Reading and Writing

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 251–272

Writing through retellings: an exploratory study of language-impaired and dyslexic populations


    • Communication Sciences & DisordersUniversity of Florida
  • Linda J. Lombardino
    • Communication Sciences & DisordersUniversity of Florida
  • Lori J. Altmann
    • Communication Sciences & DisordersUniversity of Florida

DOI: 10.1007/s11145-006-9030-1

Cite this article as:
Puranik, C.S., Lombardino, L.J. & Altmann, L.J. Read Writ (2007) 20: 251. doi:10.1007/s11145-006-9030-1


This study was designed to examine differences and similarities in the writing of 15 language-impaired, 17 dyslexic and 15 typically developing control subjects matched on chronological age. Subjects ranging in age from 11 to 21 years were required to produce a written language sample using an expository text-retell procedure. The writing of these groups was compared on eight variables across discourse, T-unit, sentence, and word levels. Control subjects performed better than language-impaired and dyslexic subjects on all writing variables. Dyslexic subjects showed better performance than the language-impaired subjects on several variables including, (a) number of T-units, (b) number of ideas, (c) total number of words, and (4) number of different words while showing comparable performance on percentage of spelling and production of grammatically correct sentences. These findings support Bishop and Snowling’s [Psychol. Bull. 130 (2004) 858] position that the differences between these two clinical populations exist in the non-phonological dimensions of language.


DyslexiaLanguage impairmentRetellingsSLIWritingWritten language disorders

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© Springer 2006