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The comprehension of the relational terms because and so by preschool children Welsh, Elizabeth Therese 1993

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THE COMPREHENSION OF THE RELATIONAL TERMS BECAUSE AND SO BY PRESCHOOL CHILDREN by ELIZABETH THERESE WELSH B. Sc., The University of Victoria, 1985 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Audiology and Speech Sciences) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 1993  © Elizabeth Therese Welsh, 1993  In presenting this thesis in  partial  fulfilment of the  requirements for an  advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department  or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  copying  or  pu.blication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of  thJd,1J9A/  -  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date• Lez / 1Q93  DE-6 (2/88)  4.iudi &wu  11  ABSTRACT  The  comprehension  of  the  relational  investigated in preschoolers aged 3;3  -  because  terms 5;8.  and  so was  The children were told  short stories and then were asked to complete sentences that dealt with story content and contained these words. designed to see whether age, familiarity  The experiment was  with story content, the  use of pictures, or theparticular term (becausevs. so) wouldaffect children’s answers.  The results indicated that increasing age and  familiarity of story content significantly improved performance. Three year olds provided correct answers only for the stories with familiar content, while five year olds were beginning to succeed even when the story content was new. There was also evidence that pictorial cues had a different effect for the two different relational terms, and that pictorial cues interacted with content familiarity in a characteristic manner at different ages.  Findings from this st.udy  provide support for a model of lexical development in which the first uses of relational terms are context dependent. that  early  lexical  representations  are  This could indicate  incomplete  or  that  the  processing of complex sentential relationships can exceed children’ s attentional resources.  iii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Abstract  ii  Table of Contents  iii  List of Tables  iv  Chapter One  Introduction  1  Chapter Two  Review of the Literature Linguistic Expression of Temporal and Causal Relations Children’s Understanding of Temporal and Causal Expressions Studies of Before and After Studies of Because and So Models of Development Factors Affecting Performance Conclusion and Research Questions  4  Chapter Three  Method  41  Chapter Four  Results  47  Chapter Five  Discussion  56  4 S 8 11 16 21 38  74  References Appendix A  Story Texts  77  Appendix B  Questions for Story Texts  81  iv  LIST OF TABLES  TABLE 1  TABLE 2  TABLE 3  Mean correct responses for familiar and unfamiliar material, with and without pictures, at three different ages  49  Number of children with at least 6/8 correct answers to “because” questions, “so” questions, or both, with familiar scripted story content  50  Distribution of errors by age and type  53  1  CHAPTER 1  Introduction  The meanings  has  been under  children’s  of  development  study  intriguing  One  for many years.  word  of  understanding  aspect of the research findings concerns differences in the types of words that children learn at various stages of development. Very young children seem able to connect a word to an object or action, but they do not seem to understand words such as before, because,  Q,  acquisition  if., of  and  these  The  .  factors  terms  relational  are  that  not  after,  influence  well  the  understood.  Unlike other vocabulary terms these words do not refer to objects or  actions  but  In a sentence such as “he fell because the  a causal relationship.  “he  This  fell”.  logical  or  temporal  The term because for example refers to  relationships among them.  boy tripped him”,  spatial,  the  to  rather  “the boy tripped him” would express the cause of is  relationship  indicated by use  of  the  word  because.  There is no concrete, observable referent for words like  because.  Children must infer their meaning by interpreting complex  and  diverse  relational  events. term  it  When is  one  acquires  assumed  that  the the  understanding cognitive  of  a  abilities  reflected by or associated with that term have also been acquired. Because  of  their  less  concrete  nature  and  their  dependence on the cognitive abilities of the individual it would be  2 assumed that  relational terms would be acquired later than more In fact,  concrete vocabulary terms.  However,  to be generally so. stop there.  investigators have found this  similarities among findings tend to  Naturally one would expect differences  in findings  between the different relational terms depending on the cognitive involved  abilities  and  acquired.  However,  age  acquisition  of  The  differences have also been found for the same relational term.  question then arises as to why the differences in results on age occur. Lucia French and Katherine Nelson have addressed  this  problem by looking at differences in results as the consequence of differences in methodology, especially differences in the contexts used in stimulus materials.  They argue that conflicting results  could be due to specific variables which could, the  outcome  a  of  In  study.  if changed, affect and  French  particular,  Nelson  familiarity or prior knowledge had an effect on  discovered that  children’s performance. To date this effect has primarily been seen in  of  studies  demonstrated  the  that  words  before  preschool  and  children  after can  before and after given a supportive context.  .  Researchers  comprehend  a  child  representation.  has  already  Children’s  developed  performance  terms  Supportive context is  a fairly broad notion that includes familiar context, which  the  have  a has  script been  i.e. one for or  event  improved  by  presenting before and after in a familiar context. A few investigators have also studied the terms because and  .  We know that these words appear in children’s expressive  3 vocabularies between ages three and five, but many questions about their acquisition remain unanswered. In particular, it is not known whether terms. young  familiarity of The purpose  children’s  of  context will this  study  comprehension  of  affect performance  is  thus  because  threefold, and  ,  to to  on these observe see  how  contextual variables such as event familiarity affect children’s causal expressions, and to add to our general understanding of the acquisition of relational terms.  4  CHAPTER 2 Review of the Literature Linquistic Expression of Temporal and Causal Relations before,  Terms such as first, ,  and  but,  We  can  to  establish  when,  because,  relationship  a  ,  between  By using relational terms one is able to express a  propositions.  spatial,  logical,  serve  or  after,  temporal or causal relationship linguistically. if  that  assume  a  term that marks  a  child understands  a  he/she has also acquired those cognitive abilities  relationship,  which allow him/her to understand that relational concept. Two particular sorts of relationships will be discussed here as background for the current study:  temporal notions concern  the order or ‘position’ of states or events in time; causal notions concern the relationship whereby one state or event brings about a second state or event. There relationships reporting a  a number of  are  between  series  of  events,  “and”  or by  connector  simply  or marker.  the  to  very  One  events.  natural order of occurrence.  ways  temporal  express simple  way  order of mention  is  order  that  follows  in the  This can be done by using the term  reporting  the  However,  events  this  in  a  sequence  particular rule  of  with no English  discourse can be violated through the use of temporal relational terms.  For  example,  in  “Before  she went  to  the  store  she  ate  5 lunch”, to  the  the actual order of events is she ate lunch then she went store,  i.e.  the  opposite of  the order of mention.  This  order of events is indicated by the relational term “before”. the term “before” was left out,  the information about the order of  the events would be implicitly changed. cried because he hit her.  Another example  In this example,  occurrence is he hit her then she cried. the  two  examples  is  that  the  If  relationship between the ordered events.  “She  the order of event  The difference between  one  second  is  focuses  on  the  causal  Both sentences refer to  events that are ordered in time, but the term “because” expresses the idea that Event 1 is the consequence of Event 2. relationship remains implicit. marked by  relational  terms,  The temporal  Like temporality, causality may be or  it  implied by  may be  discourse  structure or content.  Children’s Understanding of Temporal and Causal Expressions There  seems  to be  little  dispute  that  causality is  a  concept that is acquired early, or at least that preschool children have  some  knowledge  of  it.  Even Piaget  (1928)  recognized that  preschool children show some sensitivity to causal relationships. Piaget identified three types of causal relations: motivational or affective, concrete physical, and logical deductive.  He concluded  that very young children master affective causality before physical causality, he  and physical causality before logical causality.  relied primarily on verbal  data,  there are non-linguistic factors,  his  e.g.  observations  show  Since that  the nature of the causal  6 relationship,  that  can  expression  affect  or  understanding  of  causality in a sentence. Despite agreement relationships, children Piaget  causal  lingering dispute over the age at which  there is  causes  distinguish  the early appreciation of  and  consequences  speech.  their  in  found that it was not until age seven or eight that this  occurred. given  on  a  likewise found that five year olds, when  Emerson (1979) sentence  relationships  between  could  because,  with  two  events  failed  but  the  understand  causal the  to understand  expressed order of events. Her findings suggested that this latter understanding was not acquired until the ages of seven or eight. The  data  becomes  from part  Emerson’s of  because  the  before  “cause  (x,y)  realizes  that  that  suggest  experiments  child  unidirectional event order is also a component of because”  (pg.  300) Why  children  should  able  be  to  think  about  causal  relations as preschoolers, and still be confused about causal terms at age seven?  One possibility is that children lack the temporal  concepts they need to distinguish cause from effect. unlikely,  however,  given  preschool  children  in  French  which  and  they  Nelson’s  report  that  (1985)  This seems study  “virtually  of all  children demonstrated a sensitivity to temporal structure in their descriptions”  ) and that this occurred as early as three years 4 (p.  of age. One feature of theoretical models that connect cognition with language,  e.g.  temporal  and/or  causal  concepts with causal  7 terms,  is that there exists a lag between the time that a child  acquires a specific cognitive ability and the time that he/she is able to use or understand a word that describes such a cognitive French  concept.  Nelson  and  (1985)  state  “knowledge  that  or  cognitive competence, may exist prior to or apart from the ability to express such knowledge linguistically” that  suggests cognitive occurred  when  cannot  one  occurs  comprehension  competencies,  but  (p. 83)  that  when assume  automatically  one  Such a time lag  .  can  comprehension that  certain  assume  the  has  not  prerequisite  It may be, instead, that a given  cognitive skills are not present.  term is difficult to learn because of its linguistic properties or because it rarely occurs in speech to children. possibility,  Or,  as a third  it may be that the child actually knows the term but  that something about the assessment procedures does not allow the child to reveal that knowledge. Before I attempt to evaluate these possibilities,  I will  present a brief summary of past studies on children’s knowledge of because,  ,  before, and after.  