Article  |   October 2010
Macrostructure in the Narratives of Estonian Children With Typical Development and Language Impairment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Piret Soodla
    University of Tallinn, Estonia, and University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Eve Kikas
    University of Tallinn, Estonia, and University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Contact author: Piret Soodla, Faculty of Education, University of Tartu, 1a Salme Street, Tartu 50103, Estonia. E-mail: piret.soodla@ut.ee.
  • © 2010 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Language
Article   |   October 2010
Macrostructure in the Narratives of Estonian Children With Typical Development and Language Impairment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1321-1333. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/08-0113)
History: Received June 3, 2008 , Revised November 19, 2008 , Accepted January 23, 2010
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2010, Vol. 53, 1321-1333. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2010/08-0113)
History: Received June 3, 2008; Revised November 19, 2008; Accepted January 23, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

Purpose: This study examined the macrostructure in Estonian children’s narratives according to the story grammar (SG) model. The study’s aims were to determine whether differences exist in narrative macrostructure between Estonian- and English-speaking children, among typically developed (TD) children, and between children with and without language impairment (LI).

Method: A clinical group of 18 children with LI (ages 6–8) and a control group of 216 TD children (ages 6–7), divided into 3 language competence subgroups, participated in the study. Narratives were analyzed for the presence of SG components and quantity of story information units.

Results: Estonian children’s narratives reflected age-expected SG structures similar to those of children in English-speaking countries. The analyses revealed significant group influences for the setting category, demonstrating the superior skills of TD children with high language competence in starting stories, compared with their peers. The quantity of story information units differed significantly between the high and low language competence TD subgroups, likewise between the control and the clinical groups.

Conclusions: The contrasts between stories of TD children and between TD and LI children are discussed. The findings support the suitability of the SG model in terms of quantity of story information units for language assessment.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Estonian Science Foundation Grant 7388 (awarded to both authors) and Grant 7492 (awarded to the first author) and by Estonian Ministry of Education and Research Grant SF0180025s08. We thank Janne Jehe, Inna Marats, Mairi Männamaa, Airi Niilo, Helve Saat, Tiina Saat, Evelin Saat, Krista Metsjärv, and Ly Kala for helping with data collection; Maret Pajuste and Triin Saar for helping with transcription of stories; and Marcus Denton at OÜ Derettens for language editing.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access