The dynamic assessment of narratives : a bilingual study

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2008-12
Authors
Fiestas, Christine Eve, 1965-
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Abstract

This three-part study explores an application of the dynamic assessment of narratives in a bilingual Spanish and English-speaking early elementary population as a preliminary study of bilingual children’s response to a short-term intervention. Dynamic assessment has been used successfully to differentiate culturally diverse monolingual children with language impairment from their typically developing peers. In order to extend this assessment measure to bilinguals, specifically Spanish and English-speaking children, the effects of the language of intervention and the language of production was explored. Profiles of bilingual children’s narratives with and without impairment and their differential responses has not been well documented in both languages. Thus, narrative profiles and from pre to post intervention changes were compared for typically developing and language-impaired children. The first study examined whether parallel stories were elicited within languages using two books. The second study explored the effects of the language of intervention and the language of story production on narrative performance, and the transfer of narratives skills across languages using the dynamic assessment paradigm. The third study examined children’s performance with and without language impairment pre and post mediated learning experience in comparison to a non-intervention control group. Results from study one indicated that children told parallel stories for the two books within each language. Findings from study two indicated that children’s stories in Spanish were stronger overall, and children’s performance did not differ as a function of intervention in Spanish vs. English. Children demonstrated transfer of narrative macrostructure across both languages. Finally, study three indicated that the children who were typically developing demonstrated a greater amount of pretest to posttest gain as compared to children in the language impaired and control groups. The typically developing children were rated as more modifiable in comparison to those with language impairment.

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