experiment will  be  on  the  Although the eventual focus of my  causal  terms,  research on before  after has been extensive and relates to the present ways.  First,  before  and  after  are  and  project in two  linguistically  similar  to  because/ since both sets of terms refer to ordered events and belong to the grammatical  class of  conjunctions.  Secondly,  the  before/after literature includes much discussion of methodological issues which apply equally to the studies on because/.  8 Studies of Before/After Clark  on  focused  (1971)  the  acquisition  and  process,  interpreted her findings as indicative of at least three stages in She argued that  the acquisition of the terms before and after. acquire  children  In the  component.  meanings  the  initial  preschool  stages,  that before and after express  words  these  of  by  component  children understand  [time], then [order], relationships,  but don’t yet know which term  [+prior] meaning.  expresses the  In  effect, young preschool children have some knowledge of the words but do not yet comprehend their full meanings.  before and after,  The gaps in their knowledge lead to systematic ‘errors’ in language comprehension, e.g. using order-of-mention as the cue for order of or responding to after as if it were before.  events,  Whereas  Clark  specifically  focused  (1971)  the  on  acquisition process and took her results as evidence of its nature, other  investigators  variables (1977) event  have  focused  can affect performance.  on  how  different  situational  French and Brown  For example  found that preschoolers were able to accurately act out the sequences  in  sentences  containing before  younger age then was previously thought.  and after,  at  a  This improved performance  was determined by whether or not the nature of the event sequence provided  support  Supportive,  for  redundant  the  understanding  contexts  are  those  relational  in which  the  term.  inherent  nature of the events determines the sequence. An example of such a predictable  sequence would be  feeds the baby”.  “She  fills  Arbitrary sequences,  the bottle  e.g.  “He  before  she  is going to the  9 store before he  takes  the dog for a walk”,  are  those which can  reasonably occur in any order. French and Brown (1977) hypothesized that  children  supportive,  learn  the  meanings  redundant contexts,  of  before  and  after  first  in  and then apply this knowledge to  the comprehension of these terms when they describe event order in arbitrary  sequences.  provided by Kavanaugh  Further  of  context  by  for  this  hypothesis  was  (1979).  In a similar vein, role  support  Carni and French  studying  differences  (1984) in  explored the  performance  sentences describing familiar but invariant events,  for  and familiar  but arbitrary events. This study differed from the previous ones by controlling the familiarity of the events. Children were asked to answer before, after and when questions referring to pictured event sequences.  They found that even with familiar events,  three year  olds performed well with invariant sequences only, while four year olds performed well with both types of sequences.  They therefore  concluded that event type influences performance but that its role diminishes with age. Pamela Coker (1978) demonstrated how syntactic variables, i.e. grammatical function as preposition vs conjunction, variables, affect  explicit reminder about two clauses,  the child’s  and task  can interact and  interpretation of before and after.  She had  three different tasks reflecting the different syntactic and task variables, one of which was a preposition task and one of which was a subordinate clause task.  For both prepositional tasks the child  was asked to memorize the temporal order of a set of three pictures  10 of simple objects. For Task One the child was then asked questions in the form “What did I show you before/after X?”. For Task Two the child was asked questions in the form “Did I show you the X before the Y or after the Y?” For Task Three, the subordinate clause task, the child acted out with puppets,  four before/after sentences.  Coker found that performance on Task One was superior to that on Task Two which in turn was superior to that on Task Three. She  concluded  prepositions  that  before  store).  after  acquired  first  and then as  She argued that Task Two seemed to involve  producing failure on this task” of two response strategies,  “greater  child’s working memory,  (p. 274). Coker also noted evidence  i.e.  main-clause-first and order-of-  that children used on Tasks Two and Three,  that these strategies  and commented  “cannot be used to infer partial knowledge  (or lack of knowledge) of before and after”  (p.274) because half of  the children using these strategies succeeded on Task One. also  noted  how  the  as  (i.e. Jill ate lunch before she went to  cognitive operations which overload the  mention,  are  (e.g. Jill went to the store before noon)  subordinating conjunctions the  and  task  variable  could  affect  the  use  Coker of  a  strategy. For example, the order-of-mention strategy occurred more often than the main-clause-first strategy when the child was made aware of both clauses. Findings  from the various  studies  on before and after  differ in part because of the differing focus of the researchers. Researchers  have  shifted  their  attention  from  the  acquisition  process to the effect of situational variables such as context or  11 Such variables are seen as contributing to the overall  task type.  and  processing  language  of  load  cognitive  success or failure with a relational term.  hence  to  a  child’s  Studies of before and  after also introduce the notion of systematic response strategies which children may use when they do not fully understand a term or In  sentence.  next  the  section,  we will  see  that  of  all  these  themes recur in the literature on because and so.  Studies of Because/So Piaget with  that  because,  because  .  .  .“  consequence.  found,  (1928)  young  is,  a  because he teased it” because  he  children  completing  child might  (antecedent)  complete  also  He  sentence  “  X  often as with a “the dog bit  him  “the dog bit him  as often as  (consequence).  cried”  the  so with an antecedent as  would do That  in doing a sentence completion task  found  that  full  understanding of the term was not accomplished until at least age seven or eight. Corrigan years, of  (1975)  studied  children  ages  three  to  seven  using nine tasks to test both comprehension and production  because.  She  looked  at  three  of  kinds  causality:  physical  relations in which only physical states are connected (e.g. stones breaking windows),  affective-causal relations in which affective  states are connected with physical events being  punched),  relationships  of  and  concrete-logical  implicature  between  (e.g.  crying because of  relations ideas  or  which  include  judgements.  She  concluded that performance on the tasks was affected by the type of  12 causality involved. were  easier  then physical  which  items  for several  items  concrete-logical  turn were  in  the tasks.  of  concluded that preoperational children,  Regardless of the  chronological order of items joined by because.  whether  is  cause  mentioned prior  to  i.e. or  effect  (according to comprehend the  cannot  syntactic position of the subordinate clause,  easier then  Corrigan also  those  i.e.  under the ages of seven or eight,  Piaget)  affective items  indicated that  The results  regardless of  effect  prior  to  cause, younger children will interpret clauses joined by because as meaning “A happens then B”. This leads to ‘correct’ performance on sentences with preposed because, strategy reported by Clark  (1971)  and is the same order-of-mention for before/after.  Harriet Emerson (1979) took a somewhat different approach to  studying the  compared  school  sentences  and  effect age  of  the nature  the  linked events.  comprehension  children’s  ‘non-reversible’  of  sentences  of  She  ‘reversible’  containing  the  term  because, and found that performance on non-reversible sentences was significantly better. For example, performance would be better with the non-reversible sentence “The snowman started to melt because the sun started to shine” could  hear  outside”.  the  loud  than with the reversible sentence  noises  and  the  laughing  because  he  “He went  In a non-reversible sentence, the inherent nature of the  events makes one of them more plausible as an antecedent and the other  as  a  consequence.  Emerson  argues  that  these  semantic  constraints help the child comprehend the order of events despite syntactic variation,  whereas in reversible sentences the only cue  13 is  available  the  word because.  Carni  Like  and  French  (1984),  Emerson also concludes that as children get older they become less dependant on such contextual support. data to indicate that  comprehension of because is not seen  full  until ages seven or eight,  However, she interpreted her  regardless of the type of event used  -  a substantially older age than was reported by Carni and French. Although a younger child will demonstrate an understanding of the causal nature of the term, assignment of antecedent and consequence roles will remain affected by  order of the clauses. Interestingly,  due to differing results for the use of order-of-mention strategies within her two experiments,  Emerson suggested that “the order-of-  mention strategy is restricted to those tasks which require some sort of event or picture ordering on the part of the child” 297)  .  Thus Emerson argues that task variables,  type and syntax, Bebout, and  ,  removed  order,  Segalowitz and White  sentence and do  semantic/contextual  ability to i.e.  as well as event  can affect children’s responses. (1980)  tested children ages 5;lO to 9;9,  (listen to a  (p.  interpret  context  it). cues. free  in studying because  using an enactment task  They manipulated Results  indicated  syntax and that  the  sentences with a noncongruent  one in which effect precedes cause,  was not acquired  until about age nine, even later than had been reported by Corrigan (1975)  and  Emerson  (1979).  It  seemed  that  when  semantic  and  contextual cues were removed children under nine were not able to pick up the syntactic and lexical cues given by the presence of the word because.  14 Emerson and Gekoski (1980), studying the comprehension of  if.  because and  two to eleven,  with children ages  likewise argue  that the earlier studies had overestimated children’s knowledge, and that the true age of comprehension was quite late.  Using a  variety of tasks, including imitation, comprehension (choosing one of  picture  two  (judging  to  sequences  sentences  heard before or not),  ordering,  reversibility and  found  apparent  until  however,  is  ages  eight  this  that  classification,  differences  as  or  nine. was  finding  An based  logical  structures),  Emerson and Gekoski  because  of  comprehension  consistent  that  or  connectives  different  with  recognition  (judging equivalence of meaning in  synonymy  sentences  sentence),  structure  or  connective  with  a  with  go  and  important on  if  are  not  note  here,  in  which  tasks  contextual cues and semantic constraint cues were eliminated while the studies with earlier ages of success had provided some degree of contextual or semantic cues. and  Emerson  ultimately  Gekoski  “comprehension of because and  if.  appears to develop gradually and  is related to the development of certain operative rules” In line with their Piagetian commitments, suggesting  that  certain  that  conclude  levels  of  (p. 202).  Emerson and Gekoski are  reasoning  ability  may  be  prerequisite to the complete understanding of the terms because or if.  