Retelling a Script-Based Story: Do Children With and Without Language Impairments Focus on Script and Story Elements? Purpose The script frameworks model (R. Schank, 1975) and causal network model (T. Trabasso & L. Sperry, 1985) were used to assess script-based story retellings of children with and without language impairments (LI). When retelling scripts and stories, children developing typically include (a) more obligatory than optional elements, with few ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2007
Retelling a Script-Based Story: Do Children With and Without Language Impairments Focus on Script and Story Elements?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Denyse V. Hayward
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    Utah State University, Logan
  • Phuong Lien
    Round Rock Independent School District, Austin, TX
  • Contact author: Denyse Hayward, Canadian Centre for Research on Literacy, Education South 646, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5G 2E5. E-mail: dhayward@worldgate.ca.
Article Information
Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2007
Retelling a Script-Based Story: Do Children With and Without Language Impairments Focus on Script and Story Elements?
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2007, Vol. 16, 235-245. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/028)
History: Received March 16, 2006 , Revised August 25, 2006 , Accepted February 5, 2007
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2007, Vol. 16, 235-245. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/028)
History: Received March 16, 2006; Revised August 25, 2006; Accepted February 5, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 11

Purpose The script frameworks model (R. Schank, 1975) and causal network model (T. Trabasso & L. Sperry, 1985) were used to assess script-based story retellings of children with and without language impairments (LI). When retelling scripts and stories, children developing typically include (a) more obligatory than optional elements, with few temporal sequencing errors, and (b) story elements having several versus few causal connections to other story elements. The purpose of this study was to determine whether children with LI demonstrated a similar pattern of recall.

Method A script-based story retell was collected from 22 children with LI and 22 age-matched peers (AM). Retells were analyzed for inclusion of obligatory and optional elements, elements with high and low causal connectivity, and temporal sequencing accuracy.

Results Retells from both groups contained more obligatory elements and elements with high causal connectivity. However, groups differed on the specific elements included.

Conclusions Children in the AM group appeared to utilize script and causal connectivity elements when retelling a script-based story. Children in the LI group appeared to focus more on script elements than causal connectivity. Their deficiencies may reflect difficulties with flexible application of scripts and accessing relevant knowledge, and/or generalized difficulties organizing information and extracting patterns.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank the graduate and undergraduate students from the Department of Communication Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin for transcribing the stories, and Bobbie Garner for graphics support. A postdoctoral fellowship award from the Turiya Foundation to the first author supported this research. Partial presentation of this article was given at the Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders, Madison, WI.
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