Title

Written Language Sampling in Seventh-Grade Students: An Examination of Semantics and Pragmatics

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Purpose: We will create a database of written language samples produced by typically developing seventh-grade students in an attempt to establish local normative data regarding writing skills for this age group. We intend to describe the nature of these students’ persuasive discourse writing skills with respect to semantics and pragmatics. Significance: Language sample analysis is considered a best practice in clinical analysis of school-aged children's language skills. Standardized assessment tools, which are commonly used, are effective in determining the presence or absence of a language disorder, whereas language sample analyses are useful for determining how an individual communicates in an authentic setting. Language sample analysis is under-utilized when assessing older students, since few language norms for this age group have been established. There is little evidence of "typical expressive written vocabulary " performance in adolescents; that is, standardized assessment can be used to test for knowledge of discrete words, but there is little known about functional vocabulary usage in this age group. Pragmatic written language skills are typically overlooked, but are highly important for academic writing since it is essential for the writer to infer the needs of the reader. This study will contribute to the gap in the literature regarding adolescent language norms. Method: Written language samples will be collected from seventh-grade students at Meadow Hill Middle School (n≈90). All students will be prompted to write a persuasive essay using the Circus Controversy Protocol. Written samples will be coded and analyzed for semantic and pragmatic complexity and accuracy. Conclusion: Results will be analyzed for common themes along demographic data (gender, age, ethnicity, SES, etc.). When assessing persuasive discourse samples of adolescents with language disorders, this repository of language samples may be useful for comparison.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 17th, 11:00 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 PM

Written Language Sampling in Seventh-Grade Students: An Examination of Semantics and Pragmatics

South UC Ballroom

Purpose: We will create a database of written language samples produced by typically developing seventh-grade students in an attempt to establish local normative data regarding writing skills for this age group. We intend to describe the nature of these students’ persuasive discourse writing skills with respect to semantics and pragmatics. Significance: Language sample analysis is considered a best practice in clinical analysis of school-aged children's language skills. Standardized assessment tools, which are commonly used, are effective in determining the presence or absence of a language disorder, whereas language sample analyses are useful for determining how an individual communicates in an authentic setting. Language sample analysis is under-utilized when assessing older students, since few language norms for this age group have been established. There is little evidence of "typical expressive written vocabulary " performance in adolescents; that is, standardized assessment can be used to test for knowledge of discrete words, but there is little known about functional vocabulary usage in this age group. Pragmatic written language skills are typically overlooked, but are highly important for academic writing since it is essential for the writer to infer the needs of the reader. This study will contribute to the gap in the literature regarding adolescent language norms. Method: Written language samples will be collected from seventh-grade students at Meadow Hill Middle School (n≈90). All students will be prompted to write a persuasive essay using the Circus Controversy Protocol. Written samples will be coded and analyzed for semantic and pragmatic complexity and accuracy. Conclusion: Results will be analyzed for common themes along demographic data (gender, age, ethnicity, SES, etc.). When assessing persuasive discourse samples of adolescents with language disorders, this repository of language samples may be useful for comparison.