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Browsing by Author "Rajala, Nea"

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  • Rajala, Nea (2021)
    Objectives. Even though there have been more Finnish publications focusing on children’s narrative abilities, the knowledge around the topic is still minor. Also, the relationship between narrative abilities and other language development and later learning skills have not been studied in Finnish at all, while these skills have been associated to one another in international research. The aim of this study was to examine the narrative ability of a preschool-aged child. In addition to this, the relationship between narrative abilities and vocabulary was examined. Methods. This study used data from the LEINIKKI research project. The participants were 10 (five girls and five boys) healthy monolingual Finnish-speaking children aged between 3 years 7 months and 4 years. Children’s narrative abilities were assessed by the Cat Story. The stories were also analyzed using the story grammar rules by Stein and Glenn (1979). There were also other variables collected from the children’s stories; number of different words (type-variable), total number of words (token-variable) and the ratio between these two, type/token-ratio (TTR). Children’s vocabulary was assessed with vocabulary sections of Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence 3rd edition and LEINIKKI. The data was described and the results illustrated with descriptive statistics and visual descriptors. Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was used to examine the relationships between skills. Results and conclusions. The children named characters from the picture booklet and narrated events in them, but the stories were not accurate in conveying meaning of the content and the plots were not whole. Every child’s story did still have some story grammar elements in it. The productivity of these stories, evaluated by the type- and token-variable values, and the ratio between them (TTR), had medium to large differences between different children. The children’s ability to use story grammar was observed to be positively correlated with the receptive vocabulary and TTR was shown to be negatively correlated with expressive vocabulary. More research is needed around the development of Finnish children’s narrative abilities and the connection between this and other language development and later learning skills. Knowledge of typical development is important, as it is a prerequisite for recognizing anomalous features and treating them.