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The use of reported speech in children's narratives: a priming study

Serratrice, L. ORCID:, Hesketh, A. and Ashworth, R. (2015) The use of reported speech in children's narratives: a priming study. First Language, 35 (1). pp. 68-87. ISSN 0142-7237

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/0142723715569552


This study investigated the long-term effects of structural priming on children’s use of indirect speech clauses in a narrative context. Forty-two monolingual English-speaking five-year-olds in two primary classrooms took part in a story re-telling task including reported speech. Testing took place in three individual sessions (pre-test, post-test1, post-test2) and the priming phase was conducted in 10 group priming sessions. During the priming phase the two classrooms were randomly allocated to one of two conditions where, over the course of two weeks, the children heard 10 different stories that included 30 tokens of either indirect or direct speech. In the pre-test session we collected measures of receptive vocabulary (BPVS-3) and expressive grammar (Formulated Sentences sub-test, CELF4-UK). There was a significant effect of input manipulation that was maintained for up to ten weeks after the training. Expressive grammatical skills were positively correlated with the likelihood of using indirect speech one week after the end of the language intervention.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:65940
Publisher:SAGE Publications


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