This  general  line  of  argument,  extended to other aspects of  however,  cognitive growth,  could  easily  be  a point that will  be examined further in later sections. Lucia French  (1988),  in  studying the  comprehension  of  15 because and  five  so with children ages  eight years,  to  used an  enactment task with logically unconstrained content, and a sentence completion task with familiar and generally constrained content.  task  the  confirmed  Results  order.  Both tasks manipulated clause  of  findings  earlier  from the enactment  studies.  However,  in  comparing performance on the two tasks a discrepancy was discovered in  of  understanding  children’s  the  order  component  of  meaning.  Performance on the sentence completion task surpassed that on the enactment  Results  task.  from  the  sentence  completion  task  indicated that children fully comprehend because and so at age six, a  considerably earlier  age  than had been  indicated by previous  investigators. French argues that children were more successful on this  task because  nonarbitrary),  but  the  event  sequences  acknowledges  that  were  (and hence  familiar  other task variables  could  have played a role. The different studies have looked at different variables including task type, position of the relational term in relation to the clauses,  reversibility of the sentences  as combinations of these variables.  (clauses)  etc. as well  Through manipulation of these  variables researchers have come to estimates regarding the age at which understanding of the temporal terms because and/or so occur. In many studies this age appears to be seven to nine,  but later  studies tend to decrease this age stating that it is dependant on a number of variables and manipulation of these variables, that may not have been considered in earlier studies. It  is  obvious  that  the  study of  the  comprehension of  16 because and .g is not nearly complete because of the complexity of the variables involved and because each of the above studies still leaves many questions unanswered. In the following sections I will turn from description of prior studies to discussion of explanatory models.  I  acquisition  that  experiments,  and  factors  overview of  begin with a brief  applied  then proceed  seem  that  been  have  most  two models  to  data  to  lexical  because/so  in greater detail  to discuss  likely  from  of  influenced  have  the  children’s  performance.  Models of Development There are basically two models of the development of the acquisition of relational terms. As  (1971).  earlier,  noted  The first was introduced by Clark discovered  she  that  children  made  systematic errors in comprehension of the terms before and after that indicated at least three stages in the acquisition of these terms.  From these stages and the systematic errors observed, Clark  proposed her  “componential”  or  “semantic  model  feature”  developing understanding of relational terms.  of  the  This model basically  stated that a preschooler (young child) does not at first know the entire  meaning  of  a  word.  (semantic components)  He/she  show  up  depending upon  features he/she knows.  knows  certain  features  to begin with but adds to these features as  he/she learns more about the word. will  only  what  Because of this, certain errors stage  a  child  is  at  or what  Clark proposed three basic components for  the meaning of the words before and after,  ie. TIME,  SIMULTANEOUS  17 She further argued that children  and PRIOR, learned in that order.  who have not yet acquired the PRIOR component of these terms are Other investigators  likely to respond as if after meant before. extended  approach  this  the  to  of  study  the  hypothesizing two components, CAUSE and ORDER.  word  Researchers such as  Corrigan (1975), Emerson (1979, 1980) and Bebout et al. that  do  children  acquire  not  the  ORDER  component  describe the correct order nor comprehend it) seven or eight.  Emerson  (1979,  1980)  did  because,  (1980) felt (ie.  cannot  until at least age  state,  however,  that  children do understand the causal component by about age five. Unfortunately for Clark and her followers this model did not hold up too well  for other researchers.  To begin with,  the  errors that Clark observed in her elicited production tasks were uncommon  other  in  spontaneous  researchers’  productions  (French  preschoolers’  involving  studies  and Nelson,  1985)  .  French  and  Nelson in analyzing transcripts of interviews with three to five year olds involving familiar events,  found that children not only  produced the terms before, after, because, in most cases did so accurately.  ag, j.,  ii and  ,  but  Also, according to French (1986a)  the errors that were produced were not ones that would be predicted on the basis of the componential models. came up with their own model, Two  of  the  most  These researchers then  the contextual model.  influential  researchers  involved  in  developing the contextual model were Katherine Nelson and Lucia Ann French.  French  (1986a),  in her argument against previous models  and the studies they were based on,  states “most studies designed  to assess children’s comprehension of relational terms have used  18 relationships  sentences reporting arbitrary (and thus unfamiliar)  developmental when  terms  against  biased  systematically  at which  stage  they  the  possibility  of  therefore  detecting  a  children can understand relational  familiar  express  is  literature  existing  the  of  Most  stimuli.  as  relationships,  but  experience  difficulty in using relational terms as the basis for establishing representations of novel relationships” that  then  the  supporting  data  the  It would appear  (p. 324).  componential  model  are  incomplete, leading to an interpretation which has ignored at least The hypothesis or prediction put forth by  one important variable.  those supporting the contextual model, posits three steps occurring with  increasing  presented.  age  familiar  and  unfamiliar  material  is  At the first step we find poor performance with both At the second would be poor performance with  types of content. unfamiliar  when  content  and  good performance  with  familiar  content.  at the third step we would see good performance with both  Finally,  French (1988) begins the discussion of the  sorts of events.  contextual model of the development of relational terms by stating that the  “understanding of relational terms is initially context  dependent,  such that children can understand relational terms when  they express familiar relationships, but experience difficulty in forming representations of novel relationships solely on the basis of  linguistic  Nelson  (1985),  to use  the  input”  Or,  as presented by French and  in the course of development “children become able  terms  relationships”  262).  (p.  (p.  to posit 92).  or to comprehend novel  Essentially what  these  and arbitrary  researchers  are  saying is that children go through an early stage of development in  19 which  are  they  the  understand  term within  them,  to  familiar  context  completely  i.e. The  representation.  an  child  sequence  event for  which  then  goes  one  and  dependent  context  they  have  through  only  will  a  which a  is  mental  stage  of  decontextualization in which he/she is no longer context bound but is  able  understand  to  the  term  unfamiliar  in  event  sequence  contexts well  As  developmental  the  describing  as  course  that  children follow in acquiring an understanding of relational terms, French (1986a) and French and Nelson (1985) also attempt to explain why and when this development occurs.  French (1986a) discusses the  fact that the language processing demands placed on an individual are different depending on whether or not the statement refers to To comprehend statements  a previously known event relationship.  input  linguistic  the  relationships,  familiar  representing  an  access  to  listener  uses  mental  existing  already  the  relationship.  To  comprehend statements representing unfamiliar relationships,  the  representation of  listener  must  the  use  events  and  their usual  linguistic  the  representation of that relationship.  input  to  form  a  mental  Perhaps at an intermediate  stage when a word’s meaning is incompletely represented,  children  can use their prior knowledge of the likely relationship between two events  to  infer the  full meaning of  prior knowledge is not available, representation and assess such an assessment meaning can be made.  In short,  relational  term.  If  children must construct an event  it’s probable  is possible)  a  relationships  (assuming  before any inference about word familiar content allows the child  20 to go through a one step comprehension process as opposed to a two step comprehension process. French  presents a somewhat different version of  (1988)  She  the processing demand argument in a discussion of redundancy. argues  word meanings  that  but  represented  also  the intermediate  in  that  children  processing decontextualized input. lexical  of  components  because  and  have  general  French (1988) so  state  are  fully  difficulty  states that “the  are understood  during  the  context dependent stage, and the transition from context dependent to  context  independent  understanding  not  does  reflect  further  lexical development, but rather increasing facility in dealing with decontextualized linguistic input”  (p.  262)  .  It is at this point  of decontextualization that syntactic cues alone are sufficient and redundancy is no longer needed, order of  events.  It  is  e.g. between order of mention and  assumed that by this point  the  child’s  cognitive development is such that he/she is able to deal with the higher cognitive demands placed on him/her when contextual cues are no longer available.  Since researchers such as Kuhn  (1978)  and  Bullock and Gelman (1979) have demonstrated basic understanding of the concepts of cause and order among preschoolers,  the necessary  cognitive development must involve some other, not yet understood, parameter of growth. The  contextual  model  of  lexical  learning  provides  a  useful framework for interpreting some of the data on relational terms that were summarized earlier.  Because the earliest studies  did not use familiar context as a variable,  the age at which the  child comprehended without contextual support was typically the age  21 at which the child was said to have acquired an understanding of the  seven or eight. that  the  relational  age was usually said to be  This  term.  relational  at  least  Error patterns in these studies further indicated  child  not  could  term because  ordering component.  demonstrate  he/she  did not  understanding comprehend  the  of  the  temporal  When familiarity as a variable was introduced,  those age groups which had previously not shown an understanding of the relational terms,  Researchers such as Lucia  began to do so.  French and Katherine Nelson, using both elicited narrative data and experimental  have  data,  demonstrated  that  preschoolers  can  comprehend and produce relational terms appropriately when given familiar contexts.  In fact, Nelson (l986b) believed that a central  finding in her research was that children as young as three are structure of events  sensitive to the temporal  report sequences of familiar events.  and can correctly  And French et al.  (1983),  in  a review chapter documenting the effects of discourse content and context on young children’s use of language, conclude that children between  the  linguistic  ages  of  2;ll  and  5;6  demonstrate  cognitive  and  abilities that have not been typically attributed to  children of this age.  Factors Affecting Performance The earlier review of previous literature makes it clear that  context  can play an  important  role  in affecting a  child’s  performance in comprehension and production of relational terms. French’s study of because/so focuses specifically on one contextual  22 variable, at  look  content familiarity. This section will take an in depth various  particularly  performance, Contextual  variables  contextual  variables will  in  how  and  comprehension  affect  they  terms.  