Narrative Performance of Gifted African American School-Aged Children From Low-Income Backgrounds Purpose This study investigated classroom differences in the narrative performance of school-age African American English (AAE)-speaking children in gifted and general education classrooms. Method Forty-three children, Grades 2–5, each generated fictional narratives in response to the book Frog, Where Are You? (Mayer, 1969). Differences in performance on traditional ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2015
Narrative Performance of Gifted African American School-Aged Children From Low-Income Backgrounds
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Monique T. Mills
    The Ohio State University, Columbus
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Monique T. Mills: mills.298@osu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: RaMonda Horton
    Associate Editor: RaMonda Horton×
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2015
Narrative Performance of Gifted African American School-Aged Children From Low-Income Backgrounds
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2015, Vol. 24, 36-46. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0150
History: Received December 17, 2013 , Revised May 13, 2014 , Accepted October 7, 2014
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2015, Vol. 24, 36-46. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0150
History: Received December 17, 2013; Revised May 13, 2014; Accepted October 7, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

Purpose This study investigated classroom differences in the narrative performance of school-age African American English (AAE)-speaking children in gifted and general education classrooms.

Method Forty-three children, Grades 2–5, each generated fictional narratives in response to the book Frog, Where Are You? (Mayer, 1969). Differences in performance on traditional narrative measures (total number of communication units [C-units], number of different words, and mean length of utterance in words) and on AAE production (dialect density measure) between children in gifted and general education classrooms were examined.

Results There were no classroom-based differences in total number of C-units, number of different words, and mean length of utterance in words. Children in gifted education classrooms produced narratives with lower dialect density than did children in general educated classrooms. Direct logistic regression assessed whether narrative dialect density measure scores offered additional information about giftedness beyond scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test–Fourth Edition (Dunn & Dunn, 2007), a standard measure of language ability. Results indicated that a model with only Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test–Fourth Edition scores best discriminated children in the 2 classrooms.

Conclusion African American children across gifted and general education classrooms produce fictional narratives of similar length, lexical diversity, and syntax complexity. However, African American children in gifted education classrooms may produce lower rates of AAE and perform better on standard measures of vocabulary than those in general education classrooms.

Acknowledgments
I am thankful for funding support. Data collection for this research study was supported by the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Program. Secondary data analysis was supported by Grant T32HD007489 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and by a research grant from the University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race and Ethnicity. I am also grateful to the child participants, to the parents for granting permission, and to the school staff for creating space for data collection. Gratitude is extended to the research assistants who helped code narrative data. The analytic procedures of this study were approved by the Behavioral and Social Sciences Institutional Review Board at The Ohio State University.
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