The Development and Enhancement of Narrative Skills in a Preschool Classroom: Towards a Solution to Clinician-Client Mismatch Three studies focused on the development and enhancement of narrative skills within a preschool classroom. The purpose of Study 1 was to collect local norms on narrative development. Fifty-two preschool African American English speakers representing 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old age groups, narrated a familiar storybook. Some children in each age ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2000
The Development and Enhancement of Narrative Skills in a Preschool Classroom: Towards a Solution to Clinician-Client Mismatch
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karla K. McGregor
    Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Contact author: Karla K. McGregor, 2299 N. Campus Dr., Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208.
    Contact author: Karla K. McGregor, 2299 N. Campus Dr., Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208.×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2000
The Development and Enhancement of Narrative Skills in a Preschool Classroom: Towards a Solution to Clinician-Client Mismatch
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2000, Vol. 9, 55-71. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0901.55
History: Received August 10, 1999 , Accepted December 28, 1999
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2000, Vol. 9, 55-71. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0901.55
History: Received August 10, 1999; Accepted December 28, 1999

Three studies focused on the development and enhancement of narrative skills within a preschool classroom. The purpose of Study 1 was to collect local norms on narrative development. Fifty-two preschool African American English speakers representing 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old age groups, narrated a familiar storybook. Some children in each age group evidenced use of nine story element types. Developmental changes were characterized by growth in types as well as tokens of story elements. Study 2 demonstrated that preschoolers’ narratives can be influenced by the narratives of their peers. Paired children narrated a familiar storybook to each other. The stories of paired children were significantly more similar in form (shared story element types) and content (shared lexical types) than those of unpaired children. Study 3 provided a preliminary test of an intervention designed to exploit the effect of peer models for long-term gain in narrative abilities. Two tutees practiced book narration following the clinician-prompted models of their peer tutors. As a result, the tutees demonstrated an expanded repertoire of story elements and an increased frequency of use of story element types in both trained and untrained stories. Their rate of growth in story element use was superior to that of their classmates who had not participated in the intervention. The benefit of peers for achieving instructional congruence in cases of clinicianclient mismatch is emphasized.

Author Note
I thank the teachers and, especially, the children of the Headstart program for their cooperation. Thanks are also due to Danielle Williams for data collection and transcription for Study 1, Jessica Bielanski and Ama Rivers for transcription in Studies 2 and 3, and Mikyong Kim and Meredith Weiss for assistance with coding agreement.
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