relational  of  include both external  i.e.  variables,  experimental factors under an investigator’s control and internal variables, i.e. factors of a more cognitive nature  (French 1986).  External Variables External or experimental variables include things such as (1)  Experimental Procedure or Paradigm type,  Experimental Setting.  Stimuli,  (2)  and  (3)  Each of these will be defined, discussed and  problems arising from them will be explored. basically  is  paradigm  A  Experimental Paradigm.  a  general type of experimental task which an individual being tested must perform and which gives a measurement of performance.  types  are  which  relational  terms  problems.  The  (Emerson,  1979;  quite will  common be  in  studies  discussed  first paradigm type Emerson and Gekoski,  along  of  comprehension  with  statement. preschoolers, using  Because  these  their  of  potential  is grammaticality judgements 1980).  Here,  asked to judge the grammaticality of a statement, is being said the right way;  four paradigm  Here,  are a number of paradigms used in studies.  There  children are  i.e. whether it  is it a silly statement or sensible studies  very  often  deal  with  adaptations need to be made and some investigators  this paradigm have  asked children to  select  a  “silly”  or  “sensible” puppet as the speaker responsible for each statement. The second type is an enactment paradigm (Clark,  1971;  French and  23 Brown, 1977; Kavanaugh, 1979; Bebout et al., 1980; French, 1988) in out  asked to act  a  statement  containing the  which  children are  term.  A third type of paradigm is one in which children are asked  questions  containing  French, 1984)  target  term  (Clark,  Carni  1971;  and  An example of this would be a sentence completion  .  task (French,  the  1988)  in which an individual is given the first part  of a sentence containing the relational term and must complete that “He started crying because  ...“.  The fourth paradigm type is a picture selection task (Coker,  1978;  sentence.  An example would be  Emerson and Gekoski,  1979;  Emerson,  1980)  in which children are  asked to select the correct picture or picture sequence depicting As a variant they might be asked to order a picture  the sentence.  sequence to match a sentence containing the term (Emerson, Unfortunately for investigators problems with these paradigms. secondary task demands.  there are  1979)  a number of  One group of problems is known as  In studies on comprehension of relational  terms the investigator is trying to discover whether or not a child understands the term in question and therefore comprehension of the However,  term would be considered the primary task of the child.  the paradigm used may require more than knowledge or comprehension of the term in order for a correct answer reflecting knowledge to be observed. possess  The paradigm or task may require the individual to  other abilities which may  capabilities. factors. secondary  This may depend on the age of the child or other  “Comprehension task  or may not be beyond his/her  demands  in  paradigms addition  inevitably to  the  involve  primary  various  demand  of  comprehending a particular term, and the children who do understand  24 the  if  competence demand”  are  they  unable  (French and Nelson,  fail  may  consideration  under  term  to  1985,  to  comply with p.  demonstrate  this  a  task  secondary  Examples of secondary  84).  task demands include the ability to distinguish pictures, to point, These particular task demands would more  and to manipulate toys.  than likely be noted, but there are many more which are less easily detectable.  Such a demand exists in the grammaticality judgement child must reflect upon lexical knowledge,  paradigm in which a i.e. lead  the  to  of  underestimation  Such a paradigm might  skills.  must possess metalinguistic  a  child’s  knowledge  of  the  relational term in question because this secondary task demand is more difficult then the primary task demand of understanding the Another  term.  secondary  parts or events.  the  is  paradigm and that  task  in  exists  demand  realization that  one must  for  act  two  out  A child might leave out one of the parts or wait French and Brown  for approval before acting out the second part. (1977),  enactment  the  found  example,  that  the  in  made  errors  this  task  They suggested that  tended to involve omitting the second event.  this did not necessarily indicate a lack of comprehension but may have  occurred because  the  child  thought  he/she was  feedback before acting out the second part. secondary  task demand was  described by  to wait  for  A final example of a  Emerson  (1979)  within  a  picture selection or picture sequence task in which children may lack knowledge of conventional ordering rules. For any comprehension paradigm in which task demand  is more  underestimation of  difficult  the  secondary  then the primary task demand,  the child’s ability will  result.  an  More often  25 than not,  there will be a number of secondary task demands for any a fact that has lead to French  given paradigm, and  Nelson’s  that  observation  (1985)  pure  a  and French  (1986)  measure  of  comprehension would be extremely difficult to obtain. When a child is faced with a task that is too demanding, it  whether  be  in  difficulty  comprehending  the  term  itself  or  difficulty with the secondary task demands, he/she often has coping strategies which help him/her deal with the task.  According to  French and Nelson (1985) coping strategies can be either linguistic or non-linguistic.  An example of a linguistic coping strategy is  one used in enactment paradigms in which greater attention is given to the main clause. processing  trouble  This may be used by children who are having or  remembering  connected  two  In  clauses.  effect,  the use of memory or processing skills is a secondary task  demand  which,  if  causes  great,  too  the  implementation  of  a  Use of this strategy could cause an  selectional coping strategy.  underestimation of the child’s knowledge of the term. Examples adopt  of  non-linguistic following  include  strategies order  the  that preschoolers of  in  mention  tend to  enactment,  following a systematic pattern such as alternating between left and right in picture selection tasks, or attributing all statements to one favourite puppet in a grammaticality judgement paradigm. (1978)  that  notes  “task  variables  requirement  determining when a particular strategy will French  (1986)  further  suggests  that  be  children  seem  critical  used” who  Coker  (p.  have  in  274).  already  developed some of the lexical knowledge may still be using certain strategies.  The  child’s  use  of  a  strategy  is  not  necessarily  26 affected by whether or not he/she knows the meaning of the term. French  particular lexical  that  states  (l986a)  strategy may  knowledge  be  “the  factors  too  powerful  so  alone,  governing to  be  lexically  a  of  the use  counteracted  a by  response  irrelevant  strategy may persist even when the child has the relevant lexical knowledge”  If  316).  (p.  were  this  the  then  case  child’s  a  knowledge of terms would again be underestimated. of paradigm type on  In order to illustrate the effect  performance, comparisons need to be made within and between studies looking at comparison of findings when differing paradigm types are used. is  Consider the conflicting results as to which relational term  acquired  enactment  before  first,  or  Clark  after.  using  (1971)  an  task concluded that before was acquired before after.  Carni and French (1984) use a task in which children heard stories and  answered  happened before was were  then  French  As  the  or  before  after  e.g.  “What  and found just the opposite, i.e. that after  ...?“,  acquired first. true  containing  questions  same  observed,  (1986a)  pattern  of  performance  if either claim should be  seen  across different tasks. Pamela  Coker  (1978)  a  did  performance on three different tasks:  direct (1)  comparison  picture selection,  of in  which the child was shown three pictures and asked “What did I show before/after the X?”  (2)  sentence selection,  in which the child  chooses the sentence containing the correct term to match a picture sequence,  and  children  earned  (3)  sentence enactment. Her results indicated that  the  highest  lowest scores on the third.  scores  on  the  first  As mentioned earlier,  task,  and  the  Emerson (1979)  27 The first task was one in which  also compared two paradigm types.  the child had to choose one of two picture sequences to match a The second task involved sequencing  sentence containing because.  event  to match the  two pictures  order  sentence  in a  containing  Emerson found that performance on the first task (picture  because.  was  sequence task)  (first/last task)  .  significantly better then on the Finally,  French  (1988)  second task  replicated the findings  (1980) using an enactment task with three sentence  of Bebout et al.  Both investigators found that children in earlier grades  types.  made more  errors  errors with  and more  overall  sentence  However,  because X” then “because X,Y” or “X so Y”.  used a sentence completion task, performance for  “Y  “Y  type  when French  because X” was  In the absence of  no poorer than for the other sentence types.  detailed language performance models, it is difficult to formulate specific explanations for any of the discrepancies in these three direct tests of paradigm effects, but there seems little doubt that they are related to task variables.  Stimuli. of  comprehension experimenter’s stimulus response.  is  relational  control,  the  variable  Another  is  specific  terms,  the object  and  stimulus. or  affects  which  which  is  In  general  material  used  child’s  a  under  to  the  terms  a  elicit  a  For example, the stimulus could be the sentence or story  which is read to the child and to which the child responds in order to demonstrate knowledge of the relational term in question. are  a  number  performance.  of  variations  in  the  stimulus  that  will  There affect  An obvious example would be the relational term used.  28 It  has  been  suggested  and  (French  Nelson,  that  1985)  certain  relational terms are comprehended earlier then others.  The fact  that research on the terms before and after has occurred more often with preschoolers then research on the terms because and .Q may reflect this opinion among researchers. Other variations  is  story  the  stimulus  concern  the  type  the  used  story  whole  must  retained  be  of  When  Experimenters may use stories or sentences.  language used. a  in  before  If a child fails an item, it is  comprehension can be demonstrated.  unclear whether the child does not comprehend the term or simply does not remember the story.  Sentences are certainly shorter and are  also  For  one,  position of clauses within a sentence needs to be considered.  For  therefore linguistic  memory  less  is  at  variations  of the  problem.  a  level  of  But  sentence.  the  example, when the relational terms before,  there  after,  and because are  the position of the clauses may be switched.  used in a sentence,  If there are two clauses X and Y, where X refers to an event which naturally  comes  before  event  possible sentence types are:  raising  as  to  whether  cause  of  Y,  then  the  (real world order of  (3) Because/after X, Y (real and  clause may affect  the  questions  the  X before Y  is preserved),  world order of events position of  (1)  (2) Before Y, X  events is preserved)  The  is  Y or  the  (4)  the  Y because/after X.  child’s  child  is  performance,  truly  able  to  comprehend the relational term in question. According  to  Coker  (1978)  there  two  are  possible  strategies that a child may use or adopt when interpreting before and after  (used as  subordinating conjunction):  (1)  a syntactic  29 strategy in which attention is directed toward the main clause, and a  (2)  in  strategy  semantic  which  the  order  of  mention  interpreted to correspond to the actual order of occurrence. these  were  strategies  expected.  