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ERIC Number: EJ923981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0300-4430
Evaluating Dialogue Competence in Naturally Occurring Child-Child Interactions
Naerland, Terje
Early Child Development and Care, v181 n5 p691-705 2011
The principal aim of this paper is to contribute to the pursuit of evaluating pragmatic language competence in preschool years by observation-based data. Initially, the relations between age and language development measured as mean length of utterance (MLU) and three dialogue skills are described. The occurrences of "focus on the dialogue partner" and "comprehensible speech" show a uniform increase over age groups and are positively correlated with both age and MLU. Talking about events and objects outside the present situation is not related to age, and only moderately correlated with MLU. When only the explicit outside references are included, a clear developmental trend appears. The "Dialogue score" thus only includes explicit outside references. The "Dialogue score" comprising the three components: "Focus of attention", "Comprehensible speech", and "Reference of speech", is constructed and its association to age and MLU is investigated. The "Dialogue score" is related to formal language development with a shared variance at about 40% with MLU. The somewhat modest relation between the "Dialogue score" and both age and MLU may reflect individual differences in sociability. Finally, it is shown that the "Dialogue score" differentiates in a clinically meaningful way between normally developing children and Mary, a girl with Asperger syndrome. Mary exhibits particularly large discrepancies between her score on "Comprehensible speech" and MLU; this dissociation is discussed. (Contains 7 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A