Spoken language samples of Australian children in conversation, narration and exposition
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Purpose: Language sample analysis is a powerful clinical tool for identifying and describing the oral language difficulties of children with language impairment. In response to a lack of existing Australian normative data, the current study collected spoken language samples from 127 children attending the first 3 years of schooling (YOS). This dataset was compared with the New Zealand (NZ) database of language samples to determine whether clinicians can use overseas databases for appraising language performance of Australian children. Method: Children participated in several oral language tasks: conversation, personal narratives, story retelling and exposition (YOS3 only). Result: Analyses of the spoken language samples revealed a developmental trend of increasing syntactic complexity, semantic diversity and verbal productivity. Discourse genre had a signiﬁcant impact on children’s language production, with the expository task yielding the syntactically most complex language from the YOS 3 children. Comparisons between the Australian and NZ datasets revealed some differences in performance, with the Australian children showing better syntactic complexity. Conclusion: The Australian dataset of language samples provides clinicians with useful information regarding young school-age children’s performance on a range of discourse tasks deemed important for classroom participation. Care should be taken when using the NZ database for diagnostic purposes.
International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology on 13 Apr 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.3109/17549507.2016.1159332.
Linguistics not elsewhere classified