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Thomas O. Malone 1 , Jon F. Miller 2,5 , Karen Andriacchi 2 , John Heilmann 3 , Ann Nockerts 2,5 and Liz Schoonveld 4 1 School District of Brown Deer, Wisconsin 2 University of Wisconsin – Madison 3 East Carolina University 4 Madison Metropolitan School District 5 SALT Software, LLC

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Let me explain teenage expository language samples l.jpg

Thomas O. Malone1, Jon F. Miller2,5, Karen Andriacchi2, John Heilmann3, Ann Nockerts2,5 and Liz Schoonveld4

1School District of Brown Deer, Wisconsin2University of Wisconsin – Madison3East Carolina University4Madison Metropolitan School District 5SALT Software, LLC

ASHA Convention Presentation

Chicago, IL

November 21, 2008

Let Me Explain:Teenage Expository Language Samples


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What were the clinical goals of the project?

Create a large normative database in expository discourse, similar to what has been developed for conversational and narrative discourse.

Nippold, et al. (2007)

Use that database to document language deficits in adolescents and plan intervention.

Nippold, et al. (2008)


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What is expository discourse?Where do we find it in school curriculum?

Definition: The imparting of information

Expository language permeates the secondary curriculum and … is crucial to academic success at this level (Nickola Nelson, 1998)

Examples:

How a bill becomes law

How the heart pumps blood

Takes written & spoken forms


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What’s Expected of Older Students?Wisconsin’s Standards for Oral Language

By the end of grade eight, students will, speaking from notes or an outline, relate an experience in descriptive detail, with a sense of timing and decorum appropriate to the occasion.

*Note the combining of spoken & written modalities*

By the end of grade twelve, students will develop and deliver a speech that conveys information and ideas in logical fashion for a selected audience, using language that clarifies and reinforces meaning.

*Note the emphasis on planning & organization*

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (1998). Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for English Language Arts.

http://dpi.wi.gov/standards/


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The Task:

Pick an element, such as magnesium

Using note cards and a 3D atomic model of the element, give a speech of several minutes that covers…

Expository Language in 7th Grade Science:The Elements Speech


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Expository Language in 7th Grade Science:The Elements Speech

that covers…..

Full name of element

Atomic symbol

Atomic mass

Atomic number

Location in the periodic table (period & family)

Electronic configuration

Common Compounds


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Expository Language in 7th Grade Science:The Elements Speech

But wait—there’s more…

Physical properties, such as color, type (metal, nonmetal, metalloid), melting & boiling points, state at room temperature

Discovery: Who, Where, & When

Sources

Uses

How cool does it look if you set it on fire?


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Why aren’t conversational & narrative samples good enough to measure complex language in older students?

In the Wisconsin Reference Database, key linguistic measures showing age-related growth, such as MLU, reached a plateau for conversation and narration at 11 to 13 years old, suggesting a limit to the tasks’ ability to tap into students’ linguistic competence

Clinical experience confirms that these tasks are not consistently motivating or challenging for older students.

Conversational and narrative tasks don’t match curriculum expectations for older students.

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

2nd Edition 2005


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Preferred Expository Task: to measure complex language in older students? Explaining a Favorite Game or Sport

Advantages of a favorite game or sport task:

Clinically generates the longest and most detailed samples of the tasks tried

Is both challenging and motivating for students

Is unbiased, reflecting students’ knowledge and interest across gender, ages, and cultures (e.g., hurling, an Irish form of lacrosse)

Features standard rules and vocabulary that are easily accessible and provide a check on students’ accuracy, similar to the expository summaries of a science video used in Scott & Windsor (2000) but one which leaves students with a choice

Elicits, according to recent research, more complex language than conversation as measured by mean length of t-unit, clausal density, frequency of adverbial, nominal, & relative clauses

Nippold, et al. 2005—ages 9 to 44

Nippold, et al. 2008—age 14

Plus…

Milwaukee Hurling Club

http://www.hurling.net/hrules.html


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The favorite sport or game task is to measure complex language in older students? part of the K-12 Curriculum

By the end of grade 8 students will:

Understand and apply more advanced movement and game strategies such as explaining and demonstrating strategies involved in playing tennis doubles;

Identify the characteristics of highly skilled performance in movement forms such as describing the characteristics that enable success in passing and spiking after observing a team of skillful volleyball players.

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (1997). Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards for Physical Education.

http://dpi.wi.gov/standards/pdf/phyed.pdf)


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Design of the Task to measure complex language in older students?

Mirrors curriculum goals by:

Building in planning time

Combining written and spoken modalities

How? By giving students a planning sheet and requiring them to plan before speaking

  • Other topics: Start, Course of Play, Rules, Scoring, Duration, & Strategies


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Designing a Performance Assessment to measure complex language in older students?

