richardson Independent School District, Richardson, TX.
    Ron Gillam is now at Utah State University, Logan, UT; Tracy Sabel is now with Infant Parent Program, Texas Early Childhood Intervention, Austin, TX; Melynn Malek is now at DeTar Hospital, Victoria, TX; Roxanna Ruiz-Felter is now at Richardson Independent School District, Richardson, TX.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2006
Dynamic Assessment of School-Age Children’s Narrative Ability: An Experimental Investigation of Classification Accuracy
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2006, Vol. 49, 1037-1057. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/074)
History: Received December 29, 2004 , Revised May 10, 2005 , Accepted February 11, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2006, Vol. 49, 1037-1057. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/074)
History: Received December 29, 2004; Revised May 10, 2005; Accepted February 11, 2006

Two experiments examined reliability and classification accuracy of a narration-based dynamic assessment task.

Purpose The first experiment evaluated whether parallel results were obtained from stories created in response to 2 different wordless picture books. If so, the tasks and measures would be appropriate for assessing pretest and posttest change within a dynamic assessment format. The second experiment evaluated the extent to which children with language impairments performed differently than typically developing controls on dynamic assessment of narrative language.

Method In the first experiment, 58 1st- and 2nd-grade children told 2 stories about wordless picture books. Stories were rated on macrostructural and microstructural aspects of language form and content, and the ratings were subjected to reliability analyses. In the second experiment, 71 children participated in dynamic assessment. There were 3 phases: a pretest phase, in which children created a story that corresponded to 1 of the wordless picture books from Experiment 1; a teaching phase, in which children attended 2 short mediation sessions that focused on storytelling ability; and a posttest phase, in which children created a story that corresponded to a second wordless picture book from Experiment 1. Analyses compared the pretest and posttest stories that were told by 2 groups of children who received mediated learning (typical and language impaired groups) and a no-treatment control group of typically developing children from Experiment 1.

Results The results of the first experiment indicated that the narrative measures applied to stories about 2 different wordless picture books had good internal consistency. In Experiment 2, typically developing children who received mediated learning demonstrated a greater amount of pretest to posttest change than children in the language impaired and control groups. Classification analysis indicated better specificity and sensitivity values for measures of response to intervention (modifiability) and posttest storytelling than for measures of pretest storytelling. Observation of modifiability was the single best indicator of language impairment. Posttest measures and modifiability together yielded no misclassifications.

Conclusion The first experiment supported the use of 2 wordless picture books as stimulus materials for collecting narratives before and after mediation within a dynamic assessment paradigm. The second experiment supported the use of dynamic assessment for accurately identifying language impairments in school-age children.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant K23 DC00141 awarded to the first author. This work was completed while the first author was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA.
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