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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2016 Aug 1;25(3):306-20. doi: 10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0130.

A Tutorial on Expository Discourse: Structure, Development, and Disorders in Children and Adolescents.



With the adoption of the Common Core State Standards, expository texts gain prominence at all grade levels and for all disciplines. Although the linguistic and cognitive complexities of exposition pose challenges for all children, they may create additional challenges for children and adolescents with language difficulties. Therefore, this tutorial provides background information for clinicians regarding the structure, development, and specific difficulties associated with exposition across the 4 modalities of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This background is intended to help direct the attention of researchers and clinicians to needed advances in knowledge and skill if the profession is to adequately support the population of children and adolescents who struggle with language.


This tutorial is based on an extensive narrative review of articles identified using a systematic search process. Cited research studies are discussed qualitatively, but intervention studies are also characterized in terms of the strength of their research designs. This method is undertaken to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the current state of research on these topics.


Future research needs are proposed to promote discussion among researchers and to prepare clinicians for the kinds of evidence they should be demanding as a basis for their practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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