Degree: MA, Speech-Language Pathology, 2006, University of Akron
► The current study is a comparison of the oral narrative abilities of…
▼ The current study is a comparison of the oral narrative abilities of children from different social classes and different learning environments. Participants included 45 third grade students from three schools: a suburban public school, an urban charter school, and an urban public school. The majority of the students from the suburban public school are from the middle or upper class, while most of the students from the urban charter and urban public schools are from poverty. All participants were administered a language screening and received a numerical score, which was then compared to the age-based criterion scores. Each child either passed or failed the screening; those who failed were referred to the school’s speech-language pathologist for further language assessment. Two children with low scores, two with scores in the middle, and two with high scores on the language screening from each school participated in an oral narrative barrier activity. To complete this task, each child was given a picture with a title and was separated by a physical barrier from the researcher. The children created narratives about the picture, which were recorded and later transcribed by the researcher. Several quantitative and qualitative components of the narratives were analyzed. The children’s narratives were then compared within and across school settings. Findings revealed that results of the language screening did not necessarily predict narrative performance; children from poverty tended to use more conjunctions than children from the middle class; and children from the middle class tended to use more diverse vocabulary than children from poverty. Implications of this study are included.
Advisors/Committee Members: Katz, Karyn B.