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Clin Linguist Phon. 2013 Sep;27(9):720-34. doi: 10.3109/02699206.2013.802016. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Spoken expository discourse of children and adolescents: retelling versus generation.

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  • 1School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.


This cross-sectional study investigated the spoken expository discourse skills of children and adolescents elicited in generation and retelling conditions. There were three groups of participants: young school-age children (M = 7.0 years; n = 64); intermediate-school-age children (M = 11.3 years; n = 18) and high-school-age students (M = 17.6 years; n = 18). Participants were asked to generate expository discourse using the favourite game or sport (FGS) task and to retell an expository passage about the game of curling. All samples were transcribed and analysed on measures of verbal productivity (number of utterances), syntactic complexity (mean length of utterance in T-units [MLU] and clausal density) and verbal fluency (percent maze words). Results indicated that although all age groups produced longer samples in the generation condition, MLU was significantly longer in the retelling condition. The results suggest that the expository retelling task may be a clinically useful addition to a language assessment battery for children and adolescents.

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