The Development of Narrative Abilities in Children I am pleased to introduce the ASHA Division 1, Language Learning and Education, special topic newsletter on narrative. The topic of narratives is extremely important to speech-language pathologists working with children, as the role of narrative abilities in the development of language and communicative competence, as well as academic ... Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues  |   October 01, 2001
The Development of Narrative Abilities in Children
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donna Boudreau
    Portland State University, Portland, OR
Article Information
Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues   |   October 01, 2001
The Development of Narrative Abilities in Children
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, October 2001, Vol. 8, 2-7. doi:10.1044/lle8.2.2
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, October 2001, Vol. 8, 2-7. doi:10.1044/lle8.2.2
I am pleased to introduce the ASHA Division 1, Language Learning and Education, special topic newsletter on narrative. The topic of narratives is extremely important to speech-language pathologists working with children, as the role of narrative abilities in the development of language and communicative competence, as well as academic achievement, has been well documented (Bishop & Adams, 1990; Berman & Slobin, 1994; Paul, Murray, Clancy, & Andrews, 1997; Snow, Tabors, Nicholson & Kurland, 1995). Narratives comprise the medium in which we share information, communicate our ideas and experiences, plan or describe a sequence of behaviors, as well as entertain. The construction of a narrative, or at least two utterances on the same topic that are produced in a temporal order (Berman, 1995), reveals a child’s ability to use language in a decontextualized manner. The ability to understand and produce decontextualized language becomes an especially critical skill for children as they enter school, as it reflects the language of stories and textbooks; the medium for fictional stories, journal writing, and book reports; as well as the oral language discourse of the classroom. Narrative demands occur early in school exchanges and are prominent throughout the school years. For example, in kindergarten, children are asked to use decontextualized language to discuss items in show-and-tell activities. In later grades, children are asked to write fictional and / or expository texts, as well as respond to questions about connected text in various content areas. Thus, the development of narrative abilities is an important aspect of linguistic development for children.
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