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ERIC Number: EJ894040
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 73
ISSN: ISSN-1058-0360
Assessing the Microstructure of Written Language Using a Retelling Paradigm
Puranik, Cynthia S.; Lombardino, Linda J.; Altmann, Lori J. P.
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, v17 n2 p107-120 May 2008
Purpose: The primary goal of this study was to document the progression of the microstructural elements of written language in children at 4 grade levels. The secondary purpose was to ascertain whether the variables selected for examination could be classified into valid categories that reflect the multidimensional nature of writing. Method: Written language samples were collected and transcribed from 120 children in Grades 3 through 6 using an expository text-retelling paradigm. Nine variables at various levels of language were analyzed. Results: Using a text-retelling paradigm, measures of productivity (e.g., total number of words and ideas) improved steadily with age, whereas measures of complexity (e.g., mean length of T-unit) did not. Results for measures of accuracy (e.g., spelling and writing conventions) were mixed, with some showing improvement across grades. Grade 3 students showed consistently poorer performance than students in Grades 4, 5, and 6. Grade 4 students showed poorer performance than students in Grades 5 and 6. Exploratory factor analysis suggests that writing can be represented by 3 factors: Productivity, Complexity, and Accuracy. Conclusions: Clinicians can use this multidimensional scheme for examining writing skills using text-retelling formats with children from Grades 3 through 6. This empirically based framework for measuring microstructural variables of writing provides clinicians with a 3-prong conceptual framework for determining children's strengths and weaknesses within the translational stage of writing. (Contains 6 tables.)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 3; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida