Narrative Production by Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment Oral Narratives and Emergent Readings Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2000
Narrative Production by Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Joan N. Kaderavek
    Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti
  • Elizabeth Sulzby
    University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2000
Narrative Production by Children With and Without Specific Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2000, Vol. 43, 34-49. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4301.34
History: Received September 9, 1998 , Accepted June 14, 1999
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2000, Vol. 43, 34-49. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4301.34
History: Received September 9, 1998; Accepted June 14, 1999

The research reported in this paper was based on the premise that oral and written language development are intertwined. Further, the research was motivated by research demonstrating that narrative ability is an important predictor of school success for older children with language impairment. The authors extended the inquiry to preschool children by analyzing oral narratives and "emergent storybook reading" (retelling of a familiar storybook) by two groups of 20 children (half with, half without language impairment) age 2;4 (years;months) to 4;2. Comparative analyses of the two narrative genres using a variety of language and storybook structure parameters revealed that both groups of children used more characteristics of written language in the emergent storybook readings than in the oral narratives, demonstrating that they were sensitive to genre difference. The children with language impairment were less able than children developing typically to produce language features associated with written language. For both groups, middles and ends of stories were marked significantly more often within the oral narratives than the emergent readings. The children with language impairment also had difficulty with other linguistic features: less frequent use of past-tense verbs in both contexts and the use of personal pronouns in the oral narratives. Emergent storybook reading may be a useful addition to language sampling protocols because it can reveal higher order language skills and contribute to understanding the relationship between language impairment and later reading disability.

Acknowledgments
The collaboration between the authors and the research project was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (1 F32 DC00185-01) and the Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) at the University of Michigan.
The first author would like to thank Susan Ignatowicz and Melissa Carey, graduate students at Eastern Michigan University, for their assistance. A special thanks to the children and their families for their participation and to the speech-language pathologists who referred children to the study.
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