Assessment of Complex Sentence Production in a Narrative Context This study focused on eliciting and assessing complex sentence structure in a meaningful discourse context. The effect of clinician support (modeling of specific structures and practice with the structures) on the subsequent use of complex sentence structures in story retelling was studied. Experiment 1 was conducted with students demonstrating language ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1999
Assessment of Complex Sentence Production in a Narrative Context
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Dawn M. Gummersall
    Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, 1000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322
  • Carol J. Strong
    Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, 1000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: carols@coe.usu.edu
Article Information
Development / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1999
Assessment of Complex Sentence Production in a Narrative Context
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1999, Vol. 30, 152-164. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3002.152
History: Received November 15, 1996 , Accepted July 16, 1998
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1999, Vol. 30, 152-164. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3002.152
History: Received November 15, 1996; Accepted July 16, 1998

This study focused on eliciting and assessing complex sentence structure in a meaningful discourse context. The effect of clinician support (modeling of specific structures and practice with the structures) on the subsequent use of complex sentence structures in story retelling was studied. Experiment 1 was conducted with students demonstrating language abilities within normal limits. Because these initial results were promising, Experiment 2 was conducted with students demonstrating language impairments. The results of these experiments indicated, first, that amount of exposure to the stimulus is a critical variable affecting length and syntactic complexity in story retelling. Evidence further supported the use of modeling and practice of specific structures when assessing students’ syntactic skills. The assessment protocol used in these experiments was found to be useful for eliciting a large number and variety of complex syntactic structures in a meaningful context from children with and without language impairments.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors wish to acknowledge Kathy Barclay, Marian Carlton, Debbie Theobald, and Elsha Young for their assistance with narrative sampling for Experiment 2. The authors are grateful to William Strong for his review of this manuscript and for his assistance in writing Junk-Food Frog, and to Willis Pitkin for serving as a linguistic consultant.
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