Advertisement

Reading and Writing

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 1189–1205 | Cite as

The relations of proper character introduction to narrative quality and listening comprehension for young children from high poverty schools

  • Adrienne E. Barnes
  • Young-Suk Kim
  • Beth M. Phillips
Article

Abstract

The present study explored the types and frequency of literate language features in children’s narratives, and the relation of literate language and proper character introduction to children’s oral language skills in a sample of 184 prekindergarten, kindergarten, and first grade students from high-poverty schools. Using hierarchical regression, the results showed that literate language features were not predictive of listening comprehension or narrative quality outcomes. In contrast, children’s skill in properly introducing characters significantly accounted for variance in all outcome measures (narrative comprehension, narrative quality, and listening comprehension) above and beyond the control variables (age, total number of words, and mean length of utterance) and literate language features (adverbs, conjunctions, mental and linguistic verbs, and elaborated noun phrases). These results indicate that the child’s retell and language comprehension skills may develop concurrently with proper character introduction.

Keywords

Decontextualized discourse Listening comprehension Literate language features Narratives Oral retell Character introduction 

References

  1. Benson, S. E. (2009). Understanding literate language: Developmental and clinical issues. Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders, 36, 174–178.Google Scholar
  2. Brockmeier, J. (2004). What makes a story coherent? In A. U. Branco & J. Valsiner (Eds.), Communication and metacommunication in human development (pp. 285–306). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Cain, K. (2003). Text comprehension and its relation to coherence and cohesion in children’s fictional narratives. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 21, 335–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Carlisle, J. F. (2003). Morphology matters in learning to read: A commentary. Reading Psychology, 24(3–4), 291–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carrow-Woolfolk, E. (1995). Oral and Written Language Scales. Bloomington, MN: Pearson Assessment.Google Scholar
  6. Comay, J. (2010). Individual differences in narrative perspective-taking and theory of mind. Unpublished doctoral dissertation: McGill University.Google Scholar
  7. Curenton, S. M. (2011). Understanding the landscapes of stories: The association between preschoolers’ narrative comprehension and production skills and cognitive abilities. Early Child Development and Care, 18, 791–808.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Curenton, S. M., Craig, M. J., & Flanigan, N. (2008). Use of decontextualized talk across story contexts: How oral storytelling and emergent reading can scaffold children’s development. Early Education and Development, 19, 161–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Curenton, S. M., & Justice, L. M. (2004). African American and Caucasian preschoolers’ use of decontextualized language: Literate language features in oral narratives. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 35, 240–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davidson, R. G., & Snow, C. E. (1995). The linguistic environment of early readers. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 10, 5–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. De Temple, J. M., & Beals, D. E. (1991). Family talk: Sources of support for the development of decontextualized language skills. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 6, 11–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Deckner, D. F., Adamson, L. B., & Bakeman, R. (2006). Child and maternal contributions to shared reading: Effects on language and literacy development. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 27, 31–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Deese, J. (1983). Forward. In C. Peterson & A. McCabe (Eds.). Developmental psycholinguistics: Three ways of looking at a child’s narrative (pp. xiii–xxxi). Plenum Press: New York, NY.Google Scholar
  14. Fish, M., & Pinkerman, B. (2003). Language skills in low-SES rural Appalachian children: Normative development and individual differences, infancy to preschool. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 23(5), 539–565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gillam, R. B., & Pearson, N. (2004). Test of narrative language. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.Google Scholar
  16. Greenlaugh, K. S., & Strong, C. J. (2001). Literate language features in spoken narratives of children with typical language and children with language impairments. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 32, 114–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Griffin, T. M., Hemphill, L., Camp, L., & Wolf, D. P. (2004). Oral discourse in the preschool years and later literacy skills. First Language, 24, 123–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Guajardo, N. R., & Watson, A. C. (2002). Narrative discourse and theory of mind development. