Toward Validation of a Minimal Competence Core of Morphosyntax for African American Children Purpose The authors set out to determine (a) whether African American children's spontaneous spoken language met use criteria for a revised minimal competence core with original and added morphosyntactic patterns at different geographical locations, and (b) whether pass/fail status on this core was differentiated on other criterion measures of language ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2013
Toward Validation of a Minimal Competence Core of Morphosyntax for African American Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ida J. Stockman
    Michigan State University, East Lansing
  • Barbara Guillory
    University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Marilyn Seibert
    Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Johanna Boult
    University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • Correspondence to Ida J. Stockman: stockma1@msu.edu
  • Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer
    Editor: Carol Scheffner Hammer×
  • Associate Editor: RaMonda Horton-Ikard
    Associate Editor: RaMonda Horton-Ikard×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2013
Toward Validation of a Minimal Competence Core of Morphosyntax for African American Children
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2013, Vol. 22, 40-56. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0124)
History: Received September 16, 2011 , Accepted July 19, 2012
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2013, Vol. 22, 40-56. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0124)
History: Received September 16, 2011; Accepted July 19, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 7

Purpose The authors set out to determine (a) whether African American children's spontaneous spoken language met use criteria for a revised minimal competence core with original and added morphosyntactic patterns at different geographical locations, and (b) whether pass/fail status on this core was differentiated on other criterion measures of language maturity.

Method The authors used a common set of activities and stimuli to elicit spontaneous speech samples from Head Start students, age 3;0 (years; months). The 119 participants were distributed at a northern (Lansing, MI) and a southern (Baton Rouge, LA) location.

Results More than 80% of the children at each location met criteria for 10 core competencies. They included sentence length, type, complexity, and morphosyntactic elaborations of sentences at the lexical, phrasal, and clausal levels. The 2 most significant predictors of pass/fail outcomes in a regression analysis were (a) clinical referral status and (b) the number of different words (NDW100) spoken in a speech sample.

Conclusion A minimal competence core analyses of spontaneous oral language samples may help to identify delayed spoken grammars in African American children.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by U.S. Office of Education Grant R305T90023. We thank the Head Start administrative offices for facilitating data collection in Lansing, Michigan (Lucy McClintic, Sheila Kelly, and Judy Towne) and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Rosella Williams and her staff). We also are grateful to a host of undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate students at Michigan State University and Southern University for their roles in data collection, transcription, and analyses. We acknowledge the consultation provided by Zhen Fang of Michigan State University for the statistical analyses of the data.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access