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Examining Narrative Elicitation Methods for Young Spanish-English Bilinguals
Speech Pathology and Audiology
Speech Path and Audiology
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The National Literacy Panel on Language Minority Children has raised concerns regarding academic performance of English language learners (ELL). Research has demonstrated that ELL children did not meet specific academic standards in fourth grade, and this trend continued through eighth grade (de Jong, 2004). There is a strong relationship between school performance and narrative language ability (Feagans & Applebaum, 1986; Price, Roberts & Jackson 2006; Wellman et al., 2011). Therefore, it is important for educators to monitor English narrative performance of ELLs to help determine academic performance. One way of examining student’s narrative productions is through annual assessments, which measure progress toward the Common Core State Standards in the areas of Reading and Literature (e.g., RL 1.1) and Speaking and Listening (e.g., SL 1.1, SL 1.6) (NGA Center & CCSSO, 2010). However, it may be more beneficial to monitor changes in English narrative performance more regularly to be able to respond to observed incremental changes. One way to measure incremental changes is through regular assessments of narrative productions. There are two main elicitation methods for narratives, namely spontaneous narrative tell and narrative retell. However, it is not clear which of these methods is most representative of English narrative production for ELL students. The purpose of this study is to determine which elicitation method (spontaneous narrative tell or narrative retell) elicits the most representative English narrative language sample of first grade Spanish English bilingual (SEB) children. Two elicitation methods (spontaneous narrative tell and narrative retell) were used to elicit narrative English language samples of first grade SEB students in a local elementary school.The performance on each narrative was compared to determine which elicitation method yielded the best narrative language performance results. Results indicated participants yielded higher scores for the Proportion of Story Grammar Episodes (PSGE) Index for the narrative retell compared to the spontaneous narrative tell. Hence, the participants used more story grammar elements on the narrative retell task rather than then spontaneous narrative tell. There was no statistical difference between the spontaneous narrative tell and the narrative retell on the Episodic Complexity (EC) Index, which measures the ability to impose structure on story grammar elements.