Adolescent Summaries of Narrative and Expository Discourse: Differences and Predictors Purpose Summarizing expository passages is a critical academic skill that is understudied in language research. The purpose of this study was to compare the quality of verbal summaries produced by adolescents for 3 different discourse types and to determine whether a composite measure of cognitive skill or a test of ... Research Article
Research Article  |   July 05, 2018
Adolescent Summaries of Narrative and Expository Discourse: Differences and Predictors
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jennifer P. Lundine
    Department of Speech & Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus
    Division of Clinical Therapies & Inpatient Rehabilitation Program, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
  • Stacy M. Harnish
    Department of Speech & Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Rebecca J. McCauley
    Department of Speech & Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Deena Schwen Blackett
    Department of Speech & Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Alexandra Zezinka
    Department of Speech & Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Wei Chen
    Research Information Solutions and Innovation, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
  • Robert A. Fox
    Department of Speech & Hearing Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • 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 Jennifer P. Lundine: lundine.4@osu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray
    Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray×
  • Editor: Kerry Ebert
    Editor: Kerry Ebert×
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   July 05, 2018
Adolescent Summaries of Narrative and Expository Discourse: Differences and Predictors
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2018, Vol. 49, 551-568. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0105
History: Received September 28, 2017 , Revised December 2, 2017 , Accepted January 15, 2018
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2018, Vol. 49, 551-568. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0105
History: Received September 28, 2017; Revised December 2, 2017; Accepted January 15, 2018

Purpose Summarizing expository passages is a critical academic skill that is understudied in language research. The purpose of this study was to compare the quality of verbal summaries produced by adolescents for 3 different discourse types and to determine whether a composite measure of cognitive skill or a test of expressive syntax predicted their performance.

Method Fifty adolescents listened to, and then verbally summarized, 1 narrative and 2 expository lectures (compare–contrast and cause–effect). They also participated in testing that targeted expressive syntax and 5 cognitive subdomains.

Results Summary quality scores were significantly different across discourse types, with a medium effect size. Analyses revealed significantly higher summary quality scores for cause–effect than compare–contrast summaries. Although the composite cognitive measure contributed significantly to the prediction of quality scores for both types of expository summaries, the expressive syntax score only contributed significantly to the quality scores for narrative summaries.

Conclusions These results support previous research indicating that type of expository discourse may impact student performance. These results also show, for the first time, that cognition may play a predictive role in determining summary quality for expository but not narrative passages in this population. In addition, despite the more complex syntax commonly associated with exposition versus narratives, an expressive syntax score was only predictive of performance on narrative summaries. These findings provide new information, questions, and directions for future research for those who study academic discourse and for professionals who must identify and manage the problems of students struggling with different types of academic discourse.

Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.6167879

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by the Alumni Grant for Graduate Research and Scholarship from The Ohio State University to the first author. The authors appreciate the efforts of all participants and are grateful for the assistance of Megan Blackburn, Mackenzie Chalifoux, Nicole Delay, Monica Fox, Erin Rundio, and Dr. Monique Mills.
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