For example,  in  then  use  (1971)  found that before/after  in an enactment  sentences in which the  order of mention violates the real world order of events, more errors then the other sentences. reported by French and Brown (1977) et al.  (1980)  and French  Finally, variation  be  We have seen that  children might act out only one clause.  Eve Clark  If  children would perform better on items in  which real world order of events is preserved, or, task,  would  results  certain  is  (1988)  elicit  Similar findings have been  for before/after and by Bebout  for because/so.  one of the most confusing aspects of stimulus  concerns  nature  the  of  the  logical  or  physical  contingencies that can occur between the events mentioned in the two  Take  clauses.  for  example,  the  events  mentioned  sentence “He fixed the car before going to the store”.  in  the  One could  reverse the sequence of events and say “He went to the store before he fixed the car” and the sentence would still make sense. event sequences can be plausibly reversed,  however.  Not all  “He put his  keys in the ignition before starting the car” is a ‘non-reversible’ sentence since it would be unlikely that one would be able to start the car before placing the keys in the ignition. Unfortunately, studies that look at the event contingen cies between clauses tend not to use the same terminology and/or definitions. are  “logical  Some examples of the terms used and comparisons made vs  arbitrary  sequences”  (French  and Brown,  1977),  30 “reversible  vs  non-reversible”  1978)  (Emerson,  constrained vs logically reversible sequence” All  of  the  above  researchers  demonstrated  and  “logically  (Kavanaugh, that  this  1979)  variable  influences performance such that performance with “logical”,  “non-  reversible” and “logically constrained” sentences was significantly better  then  with  “arbitrary”,  “reversible”  and  “logically  reversible” sentences, respectively. I will return to consider this variable from the perspective of the child in a later section.  Experimental Setting. The experimental setting is a broad term and However,  in  overlaps with both paradigm type  fact  and  stimuli.  to keep things simple the setting can refer to a natural  environment as opposed to an experimentally controlled environment. This does not necessarily indicate a difference between spontaneous production and elicited production but can also refer to a child’s natural environment compared to an environment that has been set up by a researcher and is thus unfamiliar to the child.  Internal Variables One  of  the most  important  set  of  factors  affecting  a  child’s production and comprehension of relational terms involves internal variables.  Broadly speaking, an internal variable is one  that cannot be controlled by the experimenter, and depends upon the child’s own knowledge and ability.  Test-taking Skills.  French and Nelson (1985)  and French  (1986a) discuss one sort of internal variable, i.e. the test taking  31 the  of  skills  These  child.  instructions,  trying  reach the  to  correct  answer  for and  These  test givers underlying intentions.  deduce the  attention,  paying  clarification  seeking  instructions,  following  include  skills  unclear trying  to  skills are  primarily developed when a child goes to school and therefore it is unreasonable  to  expect  Problems  skills.  can  a  preschooler  to  arise  easily  therefore  have  developed  when  these  interpreting  performance failures.  Event  important  The most  Knowledge.  set  internal  of  variables for this study concerns the child’s event knowledge. can best be described by first giving definitions by  used  constructs investigator  has  who  cognitive  current  this  studied  topic  to four basic One  psychologists. in  It  detail  great  is  The focus will therefore be on her definitions  Katherine Nelson. and explanations.  The four terms to be defined are schema, representation and scene. “specifies  (1985), causal  script,  event  A schema, according to Katherine Nelson  essential  elements  in  spatial,  temporal  or  relations to one another as well as elements that may be  optional”  (pg.38)  A schema represents knowledge.  .  “For example,  a living room schema specifies essentially four walls, a door, and windows”  (pg.38).  This type of schema is known as a scene schema.  There also exists event schemas, for school”. script.  A  an example being “getting ready  An event schema is essentially what script,  according  to  Nelson  (1985),  is known as a “is  a  schema  specifying a sequence of actions related temporally and causally”  32 A script is also a form of an event representation which  (pg.40).  is defined by Nelson (1985) as “an abstract skeletal structure, one from which concepts of objects, persons and actions can be derived and on the basis of which relationships can be defined” (1978)  Nelson  also  scripts  described  “models  as  (pg.208). familiar  of  experiences that are called into play in the appropriate verbal or Finally,  (pg.256).  situational context”  Nelson  (1985)  defines a  scene as “a coherent series of actions that take place in a single involving  setting,  the  same  goal,  and  people  objects”  (pg.41).  What is sequenced in a script are its scenes. It is easy to get confused by the various definitions and However, Nelson (1985)  where they stand in relation to each other. tied  earliest such  terms  these  together  when  banging  and much  includes  more:  “the  child’s  action  schemes  stated  she  representation or script  event  throwing,  as  nicely  objects,  persons  and  person’s roles and sequences of actions appropriate to a specific “It includes the specific social and cultural components  scene”. essential  to  Nelson  then  script  to  carrying uses  mean  the  through terms  essentially  a  particular  (general) the  same  event thing.  activity”  (pg.42).  representation  and  least  the  At  for  purpose of this study they will be used interchangeably. The idea of a script or general event representation is important when dealing with a child’s development of both cognition and language.  A child begins to develop scripts very early on in  his/her development.  In fact,  Nelson  (1985)  feels that children  even at three years of age know a lot about the activities they are involved in and can even talk about them.  Scripts are learned and  33 the product of experience.  Children, through participation, learn This does  the script or develop a general event representation.  not mean that a child participates once in a series of events and develops  automatically  a  complete  script  for  An  events.  the  incomplete script or general event representation would occur when important characteristics of the event structure events  in a hierarchy)  represented.  are not  series of  (i.e.  Nelson  describing the initial stages of script development,  (1985),  in  states that  “the initial event representation is represented as an unanalyzed whole on the basis of the child’s participation in (or observation of) time  such as eating lunch”  an activity, is  events.  understood  as  a whole  event,  For example meal  (pg.43). not  a  series  of  discrete  A child may realize that setting out the bowl is a part of  the whole, but does not explicitly represent any causal or temporal As the child experiences more of the same series of  relationships. events,  he/she becomes more familiar with them and develops more  complete scripts,  increasing his/her knowledge base.  General event representations play an important role in language comprehension and formulation processes.  and  Children,  adults, use scriptal knowledge to read between the lines of spoken discourse and to organize their own comments on specific events. For example, the  popcorn  the sentence “We almost missed the movie because of line”,  familiar with  the  someone who is not.  makes typical  much more chain  of  sense events  to at  a a  listener who  is  than  to  cinema  Children who have already developed a script  they can use to help them understand a particular sentence will be more successful  than those who have no applicable script.  This  34 seems to have been the basic idea that has lead to the experimental of  manipulations  that  ‘context’  were  described  earlier.  Experimenters vary the content of the clauses joined by relational terms, but what is really being manipulated is the degree to which the child can rely on their general event knowledge to interpret the likely relationship between the clauses. It is important to note here that at least two different factors actually determine the child’s use of event knowledge: the nature of the child’s past experience,  i.e.  (1)  familiarity with  the events, and (2) the nature of the events, i.e. real world event contingencies.  Events which have no inherent temporal, physical or  logical relationship are much less likely to reoccur in the same It is obvious that  sequence and thus to be organized into scripts. a  child must have had considerable experience with a particular  sort of event sequence in order to create the abstract cognitive scheme.  But, although familiarity with a sequence implies inherent  contingencies, specific  into  considerable  the  is  in  the  “familiar”  terms  not to  Moreover,  the the  before  on  a  of  not be  still  There  these  set  has  been For  points.  stated that the comprehension of  and  relationship child.  sequence.  literature  Carni and French (1984)  or  true.  not  a predictably ordered  confusion  relational  whether  converse  could each be highly familiar but  events  organized  example,  the  The  after  would  being actual  vary  described  depending was  comparison  on  already in  their  experiment, however, was between invariant and arbitrary real-world temporal  orders.  The  assumption  was  knowledge of the invariant sequences.  that  children  The problem,  had  prior  of course,  is  35 that not all children would necessarily be familiar with or have a for a particular invariant  knowledge base Brown  (1977)  had  sequences in which ‘logical’  was considered to be a meaningfully  However, the problem again is that  meaningfully ordered sequences. all  sequences  logical  arbitrary  and  The result was that performance was superior for  ordered sequence.  not  logical  compared  previously  French and  sequence.  would necessarily be  familiar,  hence  meaningful. French  appears  (1988)  the  to be  investigators  closest  have come to looking at familiarity as an influencing variable with the terms because and compared  Recall that French  .  with  familiar  distinguish between familiarity and event familiar  were not  events  comprehension  differed.  of  the  did  not  contingency,  i.e.  her  were  familiar but  only  Moreover,  inherent temporal and causal links. assess  and  relationships  arbitrary  and  familiar  specifically  (1988)  with  sequences  the tasks used to conditions  arbitrary  A sentence completion task was used for familiar content  items and an enactment task was used for arbitrary content items. Because task type in itself influences performance one can not be certain  a  whether  difference  in  performance  due  was  task  to  It is  differences or difference in familiarity with the content. also  unfortunate  children.  that  French  her  limited  study  to  school  This may be in part due to the fact that she,  investigators,  simply  did  not  believe  that  like other  preschoolers  demonstrate any significant comprehension of these terms. (1975) that  and Emerson and Gekoski children  under  the  ages  (1980) of  age  would  Corrigan  had come to the conclusion  seven  or  eight  do  not  yet  36 comprehend the term because. or  familiarity  at  looked  script  knowledge  an  as  influencing  although there are good reasons  In short,  variable.  These investigators had not, however,  to believe  that familiarity with certain sorts of event sequences will lead to the  creation  understanding  of of  scripts sentences  affect  and  thus  that  contain  young  relational  children’s this  terms,  possibility has not yet been adequately studied.  Memory.  Memory  affect task performance. a  is  child  is  another  internal  variable  can  that  Carni and French (1984) suggest that when  confronted with  a  sequence  for which  a  question  asked, he/she can respond correctly in one of two ways.  is  First, the  child can memorize the sequence and answer questions by referring to the resulting representation. Secondly,  the child can refer to  an already existing depiction or representation and give an answer. If a child does not already have a mental  representation of the  event then the first method is the only one open to him/her.  As  discussed earlier, the script is the developing framework for event The child who has no mental representation for a specific  memory.  is  unfamiliar  with  nothing to help him/her  remember a  story  type  of  answer  event  (i.e.  questions.  younger  children  This who  will  tend  to  be  more  event)  have  will  for which he/she must  particularly  rely  structures then do older children.  that  problematic  heavily  on  for  schematic  “Without a general schema to  guide recall children should have difficulty remembering a novel episode”  ( Slackman as cited in Hudson and Nelson,  1986, p.  256)  37 A younger child might, for example, have difficulty remembering the order  of  mentioned  the  leading  events  interpretation of cause and effect the  1975b).  Or,  although  term used  in  a  (Brown,  relational  the  child may understand  incorrect  an  to  story,  he/she may not recall enough of the story to adequately answer the  recall  to  required  the child is no longer  Given a familiar event sequence,  question.  the  order  correct  of  events  so  performance  improves. An older child who has no mental representation for the sophisticated memory system.  likely have a more  event will most  These additional resources may make it possible to demonstrate an understanding of Nelson,  1985)  .  remember more  term  relational  the  in  question  1975;  (Brown,  Although there is little doubt that older children children,  than younger  nature  the  change that makes this possible is controversial. such as Michelene Chi  (1978)  of  memory  the  Memory theorists  would agree with Hudson and Nelson  (1986), however, in drawing a connection between memory performance and  the  greater  is  the  base:  knowledge memory  performance.  knowledge  the  greater While  the  base,  evidence  the  showing  relationships between a child’s knowledge base and performance on seems  memory tasks regard  to  tasks  comprehension  of  strong, such  remain,  some questions those  as  relational  terms.  used  a  child’s  familiarity  improve  to  Does  especially in  assess  performance because prior knowledge makes it easier to remember the nature of the component events, on  linguistic  processing  of  and thus frees the child to focus the  relational  term?  Or,  does  38 familiarity improve performance because prior representation of an event  sequence  means.  One  way  add  to  to  child to  begin  pictorial  to  figure  choose  cues,  depicting the verbal sequences.  what  out  these  between  to provide external  would be  interpretations e.g.  the  allows  specifically  new  a  term  alternative  memory assistance, pictorial  sequences  Children who know the meaning of  the relational term should improve their performance when they do not need to struggle to recall the nature of the individual events. If,  term,  children do not know the meaning of  other hand,  on the  the  they may fail to comprehend even with an external memory cue  since  of  recall  events  the  alone  not  does  specify  their  antecedent/consequent roles.  Conclusion and Research Questions Although researchers now are much more aware of the many comprehension of  effecting production and  influencing variables  relational terms there still exists a number of problems. (1986a) with  French  makes the comment that there are two problems that exist  the  literature  uninterpretable.  and  are  that  it  is  fragmented  and  French came up with four reasons why she felt First,  this to be so.  they  each term or pairs of terms tend to have  their own separate literature such that connections are not made to other terms. that  at  Thirdly,  Secondly,  times terms  it  all have their own specific questions so  is difficult can  often  be  to  compare  defined  in  one  study to another.  more  then  one  way.  39 look  often  investigators  Fourthly,  either  at  comprehension  production and do not attempt to co-ordinate data from both.  or  It is  also evident that the structure of the tasks used in studies has not  changed  adequately  been  so  the  eliminate  to  as  excessive  As French and Nelson  cognitive load placed on the child.  (1985)  have commented “in a number of areas it has been found that careful of  manipulations  that  preschoolers  asking the  reveal  remained  undetected  abilities  using  more  among  traditional  One needs to consider in detail what a task is  (pg.86).  measures”  cognitive  context  from  child to do and what may be preventing him/her  Variables such as familiarity  successfully accomplishing the task.  with the event sequence need to be considered if we wish to come up with a developmental model that is most reflective of the course of a child’s development in terms of comprehension and production of and  the  Studies  with  an  for  new  view  terms  relational  ages  at  which  certain  are  skills  developed.  allowed  a  decontextualization  rather  emphasis of than  sequential mastery of different  contextual  on  development, (or  at  least  abilities is  change. To end on a more philosophical note, of  French  and  Nelson  (1985),  that  no  one in  have  factors in  which  addition  the key element  to) of  I share the feelings  conclusions  regarding  cognitive or linguistic ability should be reached solely on the basis of failure to use or comprehend a term. explore the child’s competencies. in  part  by  a  desire  to  One must also fully  The present study is motivated  understand  young  children’s  language  40 strengths.  It looks at the comprehension of the relational terms  because and so with preschool children and attempts to answer the questions: Do preschoolers (3,4,and 5 year olds) demonstrate knowledge 1. (in terms of comprehension) of the relational terms because and g? If so, does this knowledge increase with increasing age? Is there a difference in performance between the terms because 2. and , i.e. do children demonstrate a knowledge of one term before the other? Does familiarity with an event sequence (i.e. prior knowledge) 3. affect performance on comprehension of the relational terms because and so? Does the use of pictures (accompanying the event sequence) 4. affect performance on comprehension of the relational terms because and so?  41  Chapter 3 METHOD  Thirty preschool children were read 16 stories that had either familiar or unfamiliar content with  or  without  sentences  containing  was or  “because”  terms  the  child  Each  pictures.  and were presented either to  asked  complete  regarding  “so”  the  stories.  Subi ects There were 30 subjects, groups of 10 at ages three, age  three group was 3:3  -  for  the  age  five  group  The age range  (mean age 3:6.5).  3:11 -  4:9  was  (mean age 4:5)  4:11  in three  The age range for the  four and five.  for the age four group was 4:0 range  15 male and 15 female,  5:8  -  and the age  (mean  age  5:4)  Criteria for subject selection were as follows: 1.  age 3:0 to 5:11 at time of testing  2.  normal  observations  development  language and  interactions  with  (as  determined  by  by  preschool  routine  preschool  children  teacher and investigator) 3.  English as a first language  4.  normal  screening).  hearing  (as  determined  by  42 Tasks and Materials child heard  Each  were  For  events.  unfamiliar  for  ready  “getting  young  to  familiar  of  events  i.e.  and  the  example,  one  familiar  and  the  depicted  with  invariable  set  concerned  story  concerned  other  children  bed”  Both  types.  two  concerned events that  (eight stories)  However, one set  sequences.  stories  brief  events,  scripted  highly  concerned  16  sequence  of  events  One of the unfamiliar stories  involved in getting ready for bed.  concerned “fixing a flat tire” and depicted the sequence of events involved  in  fixing  flat  tire.  There were  long.  sentences  a  were  accompanying pictures  to  six  for half  the  five  one picture for each sentence of the  stories read to each child, story.  stories  All  Complete texts for the stories are provided in Appendix A. Following  each  one of two forms; “Y because event/state  included  Examples  designed  such  that  .  .  and  “Jimmy  “Everyone is hungry so  Y  and “X so  .“  a  was  do  to  asked  .  party  Both “because”  was  both  a  .“,  a  in which X was an  consequence a  having  is  ...“.  there  were  The sentence completion items were in  sentence completion task.  antecedent  children  story,  event/state.  because  and “so”  possible  .  .  .“  and  items were  antecedent  and  a  possible consequence answer available in the story for each item so as  not  example,  to  bias  the  child’s  answer  one  way  or  the  other.  For  in the case where a consequence Y was given and the child  was to complete the sentence with an antecedent  (“Y because...”),  it was possible to complete it with a consequence should the child either mix up  “because”  and  “so”  or not understand the  term in  43 To illustrate this feature of the stimuli,  question.  for  ready  “getting  story.  bed”  The  consequence •  “Johnny’s mommy reads him a story because answer involved an antecedent such as a  However,  child  who  mixed  up  the  .“.  consider the question  was  The appropriate  “because he likes books”. two  terms  relational  and  considered it an antecedent question could just as easily find a The same type of options  consequence such as “so he falls asleep”.  were available for the cases in which the antecedent X was given (“X so  ..“).  Questions for each story are provided in Appendix B.  Procedure Instructions prior to testing were given as follows: “I  am  going  to  tell  some  you  stories.  I  want  you  to  listen  carefully because I’m going to ask you some questions at the end. Let’s try some practice stories first”. presented to format.  familiarize  the  Two practice stories were  child with the  sentence  completion  One of the practice stories went as follows:  1. Johnny is walking with his daddy. 2.  They are walking to the store.  3. Johnny is going to buy ice cream. The sentence completion questions regarding this story were 1.  Johnny is walking with  2.  They are walking to  3.  Johnny is going to buy  For the  first  trial  child reach an answer.  story the examiner was  allowed  to help  the  For the second story the child was required  44 to  answer  on  questions  demonstrated  his/her  understanding  own.  the  of  Only  sentence  those  children task  completion  who by  appropriately answering the questions for the second trial story were  allowed  to  move  on  to  the  experimental  task  proper.  All  children who entered the study were able to meet this criterion. Before each story was read the child was asked if he/she was familiar with the experiences that made up the content of that The question was asked in the form “Have you ever  story.  ...“.  All but one of the children said that they indeed had no first-hand experience with the events described in the “unfamiliar” stories, and did have experience with the events in the “familiar” stories. The one child who reported an unusual history of experiences was dropped from the study and replaced. Each child received one of two test batteries presented over two sessions. floor, 8  He/she was seated at a small table,  or on the  in a quiet part of the daycare and listened to 16 stories,  in session #1  and 8  Half  in session #2.  of the  stories were  accompanied by pictures (five to six pictures per story) which were presented and removed, Also,  one at a time as the story was being told.  the content of half of the stories was meant to be familiar  to the child while the content of the other half was unfamiliar. Presentation presented  factors  with  four  were  stories  familiar sequence with pictures pictures  (FNP),  such  combined in  each  of  that four  each  child  conditions:  was 1.  (FP), 2. familiar sequence without  3. unfamiliar sequence with pictures  unfamiliar sequence without pictures  (UNP)  (UP),  and 4.  45 Each child was  read the  same  16  stories.  However,  a  given story was presented to half of the children in each age group in the NP  (no picture) mode and to the other half of the children  in the P (picture) mode, to avoid confounding story content within mode  of  presentation.  This  created  two  story  batteries.  test  Within each test battery the order of presentation of the stories was  Since,  randomized.  assigned  to  a  effectively  within each battery,  presentation  randomized  mode,  order  a given  randomization  of  of  presentation  story was  the  for  stories  the  four  conditions. After each  story  the  child was  asked  to  complete  two  sentences, each of which contained the relational term “because” or “so”.  The two sentence completion items presented after each story each randomly designated as  were  containing the  relational  term  “because” or “so”, with the constraint that there be equal numbers of  “because”  and  “so”  questions  in each of the four conditions.  There were then three possible combinations of sentence completion items per story. (2)  two items  “so”  These included:  containing  (1)  “because”,  two items containing “so”, and  and one item containing “because”.  (3)  one  item containing  Designation of question  type was made by test battery item number rather then by individual story  number,  with  the  consequence  that  a  given  story  did  not  necessarily have the same type of sentence completion items in the two batteries.  46 Scoring Answers to questions were hand recorded on a score sheet. When the child answered a sentence completion item correctly he/she was given a score of 1; were  certain  criteria  otherwise a score of 0 was given. for what  was  considered an  unacceptable answer. To earn a score of 1,  There  acceptable  or  the child’s answer had  to reflect knowledge of the relational term in question.  That is,  the child had to answer with an antecedent when given a consequence (“because”) (“so”). correct However,  and answer with a consequence when given an antecedent  The answer did not necessarily need to be grammatically nor  did  it  have  to  specifically  refer  to  the  story.  the response did need to be a logical antecedent to the  consequence or a logical consequence to the antecedent. answers were  given a  score  of  0,  including  statements  All other that  the  child did not know the answer or failures to respond even after prompting.  47  CHAPTER 4 Results  The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of familiar event context and pictorial cues on the comprehension of the terms because and  .  The primary data analysis consisted (3) X Familiarity (2) X  of a four-way repeated measures ANOVA, Age Pictures  (2)  variable  and  X Lexeme the  (2), with Age treated as a between subjects  other  within  treated  factors  dependent variable was number of correct responses each cell).  The  subjects.  (maximum=4 in  Responses were scored as correct whenever the child  was able to complete the sentence with an appropriate antecedent or an appropriate  when given a sentence with the term “because” consequence  when  given  a  sentence  the  with  term  “so”.  Appropriateness of content was judged generously, within each story framework. The  ANOVA  indicated  significant  These  Picture X Lexeme,  significant  effects  for  the  There were also two significant  variables of Age and Familiarity. interactions,  main  and Familiarity X Picture X Age.  interactions  indicate  that  differences  attributable to a change in the first variable are not the same for the different conditions in the second and subsequent variables. The ANOVA indicated no further reliable group differences.  48 Age Effect. Across the variables of Familiarity,  Lexeme  and Pictures,  five year olds had a higher mean number of correct  answers  than the  (2.5)  higher mean number of The ANOVA  (1.40).  was  differences  four your olds correct  answers  indicated  that  statistically  at  (2.14)  who  than the least  three year olds  one  significant,  in turn had a  of  these  F=l1.74;  group  df=2,27;  This result indicates that comprehension of the relational  p<.OO1.  terms because and so improves with age. Familiarity Effect. number  mean  of  correct  Across Age, Lexeme and Pictures, the  responses  was  significantly greater  for  familiar (2.9) than unfamiliar (1.13) material, F=206.12; df=2,27; p<.000l.  This finding indicates that children’s comprehension of  relational  terms  will  be  stronger  in  the  context  familiar  of  content. This supported  interpretation children’s  by  of  response  the to  Familiarity the  Effect  interview  was  questions  regarding past experience with various sorts of events.  With few  exceptions, the children indicated that the “familiar” stories did indeed focus on events that fell within their experience, while the “unfamiliar” stories did not. Picture X Lexeme Interaction.  The presence of pictorial There  cues had a different effect for the two relational terms. was  a  higher  without  number  the pictures  opposite,  and  (1.92 vs.  2.15)  of  correct  for the  similarly sized, .  answers  with  term because effect was  the  (2.18 seen  pictures vs.  for  than  1.80). the  term  An  a  Although the absolute size of these differences  49 was  df=2,27;  interaction was  the  small,  finding provides  This  p<.Ol.  statistically reliable, partial  F=11.ll; for  support  the  hypothesis that picture cues would improve performance by reducing memory demands. Familiarity statistically presence  of  X  1.  As  can  be  that  cues  Finally,  Age.  between  changed  in  there  familiarity  was  and  a  the  character with age,  The pertinent group means are provided in  F=3.69; df=2.27; p<.05. Table  X  interaction  reliable  pictorial  Picture  seen,  for  the  three  and  five  year  olds,  pictures led to improved performance on the familiar material, but not the unfamiliar material.  AGE 3 Yr.  MATERIAL  5 Yr.  TABLE 1. material,  PICTURES  NO PICTURES  however  COMBINED  2.45  2.15  2.30  .40  .60  .50  Familiar  3.00  3.25  3.13  Unfamiliar  1.35  .95  1.15  Familiar  3.40  3.15  3.28  Unfamiliar  1.70  1.75  1.73  Familiar Unfamiliar  4 Yr.  For the four year olds,  Mean correct responses for familiar and unfamiliar with and without pictures, at three different ages.  50 pictures led to improved performance on unfamiliar material, Again,  not familiar material.  but  this finding provides only partial  support for the hypothesized role of pictorial cues.  correct  Familiarity,  effects  significant  As a follow-up to the  to  responses  questions  for Age and the  about  familiar  stories were analyzed on a child by child basis. The goal of this analysis !Iknewll  was  to  terms because  the  scripted events.  how many  determine  and/or  children in the  in  each  context  age  of  group  familiar,  Children were required to make 6 out of 8  (75)  correct responses in order to be credited with knowing the meaning The results of this analysis are given in Table 2. As  of a term.  can be seen,  and all of the four and  olds demonstrated knowledge of either or both terms.  five years There  half of the three year olds,  was  no  strong  evidence  that  one  or  the  other  term  was  consistently acquired before the other.  BOTH TERMS  ONLY BECAUSE  ONLY SO  2  2  1  4  5  3  2  5  6  1  3  AGE 3  TABLE 2. Number of children with at least 6/8 correct answers to with familiar, or both, “so” questions, “because” questions, content. scripted story  51 A qualitative  of  analysis  was  responses  also  done  in  which errors children made were classified, and their frequency of use recorded,  Their distribution within the  for each age group.  variables of familiar vs non-familiar and picture vs no picture was  patterns,  error  seven  necessity,  involving  three  two  failures  involving  between  confusions  one involving general appeals  consequent events,  antecendent and to  percent of the errors fell into one of  Some seventy  also noted.  and one  provide  to  self-generated  consisting of  failures  sentence  completion material,  respond.  The results of this analysis are summarized in Table 3. The  first  a  if they were  questions as  pattern  error  involved  answering  Overall some 6 of  consequence when an antecedent was required. the  errors  lowest  were  rates  of  seen  this  type  among  the  (26  out  of  because  giving a plausible  i.e.  questions,  to  474  with  errors), This  three-year-olds.  error  the type  appeared to be evenly distributed between familiar and unfamiliar contexts as well as between items with pictures and no pictures. In some cases children added the term “so” when such errors were made. This occurred in 67 of the Type 1 errors made by the f our and five-year-olds, Except  for  a  but was not  four-year-old  who  seen among the made  8  Type  1  three-year-olds. errors,  the  16  children who responded to because questions in this fashion did so only once or twice each. The second error pattern involved answering .g questions as  if  they  were  because  questions,  i.e.  antecedent when a consequence was required.  giving  a  plausible  Overall some 8% of the  52 errors (40 out of 474) fell into this category, with no differences in rate among age groups. In approximately 80%- of the Type 2 errors the children actually added the term because. There appeared to be no particular situation or circumstances in which a child made this error type,  errors seemed to be randomly distributed between  i.e.  familiar and unfamiliar context as well as picture and no picture 6 did  Of the thirteen children making Type 2 errors,  situations.  so on as many as 4-5 occasions.  Only one of these children was a  five-year-old. Comparison of the Type 1 and Type 2 error data revealed that most of the children responding in this fashion made one or the  sort  other  rather  error,  of  than both  primarily five-year-olds,  Eleven children,  vs  (19  S  made Type  children). 1,  but not  Type 2, errors; eight children, primarily three year olds, did the reverse. On some occasions, children provided virtually identical answers seemed  to  For  appropriate.  Accident”,  one  for  questions  both  child  gave  a  given  example, the  neither  story,  within  response  the  “she  story  fell  of  which  “A  down”  Car when  answering the sentence completion questions “the police ask Nelly questions because  .  .“  .  and  phone number because...”. error Type 3,  “Nelly tells  the police her name and  This sort of response was categorized as  and accounted for some 7%- of the errors overall. As  can be seen in Table 3,  older children were less inclined to make  this sort of error, probably due to the increasing likelihood that they understood at least one of the relational terms.  53 Another common error among the three year olds consisted of recurrent general appeals to affective states. For example, one child explained that: Jennifer gets a special award because.  .  .  “she  likes to get awards.” Another child explained that “she needs to do that.”  Answers of this sort, when used more than once by a given  child,  were classed as error Type 4 and comprise some 4.5 of the  errors  overall,  virtually  all  of  them  being  produced  by  the  youngest children.  The  sixth error  fifth and  types  repetition of the content of the question,  involved  Type 5,  children’s  or some  TABLE 3. Distribution of errors by age and type. la  TYPE  5 Yr.  All  4  3  6  5  7  8  10  9  8  8  26  4  17  21  19  16  17  55  10  10  6  1  <1  12  32  14  14  9  2  1  17  47  7  8  3  0  2  23  20  8  9  4  0  2  27  24  5  8  7  4  6  13  27  26  40  34  21  28  61  127  3 Yr.  4 Yr.  2  a Type 1: give consequence instead of antecedent Type 2: give antecedent instead of consequence Type 3: undifferentiated Type 4: appeal to affective state Type 5: repeat content of question Type 6: repeat portion of story Type 7: “don’t know” or no response b Percentages; raw frequencies are given in italics.  