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2001), Understanding by Design


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Expository to measure complex language in older students? Protocol

Examiner presents the task and planning sheet

Students are given time to fill out planning sheet—usually no more than 5 minutes

Students, using their planning sheet, explain the sport or game they selected

Examiner records the expository for later transcription

Total sampling time: 20 minutes


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Sample of a Sample: Hurling to measure complex language in older students?

C And you play on a pitch [SI-1].

C And it/'s to get the ball, the sliotar, into (a like) a soccer sized goal [SI-1].

C (And or you can) if[ADV:L] you get it in the goal, it/'s three point/s [SI-2].

C (And if you) or you can put it up through some upright/s (uh) like a fieldgoal post, which[REL:R] is one point [SI-2].


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Another Sample of a Sample: to measure complex language in older students? A High School Speech-Language Student

C Hello, my name is Akeem.

C (I/'m) I/'m gonna be here to talk about track and field .

C The first thing I/'m gonna (um) talk about as far as (how to you know wi* how to win how to win a track and fiel*) how to win in a track meet is to (you know fa* like) run your hardest.

C (Um uh run your fast) run your fastest and your hardest.

C Try to maintain your energy through the race.

C And (finish finish first) cross the finish line first.

C And try to like get (a record you know) any record that (they) they tell you (that) that you need to do.

C (Um that/'s your main) your main focus is (you know) just to finish first…


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Goals to measure complex language in older students?

Develop a representative database of expository language samples from students 12 – 15 years of age

Describe expository performance relative to conversation and narrative samples

Compare our expository dataset to the research literature on exposition

Answer research questions about expository language performance prior to clinical implementation


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Research Questions to measure complex language in older students?

  • Do different expository contexts(team sport, individual sport, game) result in significantly different outcomes?

  • Are measures of language production significantly different for expository samples than narrative and conversational samples?

  • Do measures of language production for the expository samples change relative to age?

  • What are the most commonly used types of subordinators; adverbial, nominal, or relative?


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Recruiting participants to measure complex language in older students?

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences IRB UW – Madison

  • Research Committee MMSD

  • Research review by other districts

  • Districts identify possible participants by age/grade

  • Send consent letters to parents with return envelop

  • Signed consent letters returned to SALT research group


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Identifying the cohort to measure complex language in older students?

  • 284 consent letters returned and reviewed for age, gender, SES, and race/ethnicity

    • 100 participants selected

  • Assigned to 28 volunteer SLPs by districts and schools, 2-5 students each

  • 87 of 100 samples were collected from identified participants, all followed the protocol with good quality recordings


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87 Participants to measure complex language in older students?

  • Collected from two geographic areas in Wisconsin

Targeted ages: 13 and 15 year olds


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87 Participants to measure complex language in older students?

  • Gender

  • Academic Achievement

  • Race/Ethnicity – 20% minority

  • SES - 18% free or reduced lunch


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Transcription to measure complex language in older students?

Transcribed by trained students using SALT conventions

Each sample transcribed, then checked by second transcriber.

Disagreements resolved by original transcriber

Process followed Heilmann, et. al., 2007 which documented reliability of SALT transcription and coding


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Transcript coding to measure complex language in older students?

  • Subordination Index (SI)

    • Average number of clauses per utterance

  • Type of subordinate clause coding

    • Adverbial, nominal, or relative

    • Placement of each in the utterance

      • Left-branching [before the main verb]

      • Right-branching [after the main verb]

  • Expository Scoring Scheme (ESS)

    • 10 categories based on structural components listed on planning sheet


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Transcript analyses to measure complex language in older students?

Language analyses performed by SALT Software – Research Version 2008

87 transcripts processed for 19 variables

Placed automatically into a rectangular data file ready for statistical analyses


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Expository Topics to measure complex language in older students?


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Comparing Measures Across Expository Topics to measure complex language in older students?

Four separate Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests were completed, with the language sample measure as the dependant variable and topic as the between groups variable.


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Comparing Measures Across Expository Topics: Mean Values to measure complex language in older students?

No significant differences across contexts


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Comparing Across Sampling Contexts: to measure complex language in older students? Conversation vs. Narrative vs. Expository

Compared expository samples to conversations and narratives from the SALT Conversation and Narrative SSS reference databases

Limited to students ages 12;9 – 13;5

All samples cut at 40 complete and intelligible verbal utterances


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Analyses to measure complex language in older students?

Five separate ANOVAs, with language sample measure as the dependent variable and sampling context (conversation vs. narrative vs. expository) as the between groups variable

Post-hoc Scheffé tests were completed to document differences between conditions

All significant effects at p < .05


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Mean Length of Utterance to measure complex language in older students?

