Three Measures of Language Production for Cantonese-Speaking School-Age Children in a Story-Retelling Task Little is known about language development in school-age children in Asian countries. This research reports on 3 measures of language development in 100 Cantonese-speaking children age 5 to 9 years. Word scores, structure scores, and the mean length of communication units (MLCU) were derived from a story-retelling task. The structure ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2004
Three Measures of Language Production for Cantonese-Speaking School-Age Children in a Story-Retelling Task
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Anita M.-Y. Wong
    University of Hong Kong
  • Cecilia W.-S. Au
    Liang Po Lam Early Education and Training Centre, Hong Kong
  • Stephanie F. Stokes
    University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: amywong@hkusua.hku.hk
  • Anita M.-Y. Wong, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Hong Kong, 5th floor, Prince Philip Dental Hospital, 34 Hospital Road, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong-SAR-China. E-mail: amywong@hkusua.hku.hk
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2004
Three Measures of Language Production for Cantonese-Speaking School-Age Children in a Story-Retelling Task
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2004, Vol. 47, 1164-1178. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/086)
History: Received May 16, 2003 , Accepted February 4, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2004, Vol. 47, 1164-1178. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/086)
History: Received May 16, 2003; Accepted February 4, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Little is known about language development in school-age children in Asian countries. This research reports on 3 measures of language development in 100 Cantonese-speaking children age 5 to 9 years. Word scores, structure scores, and the mean length of communication units (MLCU) were derived from a story-retelling task. The structure score was significantly different for all, except the 8-and 9-year-old groups. The word score and MLCU were significantly different in groups separated by 2 or more years of age. All 3 measures were strongly and significantly correlated with age. The structure score and word score accounted for 64% and 5% of the variance in age, respectively. The order of development of the 6 grammatical structures (e.g., subordinate clauses) included in this study is also reported.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this paper were presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s annual convention in Chicago in November 2003.This research is based on Cecilia W.-S. Au’s graduating thesis for a bachelor of science degree, completed under the supervision of Anita M.-Y. Wong and Stephanie F. Stokes.
We would like to thank the school principals and teachers for their support in subject recruitment and data collection and the many friends who assisted in data collection and reliability checks. Finally, this project would not have been possible without the participation of the children and the support of their families. We thank them all.
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