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 163, 305–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Habermas, T., Ehlet-Lerche, S., & de Silveira, C. (2009). The development of temporal macrostructure of life narratives across adolescence: Beginnings, linear narrative form, and endings. Journal of Personality, 77, 527–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hart, B., & Risley, T. (1992). American parenting of language-learning children: Persisting differences in family-child interactions observed in natural home environments. Developmental Psychology, 28, 1096–1105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hart, B., & Risley, T. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young american children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  22. Heath, S. B. (1982). What no bedtime story means: Narrative skills at home and school. Language in Society, 11, 49–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Justice, L. M., Bowles, R. P., Kaderavek, J. N., Ukrainetz, T. A., Eisenberg, S. L., & Gillam, R. B. (2006). The index of narrative microstructure: A clinical tool for analyzing school-aged children’s narrative performances. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 15, 177–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kaderavek, J. N., & Sulzby, E. (2000). Narrative production by children with and without specific language impairment: Oral narratives and emergent readings. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 43, 34–49.Google Scholar
  25. Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1985). Language and cognitive processes from a developmental perspective. Language and Cognitive Processes, 1, 61–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Karrass, J., & Braungart-Rieker, J. M. (2005). Effects of shared parent–infant book reading on early language acquisition. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 26(2), 133–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kemper, S., Rice, K., & Chen, Y.-J. (1995). Complexity metrics and growth curves for measuring grammatical development from five to ten. First Language, 15, 151–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Miller, J. F., & Iglesias, A. (2006). Systematic analysis of language transcripts (SALT). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.Google Scholar
  29. Peterson, C., & Dodsworth, P. (1991). A longitudinal analysis of young children’s cohesion and noun specification in narratives. Journal of Child Language, 18, 397–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Peterson, C., & McCabe, A. (1983). Developmental psycholinguistics: Three ways of looking at a child’s narrative. New York, NY: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Peterson, C., & McCabe, A. (1991). Linking children’s connective use and narrative macrostructure. In A. McCabe & C. Peterson (Eds.), Developing narrative structure (pp. 29–54). Hillsdale, NJ: Earlbaum.Google Scholar
  32. Pressley, M., Johnson, C. J., Symons, S., McGoldrick, J. A., & Kurita, J. A. (1989). Strategies that improve children’s memory and comprehension of text. The Elementary School Journal, 90, 3–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Purcell-Gates, V. (1996). Stories, coupons, and the TV Guide: Relationships between home literacy experiences and emergent literacy knowledge. Reading Research Quarterly, 31(4), 406–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Reese, E. (1995). Predicting children’s literacy from mother-child conversations. Cognitive Development, 10, 381–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schneider, P., & Hayward, D. (2010). Who does what to whom: Introduction of referents in children’s storytelling from pictures. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 41, 459–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Shapiro, L. R., & Hudson, J. A. (1991). Tell me a make-believe story: Coherence and cohesion in young children’s picture-elicited narratives. Developmental Psychology, 27, 960–974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Slade, L., & Ruffman, T. (2005). How language does (and does not) relate to theory of mind: A longitudinal study of syntax, semantics, working memory and false belief. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 23, 117–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Snow, C. E. (1991). Theoretical basis for relationships between language and literacy development. Journal of Research in Education, 6, 5–10.Google Scholar
  39. Ukrainetz, T. A., Justice, L. M., Kaderavek, J. N., Eisenberg, S. L., Gillam, R. B., & Harm, H. M. (2005). The development of expressive elaboration in fictional narratives. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 48, 1363–1377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Villaume, S. K. (1988). Creating context within text: An investigation of primary-grade children’s character introduction in original stories. Research in the Teaching of English, 22, 161–182.Google Scholar
  41. Westby, C. E. (1991). Learning to talk, talking to learn: Oral-literate language differences. In C. S. Simon (Ed.), Communication skills and classroom success: Assessment and therapy methodologies for language and learning disabled students (pp. 334–357). Eau Claire, WI: Thinking Publication.Google Scholar
  42. Wigglesworth, G. (1990). Children's narrative acquisition: A study of some aspects of reference and anaphora. First Language, 10(29), 105–125.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne E. Barnes
    • 1
  • Young-Suk Kim
    • 2
  • Beth M. Phillips
    • 2
  1. 1.College of EducationFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationFlorida State University and Florida Center for Reading ResearchTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations