Three studies focused on the development and enhancement of narrative skills within a preschool classroom. The purpose of Study 1 was to collect local norms on narrative development. Fifty-two preschool African American English speakers representing 3-, 4-, and 5year-old age groups, narrated a familiar storybook. Some children in each age group evidenced use of nine story element types. Developmental changes were characterized by growth in types as well as tokens of story elements. Study 2 demonstrated that preschoolers' narratives can be influenced by the narratives of their peers. Paired children narrated a familiar storybook to each other. The stories of paired children were significantly more similar in form (shared story element types) and content (shared lexical types) than those of unpaired children. Study 3 provided a preliminary test of an intervention designed to exploit the effect of peer models for long-term gain in narrative abilities. Two tutees practiced book narration following the clinician-prompted models of their peer tutors. As a result, the tutees demonstrated an expanded repertoire of story elements and an increased frequency of use of story element types in both trained and untrained stories. Their rate of growth in story element use was superior to that of their classmates who had not participated in the intervention. The benefit of peers for achieving instructional congruence in cases of clinician-client mismatch is emphasized.
- African american english
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing