Syntactic Skills of Spanish-Speaking Children With Low School Achievement This study compared the syntactic skills of Spanish-speaking children with low and average school achievement from kindergarten to fifth grade using oral narratives that were elicited with book and film retelling tasks. Both narrative tasks required the child to provide information that was presumably unknown to the listener and that ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1998
Syntactic Skills of Spanish-Speaking Children With Low School Achievement
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Vera F. Gutierrez-Clellen
    San Diego State University, CA
  • Contact author: Vera F. Gutierrez-Clellen, PhD, Department of Communicative Disorders, College of Health and Human Services, an Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-1518.
    Contact author: Vera F. Gutierrez-Clellen, PhD, Department of Communicative Disorders, College of Health and Human Services, an Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-1518.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1998
Syntactic Skills of Spanish-Speaking Children With Low School Achievement
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1998, Vol. 29, 207-215. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2904.207
History: Received February 16, 1998 , Accepted March 27, 1998
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1998, Vol. 29, 207-215. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2904.207
History: Received February 16, 1998; Accepted March 27, 1998

This study compared the syntactic skills of Spanish-speaking children with low and average school achievement from kindergarten to fifth grade using oral narratives that were elicited with book and film retelling tasks. Both narrative tasks required the child to provide information that was presumably unknown to the listener and that could not be derived from the visual context. Results indicated that children who were performing below grade expectations (according to curriculum-based assessments) exhibited limited use of complex syntax and greater formulation difficulties in their narratives than their peers. There were no significant task differences in the use of complex language. The analysis of children’s syntactic performance in narratives provided information regarding language skills that appeared related to school achievement.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Funding for this project was provided in part by a San Diego State University Faculty Development Award. I am grateful to Luis Maestre, Elvida Martinez, and Belén Robles for their help with data collection; to Lisa de García, Erin Maguire, Dori Tremper, and Pamela Pasechnik for their invaluable assistance with data analysis; and to the teachers, parents, and children who cooperated in this endeavor.
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