Ralli, Kazali, Kanellou, Mouzaki, Antoniou, Diamanti, Papaioannou (2021): Oral Language and Story Retelling During Preschool and Primary School Years: Developmental Patterns and Interrelationships
I: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. Online first.
Asimina M. Ralli, Elena Kazali, Maria Kanellou, Angeliki Mouzaki, Fotini Antoniou, Vasiliki Diamanti & Sofia Papaioannou.
Oral language and narrative skills constitute very critical factors for children’s academic performance and social competence. The aim of the present study was to investigate the developmental patterns of story retelling, as well as the relationship between oral language and story retelling in preschool and primary school children. Two hundred and thirty-seven Greek-speaking children (4–5, 5–6 and 6–7 years old) participated in the study. Vocabulary knowledge, phonological awareness, morphological awareness skills and pragmatics were examined through a standardized psychometric test. Story retelling was measured by inviting the children to listen to a story and then retell it. Children’s narratives were evaluated according to microstructure (use of conjunctions and lexical cohesion) and macrostructure (story grammar and temporal sequencing) criteria. The results showed that children performed better as they got older across all the oral language and story retelling tasks. Structural equation modeling revealed that vocabulary skills stand out as a stable predictor across all the three age groups. A new finding was also demonstrated, highlighting that morphological awareness, phonological awareness skills and pragmatics work together with vocabulary skills in diverse patterns at different points of a child’s development, in order to support his/her ability to retell a story.