Oral and Written Story Composition Skills of Children With Language Impairment In this study 538 children composed 1 oral and 1 written fictional story in both 2nd and 4th grades. Each child represented 1 of 4 diagnostic groups: typical language (TL), specific language impairment (SLI), nonspecific language impairment (NLI), or low nonverbal IQ (LNIQ). The stories of the TL group had ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2004
Oral and Written Story Composition Skills of Children With Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marc E. Fey
    University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
  • Hugh W. Catts
    University of Kansas, Lawrence
  • Kerry Proctor-Williams
    East Tennessee State University
  • J. Bruce Tomblin
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Xuyang Zhang
    University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: mfey@kumc.edu
  • Contact author: Marc E. Fey, PhD, Hearing and Speech Department, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66160-7605.
    Contact author: Marc E. Fey, PhD, Hearing and Speech Department, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66160-7605.×
Article Information
Language Disorders / Specific Language Impairment / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2004
Oral and Written Story Composition Skills of Children With Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2004, Vol. 47, 1301-1318. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/098)
History: Received August 19, 2003 , Accepted March 30, 2004
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2004, Vol. 47, 1301-1318. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2004/098)
History: Received August 19, 2003; Accepted March 30, 2004
Web of Science® Times Cited: 128

In this study 538 children composed 1 oral and 1 written fictional story in both 2nd and 4th grades. Each child represented 1 of 4 diagnostic groups: typical language (TL), specific language impairment (SLI), nonspecific language impairment (NLI), or low nonverbal IQ (LNIQ). The stories of the TL group had more different words, more grammatical complexity, fewer errors, and more overall quality than either language-impaired group at either grade. Stories of the SLI and LNIQ groups were consistently stronger than were those of the NLI group. Kindergarten children with language impairment (LI) whose standardized test performance suggested normalization by 2nd grade also appeared to have recovered in storytelling abilities at that point. By 4th grade, however, these children's stories were less like the children with TL and more like those of children with persistent LI than they had been in 2nd grade. Oral stories were better than written stories in both grades, although the greatest gains from 2nd to 4th grade were generally made on written stories. Girls told stronger stories than did boys at both grades, regardless of group placement. It is concluded that story composition tasks are educationally relevant and should play a significant role in the evaluation of children with developmental LI.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Grant 1-P50-DC02726 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and Center Grant HDO258 from the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development. The study could not have been completed without the invaluable research assistance of Paula Buckwalter, Marlea O'Brien, Connie Ferguson, Jodi Schwartz, and Amy Kundel. We also thank Byron Gajewski for his assistance on statistical design issues.
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