Expository Language Skills of Young School-Age Children Purpose This research investigated the expository language skills of young school-age children with the ultimate aim of obtaining normative data for clinical practice. Specifically, this study examined (a) the level of expository language performance of 6- and 7-year-old children with typical development and (b) age-related differences between young and older ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2011
Expository Language Skills of Young School-Age Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marleen F. Westerveld
    Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Catherine A. Moran
    University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  • Disclosure Statement
    Disclosure Statement×
    This project was supported by SALT Software, LLC, which provided software and software support but did not participate in the design or execution of the research. SALT Software, LLC did not participate in the analysis or interpretation stage of the project and did not review the manuscript prior to submission.
    This project was supported by SALT Software, LLC, which provided software and software support but did not participate in the design or execution of the research. SALT Software, LLC did not participate in the analysis or interpretation stage of the project and did not review the manuscript prior to submission.×
  • Correspondence to Marleen F. Westerveld: m.westerveld@gmail.com
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Stacy Wagovich
    Associate Editor: Stacy Wagovich×
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2011
Expository Language Skills of Young School-Age Children
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2011, Vol. 42, 182-193. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0044)
History: Received May 29, 2010 , Revised September 14, 2010 , Accepted December 15, 2010
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2011, Vol. 42, 182-193. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0044)
History: Received May 29, 2010; Revised September 14, 2010; Accepted December 15, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

Purpose This research investigated the expository language skills of young school-age children with the ultimate aim of obtaining normative data for clinical practice. Specifically, this study examined (a) the level of expository language performance of 6- and 7-year-old children with typical development and (b) age-related differences between young and older school-age children.

Method Expository discourse was elicited from two groups of children using the favorite game or sport (FGS) task. Performance of the younger age group (n = 61), age 6;0 (years;months) to 7;11, was compared to that of a group of twenty 11-year-old children from an earlier study. Samples were analyzed on measures of verbal productivity, syntactic complexity, grammatical accuracy, and verbal fluency.

Results The FGS task was effective in eliciting text-level discourse from young school-age children. These children produced discourse that resulted in a fairly normal distribution across some of the language production measures. Age-related differences were observed on measures of verbal productivity, grammatical accuracy, and verbal fluency, but not on syntactic complexity.

Conclusion The findings suggest that expository discourse sampling may be a useful addition to a language assessment protocol, even for very young school-age children.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This research was funded by a grant from the Massey University Research Fund, awarded to the first author. In addition, this project was supported by SALT Software, LLC, which provided software and software support. Thanks are extended to the children and the children’s class teachers for supporting this research and for sharing their stories.
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