The Role of Socioeconomic Status in the Narrative Story Retells of School-Aged English Language Learners Purpose We examined the relationship between maternal level of education as an index of socioeconomic status (SES) on the narrative story retells of school-aged children who are English language learners (ELLs) to guide interpretation of results. Method Using data available from the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts database ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2016
The Role of Socioeconomic Status in the Narrative Story Retells of School-Aged English Language Learners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Alt
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Genesis D. Arizmendi
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Jennifer N. DiLallo
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Mary Alt: malt@email.arizona.edu
  • Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor: Rhea Paul×
  • Associate Editor: Carla Wood
    Associate Editor: Carla Wood×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2016
The Role of Socioeconomic Status in the Narrative Story Retells of School-Aged English Language Learners
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2016, Vol. 47, 313-323. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0036
History: Received June 12, 2015 , Revised October 21, 2015 , Accepted April 26, 2016
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2016, Vol. 47, 313-323. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0036
History: Received June 12, 2015; Revised October 21, 2015; Accepted April 26, 2016

Purpose We examined the relationship between maternal level of education as an index of socioeconomic status (SES) on the narrative story retells of school-aged children who are English language learners (ELLs) to guide interpretation of results.

Method Using data available from the Systematic Analysis of Language Transcripts database (Miller & Iglesias, 2012), we were able to compare the language samples of 907 ELL students in kindergarten and 2nd grade whose parents had different levels of education. We used a simple linear regression to see if maternal level of education was predictive of measures of vocabulary, syntax, and narrative structure in Spanish and English narrative story retells.

Results There were no differences in language measures between children from different SES backgrounds for the Spanish language samples. There were differences with the English language samples in four of the five measures for the kindergarten sample and only three of five measures for the older children, with a smaller percentage of the variance explained.

Conclusion Despite common knowledge that SES has a negative influence on language, the actual influence on the narrative productions of school-aged ELLs was less than anticipated for English and absent for Spanish. The implications for assessment are discussed and concluded.

Acknowledgments
We thank the people at SALT software for developing a tool that has so much clinical and research utility, for their generosity with their data, and their willingness to help other researchers move the field forward; we appreciate their collaborative and innovative spirit. We are especially grateful to Ann Nockerts for all her help with this project. Language data were collected and transcribed as part of Grant HD39521, “Oracy/Literacy Development of Spanish-speaking Children,” and Grant R305U010001, “Biological and Behavioral Variation in the Language Development of Spanish-Speaking Children,” jointly funded by the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (Bethesda, MD) and Institute of Education Sciences (Washington, D.C.), David Francis, principal investigator (University of Houston), Aquiles Iglesias, coprinicipal investigator (Temple University), and Jon Miller, coprinicipal investigator (University of Wisconsin–Madison).
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access