Who Does What to Whom: Introduction of Referents in Children’s Storytelling From Pictures Purpose This article describes the development of a measure, called First Mentions (FM), that can be used to evaluate the referring expressions that children use to introduce characters and objects when telling a story. Method Participants were 377 children ages 4 to 9 years (300 with typical development, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2010
Who Does What to Whom: Introduction of Referents in Children’s Storytelling From Pictures
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Phyllis Schneider
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Denyse Hayward
    University of Alberta, Canada
  • Contact author: Phyllis Schneider, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Alberta, 2-70 Corbett Hall, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 0G2, Canada. E-mail: phyllis.schneider@ualberta.ca.
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2010
Who Does What to Whom: Introduction of Referents in Children’s Storytelling From Pictures
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2010, Vol. 41, 459-473. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/09-0040)
History: Received June 8, 2009 , Revised October 5, 2009 , Accepted February 3, 2010
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2010, Vol. 41, 459-473. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/09-0040)
History: Received June 8, 2009; Revised October 5, 2009; Accepted February 3, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

Purpose This article describes the development of a measure, called First Mentions (FM), that can be used to evaluate the referring expressions that children use to introduce characters and objects when telling a story.

Method Participants were 377 children ages 4 to 9 years (300 with typical development, 77 with language impairment) who told stories while viewing 6 picture sets. Their first mentions of 8 characters and 6 objects were scored as fully adequate, partially adequate, inadequate, or not mentioned. Total FM scores were compared across age and language groups.

Results There were significant differences for age and language status, as well as a significant Age × Language interaction. Within each age group except age 9, children in the typical development group attained higher scores than children in the group with language impairment.

Conclusion These results suggest that the FM measure is a useful tool for identifying whether a child has a problem with introducing referents in stories.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Funding for this study was provided by the Children’s Health Foundation of Northern Alberta. The authors would like to thank Marilynn McAra, Livia Tamblin, and Linda Kaert for their assistance in data collection, and Jess Folk-Farber, Rhonda Kajner, Roxanne Lemire, Marlene May, Michelle Millson, Ignatius Nip, Michelle Trapp, and Kathy Wagner for their assistance with other aspects of the study.
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