Spoken and Written Language Relationships in Language/Learning-Impaired and Normally Achieving School-Age Children Students with language/learning impairment (LLI) and three groups of normally achieving children matched for chronological age, spoken language, and reading abilities wrote and told stories that were analyzed according to a three-dimensional language analysis system. Spoken narratives were linguistically superior to written narratives in many respects. The content of written ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1992
Spoken and Written Language Relationships in Language/Learning-Impaired and Normally Achieving School-Age Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Judith R. Johnston
    University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada
  • Contact author: Ronald B. Gillam, PhD, Department of Speech Communication, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712– 1089.
Article Information
Development / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1992
Spoken and Written Language Relationships in Language/Learning-Impaired and Normally Achieving School-Age Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1992, Vol. 35, 1303-1315. doi:10.1044/jshr.3506.1303
History: Received September 16, 1991 , Accepted March 6, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1992, Vol. 35, 1303-1315. doi:10.1044/jshr.3506.1303
History: Received September 16, 1991; Accepted March 6, 1992

Students with language/learning impairment (LLI) and three groups of normally achieving children matched for chronological age, spoken language, and reading abilities wrote and told stories that were analyzed according to a three-dimensional language analysis system. Spoken narratives were linguistically superior to written narratives in many respects. The content of written narratives, however, was organized differently than the content of spoken narratives. Spoken narratives contained more local interconnections than global interconnections; the opposite was true for written narratives. LLI and reading-matched children evidenced speaking-writing relationships that differed from those of the age- and language-matched children in the way language form was organized. Further, LLI children produced more grammatically unacceptable complex T-units in their spoken and written stories than students from any of the three matched groups. The discussion focuses on mechanisms underlying the development of speaking-writing differences and ramifications of spoken-language impairment for spoken and written-language relationships.

Acknowledgments
Preparation of this article was supported in part by a grant from NIDCD to the first author. Thanks to the following individuals at Converse County School District #1, Douglas, Wyoming, who assisted with data collection: Margaret Boersma, Dave Fetter, Ramona Gazewood, Bob Pesicka, Liz Groff, and Wayne Porter. The contributions that Jerry Harste, Bill McKay, Rita Naremore, and Marylou Gelfer made to this project are especially appreciated. A. Lynn Williams, Barbara Fazio, Shirley Patterson, Marilyn Nippold, and two anonymous reviewers made insightful editorial suggestions about earlier versions of the paper. Partial reports of this research were presented at the Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders (1989) and the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (1989).
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