Retelling a Script-Based Story: Do Children with and without Language Impairments Focus on Script and Story Elements?

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American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology





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Purpose: The script frameworks model (R. Schank, 1975) and causal networkmodel (T. Trabasso & L. Sperry, 1985) were used to assessscript-based story retellings of children with and without languageimpairments (LI). When retelling scripts and stories, childrendeveloping typically include (a) more obligatory than optionalelements, with few temporal sequencing errors, and (b) storyelements having several versus few causal connections to otherstory elements. The purpose of this study was to determine whetherchildren with LI demonstrated a similar pattern of recall.

Method: A script-based story retell was collected from 22 children withLI and 22 age-matched peers (AM). Retells were analyzed forinclusion of obligatory and optional elements, elements withhigh and low causal connectivity, and temporal sequencing accuracy.

Results: Retells from both groups contained more obligatory elementsand elements with high causal connectivity. However, groupsdiffered on the specific elements included.

Conclusions: Children in the AM group appeared to utilize script and causalconnectivity elements when retelling a script-based story. Childrenin the LI group appeared to focus more on script elements thancausal connectivity. Their deficiencies may reflect difficultieswith flexible application of scripts and accessing relevantknowledge, and/or generalized difficulties organizing informationand extracting patterns.


Published by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Publisher PDF is available through link above. Publisher requires a subscription to access article.