Clinical Issues: Supporting the Development of Narrative Skills in Children Who Use AAC Narratives can take many forms (Ochs & Capps, 2001). They can describe real or imagined events; they can be expressed as first-person or third-person accounts. In any case, the ability to engage in extended narrative discourse has proven connected to the development of communicative competence, identity, and social relationships (Nelson, ... Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues  |   July 01, 2006
Clinical Issues: Supporting the Development of Narrative Skills in Children Who Use AAC
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gloria Soto
    Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Clinical Issues
Clinical Issues   |   July 01, 2006
Clinical Issues: Supporting the Development of Narrative Skills in Children Who Use AAC
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, July 2006, Vol. 13, 7-11. doi:10.1044/lle13.2.7
SIG 1 Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, July 2006, Vol. 13, 7-11. doi:10.1044/lle13.2.7
Narratives can take many forms (Ochs & Capps, 2001). They can describe real or imagined events; they can be expressed as first-person or third-person accounts. In any case, the ability to engage in extended narrative discourse has proven connected to the development of communicative competence, identity, and social relationships (Nelson, 1985, 1989; Ochs & Capps). Typically, children develop this ability through participation in conversations with adults and peers about topics in the here and now, in the real but non-present, and in the fantasy world (Eisenberg, 1985; Grove & Tucker, 2003; Miller & Sperry, 1988; Ochs & Capps; Ucelli, Hemphill, Pan, & Snow, 2005). Early on, young children are able to participate in these conversations with the support of adults in the form of both questions designed to be sure the children provide relevant information and indicators of noncomprehension when the information provided is not sufficient (Ninio & Snow, 1996; Ochs & Capps). Although earlier conversations are limited to the here and now, children soon expand their contributions to incorporate information about the nonpresent, fantasy talk, and about the jointly remembered events (Eisenberg, 1985; Miller & Sperry; Ucelli et al). As children become better narrators, they report not only events, but also how they feel about them (Labov, 1972). Thus, narrative construction is a complex task that requires integration of linguistic, cognitive, and social skills that develop gradually from infancy to adulthood. Narrative features have their genesis in early forms of interaction and also appear in other discourse types, such as fantasy play, conversation, and show-and-tell (Ninio & Snow; Ucelli et al.). Narrative is a cognitively and linguistically complex genre that overlaps with other forms of discourse in that it includes description, chronology, evaluation, and explanation.
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