Significant main effect for sampling context

Post-hoc: Significant difference between each condition


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Subordination Index to measure complex language in older students?

Significant main effect for sampling context

Post-hoc: Significant difference between expository and conversation/narrative


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Number of Different Words to measure complex language in older students?

Significant main effect for sampling context

Post-hoc: Significant difference between each condition


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Words per Minute to measure complex language in older students?

*

Significant main effect for sampling context

Post-hoc: Significant difference between conversation & narrative only


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Mazes to measure complex language in older students?

No significant main effect for sampling condition


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Errors and Omissions to measure complex language in older students?

*

*

Significant main effect for sampling context

Post-hoc: Significant difference between expository and conversation/narrative


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Do the Expository Language Variables Correlate with Age? to measure complex language in older students?

Are there changes in performance across students ranging in age from 12;7 – 15;9?

Bivariate correlations completed between language measures and age


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Correlation with Age to measure complex language in older students?

No significant correlation observed


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Relationship Between ESS and Other Language Measures to measure complex language in older students?

Is the expository structure measure (ESS) related to word and utterance level measures such as MLU and NDW?


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Correlation with ESS to measure complex language in older students?

* significant at p ≤ .05


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Complex Syntax: to measure complex language in older students?

Use of Subordination

Subordination index was significantly higher in exposition than other contexts

What’s going on?


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Types of Subordinates: to measure complex language in older students? Mean values


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Subordinators Used to measure complex language in older students?


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Comparison data to measure complex language in older students?


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Summary to measure complex language in older students?

  • Documented that expository type did not affect results, team sport, individual sport, game

  • Expository samples produced more complex syntax (SI) Consistent with Nippold, 2005, 2008

  • Expository structure scores significantly correlate with word and utterance measures

  • Performance not significantly correlated with age 13 and 15 year olds


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Case Example to measure complex language in older students?

  • Akeem

    • Age 16;9, Grade 11

    • First received speech-language services at age 3; also identified as LD; enrolled in Brown Deer as a 7th grader

    • Concerns from previous district: Staying on topic, word retrieval, organizing information

    • Longstanding teacher concern:

      Difficulty expressing himself in a clear and concise manner


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Using the Expository Database to measure complex language in older students?

Based on 51 complete & intelligible utterances

Comparison to 49 subjects (26 females, 23 males)

* = at least 1 SD, ** = at least 2 SD from the database mean


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Charting Akeem’s Progress to measure complex language in older students?

2006 soccer expo vs. 2008 track expo

Based on 35 complete & intelligible utterances


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Conclusions to measure complex language in older students?

Children between 12 – 15 perform similarly on expository task

No difference in type of game children are describing

Dataset is consistent with previous research by Nippold

More challenging context as evidenced by increased use of subordination

Database provides a mechanism to measure expository performance in this age group


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Clinical utility of expository task to measure complex language in older students?

Exposition central to curriculum in middle and high school

Included as state standards for speaking and writing

Challenges students to use language in context (authentic, naturalistic, real speaking and listening)

Integrates SLP into students total curriculum


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Database availability to measure complex language in older students?

SALT databases will soon be available free at www.saltsoftware.com

Protocols and other information about specific measures are also available on the website


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Acknowledgements to measure complex language in older students?

  • This project was funded in part by SALT Software, LLC. We gratefully acknowledge and thank the following University of Wisconsin-Madison staff and students for their help with recruitment and transcription:

    Joyelle Divall-Rayan, Kayla Hjerstedt, Abygail Marx & Chrissy Backhaus

  • We wish to thank the clinicians from the Madison Metropolitan School District who collected expository samples:

    Kelly Chasco Tanya Jensen

    Ingrid Curcio Nicole Olson

    Alyson Eith Nan Perschon

    Julie Hay-Chapman Liz Schoonveld

    Patty Hay-Chapman Julie Scott-Moran

    Marie Hendrickson Helena White

    Andrea Hermanson


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Acknowledgements (Continued) to measure complex language in older students?

We also wish to thank the clinicians from Milwaukee-area school districts who collected expository samples:

Brown Deer

Thomas O. Malone

Katherine E. Smith

Fox Point-Bayside

Jody Herbert

Waukesha

Bill Downey Susan Fischer

Linda Carver Jeanne Gantenbein

Judy Ertel Jennifer Theisen

Wauwatosa

Beth Bliss Karen Malecki

Amy Brantley Lynn Meehan

Betsy Goldberg

West Allis-West Milwaukee

Sarah Bartosch Joyce King-McIver

Ann-Guri E. Bishop


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