Comprehension of Expository Text: Insights Gained From Think-Aloud Data Purpose To examine the kinds of explicit and implicit statements generated by school-age children with and without language impairments during comprehension of expository texts and to determine the relationship of these statements to comprehension performance. Method Forty 4th-grade children with and without language impairments participated in individual think-aloud ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2009
Comprehension of Expository Text: Insights Gained From Think-Aloud Data
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sandra Laing Gillam
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Jamison D. Fargo
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Kelli St. Clair Robertson
    Champion Partners in Rehabilitation, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Contact author: Sandra Laing Gillam, Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, 1000 Old Main Hill, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322. E-mail: sandi.gillam@usu.edu.
Article Information
Development / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2009
Comprehension of Expository Text: Insights Gained From Think-Aloud Data
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2009, Vol. 18, 82-94. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/07-0074)
History: Received September 18, 2007 , Revised December 22, 2007 , Accepted August 11, 2008
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2009, Vol. 18, 82-94. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/07-0074)
History: Received September 18, 2007; Revised December 22, 2007; Accepted August 11, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

Purpose To examine the kinds of explicit and implicit statements generated by school-age children with and without language impairments during comprehension of expository texts and to determine the relationship of these statements to comprehension performance.

Method Forty 4th-grade children with and without language impairments participated in individual think-aloud sessions (verbalizing thoughts aloud). During the sessions, children were asked to listen to expository passages 1 sentence at a time, make comments after each sentence, and then answer questions and recall the passages. The comments or verbal protocols that children generated during the think-aloud sessions were transcribed and analyzed. The relationship of verbal protocols to comprehension performance was evaluated.

Results Findings suggested that the ability to paraphrase passages was closely related to measures of expository text comprehension.

Conclusions The use of data obtained during think-aloud sessions may be useful to supplement information gained from traditional measures of comprehension for children with and without language impairments.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Ron Gillam and Alan Kamhi for their editorial comments and support, and Professor Anne Elsweiler for her daily encouragement. Special thanks go to Carrie Cruce for her valuable assistance in data collection and transcription and to Steve Lamon and the administrators, teachers, and children in the Tuscaloosa County school system for their participation in this project.
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