54 Type 6,  inappropriate portion of the story, sentence completion items.  For example,  his brother are making a lot  of noise  as  responses to the  for the item “Peter and the answer under  so...”,  classed as error type 5 would be “they’re making a lot of noise.” some 6 of the errors were of this type  Overall,  most provided by the three-year-olds,  In  inappropriate,  but  Type 6, were more frequent among the older  portions of the story,  fell  into this  the errors made by  five year  children.  Thirteen percent of the errors overall  category,  but  it  out of 474),  especially on so items.  near-verbatim,  utilizing  answers  contrast,  (28  comprised 23  of  olds. The seventh error type consisted of failures to respond, including responses such as “1 don’t know”, “too hard”. out  of  “don’t remember”,  Overall some 27 of the errors were of this type with  474),  the  four-year-olds  showing  (32%), and the five-year-olds the lowest (20%) increased the use of this error type  .  the  highest  and (127 rate  Unfamiliar context  within both of these groups.  In summary, the results of this experiment indicate that preschoolers can in fact demonstrate knowledge of the relational terms because and .Q, age.  Prior  and are more likely to do so with increasing  familiarity  an  with  event  sequence  significantly  improved children’s ability to complete because/ statements about those events, but pictorial support did not improve performance in any consistent fashion. Analysis of the grouped data did not reveal a difference overall  or at  in  success  rates  specific ages.  for because  and  so  items,  either  The error pattern data did suggest  55 some weak tendency for younger children to respond with antecedents and  older children to respond with consequents.  56  CHAPTER 5 Discussion This study looked at the comprehension of the relational terms because  and Q by preschool  children  (ages  3,  and 5),  4,  along with two variables believed to affect this comprehension familiarity of  Children were  and presence of pictures.  content  -  read stories filled with sequences of inherently contingent events, the sort that are likely to lead to mental stories  concerned  that  events  familiar with, half did not. material  would  lead  were  preschoolers  likely  success  rates  with  the mechanisms  presentations were  of  be  this  facilitation,  accompanied by pictures,  half half  subsequent To further  sentence completion probes involving because and g. explore  to  It was anticipated that the familiar  higher  to  Half of the  scripts.  of were  story  the not.  If  familiar event schemes are useful simply because they aid memory, then providing a different sort of memory aid might make unfamiliar stories likewise memorable. The specific research questions that guided this project were as follows: 1.  Do Preschoolers demonstrate knowledge (comprehension)  of the relational terms because and ?  If so, does this  knowledge increase with increasing age? 2.  Is  terms  there  because  a difference and  so,  i.e.  in performance between do  children  the  demonstrate  a  57 knowledge of one term before the other? 3.  Does familiarity with an event sequence affect  knowledge)  comprehension of  on  performance  (i.e. prior the  relational terms because and Q? 4.  the  Does  affect  sequence)  (accompanying  of pictures  use  performance  the  comprehension  on  event of  the  relational terms because and so? four  Basically,  independent  different  variables  were  investigated and results obtained as to their significant influence on  a  only  variables  Results  task.  comprehension  had  two  that  indicated  significant  of  effects,  main  the  four  Age  and  Familiarity. In the  following sections,  an attempt will be made to  explain why there were significant main effects for both Age and effects  for  there were  Picture and Lexeme.  There will also be some discussion of the two  interaction  effects  observed,  within each age group  no  significant main  Familiarity and why  one  involving  Familiarity effects  for pictured and unpictured items and the  other involving Picture effects for the different lexemes.  Familiarity Effect The  fact  that  there was  a  significant main  effect  in  which children performed significantly better on familiar material then on unfamiliar material, which  points to an acquisition process in  children comprehend relational  terms  before they do so with unfamiliar material.  in  familiar contexts  It further suggests  58 that this phase of development for the terms because and so occurs This might explain why some  between the ages of three and five. past  (Piaget,  studies  1928;  1978;  Emerson,  al,  Emerson et  1980;  concluded that children did not comprehend the  Bebout et al, 1980)  They, in fact, did  until ages seven or eight.  terms because and  not include the familiarity variable in their study and thus there was  opportunity  no  for  younger  children  to  demonstrate  their  knowledge. Now that the results indicate a familiarity effect, it is of interest to consider the reasons this effect might be occurring. study the unfamiliar stories presented the preschoolers  In this  with a very difficult task,  causal  to complete  statements about  events with which they had little real life experience.  In such a  task children had to sort out the vocabulary and the sequence of and formulate an appropriate  events,  recall this new information,  answer,  based not only on their understanding of  term but  also  events.  For a  because  even  skills,  school if  the  language  child,  preschool experience  in  of  their understanding  strategies  vocabulary,  example,  on  event  material  knowledge  comprehension,  however,  these  nature  of  the  new  child these may not be big challenges  age  or  the  the relational  areas  may to  lack handle  is in and  new, the  he/she areas  sentence  sufficient  enough  has of  memory,  completion.  knowledge  unfamiliar material.  A  and/or For  the preschool child is likely to have a more restricted  vocabulary and more  laboured access  to  the vocabulary knowledge  he/she does have. With limited resources, the preschooler may fail  59 to provide an appropriate answer, comprehension  of  the  relational  not because of his/her lack of terms,  but  rather  because  of  remembering the nature of  his/her difficulty in understanding and the unfamiliar story events themselves.  For familiar material, the preschooler can be expected to Preschoolers develop a lot of their  successfully.  perform more  knowledge base through direct experience and repetition of those When  experiences. events,  children are  read a  story based on  they are likely to have event knowledge that  familiar  can either  assist in creating a representation of the meaning of the story, make such a representation less crucial in answering questions, or reduce  the  overall  cognitive  processing  load  entailed  by  the  question answering task. The context familiarity findings raise an interesting developmental  question:  When  will  there  be  no  significant  difference in performance between familiar and unfamiliar material, either due to high scores on both or low scores on both? words,  In other  at what point has the acquisition process not begun and at  what point is it complete?  We can now look at age effect in order  to deal with this question.  Age Effect In many studies dealing with children there  is an age  effect, most obviously because as children grow older they become more accomplished in different tasks and skills. be that children do not obtain a specific  However,  it may  skill until a certain  60 age,  in which case any difference in scores for children younger as all of  “age of acquisition” would be insignificant,  than that  the scores would be very low or at chance level  (depending on the  The fact that the task involved in this study did  task involved).  not require a multiple choice or yes/no answer makes it difficult “chance level,”  to determine a low,  non-zero lucky  merely  early  indicates  performance guessing.  or to otherwise decide whether a  this  in  However,  knowledge  lexical  children  study  did  which is an  significantly improve performance as they got older, indication that the acquisition process  or  for the comprehension of  because and g had begun at least by the age of four. The question one then asks is whether or not this is in conflict with the findings of other investigators Emerson,  1978;  comprehension  Emerson et al,  mentioned above, reflect  not  was  1980;  evident  Bebout et al,  until  ages  seven  (Piaget, 1980)  1928;  in which  eight.  or  As  one possibility is that these different findings  the effects of different task related variables  such as  familiarity of content. Perhaps a more interesting point,  however,  concerns the  The current data seem to suggest  nature of lexical acquisition.  that it is inappropriate to think about a ‘specific point’ at which Rather,  acquisition suddenly occurs. this  several  case  particular terms clearly project.  in  the  years  continues individual  long, to  there is an age period,  during  improve.  performance  which  performance  This  can be  data  from  in on  seen quite the  current  In the context of stories about familiar events, half of  61 the  year  three  answered 75  olds,  and  all  the  of  four  and  five  year  olds,  of the questions for one or both of the terms  (6/8)  None of the three year olds and only two of the  because or  four year olds even approached this level of performance on stories Four of  content.  with unfamiliar  the  five year olds,  however,  succeeded in 10-12/16 of these more difficult, unfamiliar, items. Such data would support claims that there is an increase in lexical knowledge with age, given term somehow alters of  speak  could  i.e. that children’s knowledge of a  over time.  ‘partial’  From this  ‘complete’  versus  viewpoint,  one  of  the  knowledge  in preschool children.  relational terms because and  The data  would also support the somewhat different claim, suggested earlier, that changes in performance on comprehension tasks with relational reflect  terms  differences  differences  in  lexical  event  in  knowledge.  knowledge  These  rather  two possible  than  sorts  of  development will be discussed further in a later section.  Picture Effect Contrary to the prediction made, the present results did not indicate a main effect for Pictures on performance. words,  In other  adding pictures to the story did not significantly affect  performance across the board.  It is, however,  important to recall  that there were two significant interaction effects involving the Picture variable. same  for  the  First,  three  age  the influence of familiarity was not the groups  and  the  two  picture  conditions.  Familiarity effects were greatest for the three year old group with  62 the aid of pictures and the four year old group without the aid of  differed  stories  the  for  of  result  the  Second,  pictures.  providing  lexemes.  two  with  pictures the  Whereas  addition  the of  pictures seemed to have the effect of slightly increasing correct for because,  responses  it  the  had  opposite  effect  for  .  An  attempt will now be made to explain the absent main effect and the observed interaction effects. One possible explanation for the absent main effect,  effect  When calculating a main  lies exactly in the interactions.  course,  the  combined,  opposing effects  of  and  for because  so would have been  averaging out to the apparent lack of a picture effect. A second explanation for the absence of a main effect  revolves around who the pictures were being presented to and how. It  is possible that pictures only make a significant difference In the  with those who hit attention/memory capacity limitations. have  there may not  familiar mode, because  children’s  within  processing  prior  been  significant brought  knowledge  event  For  constraints.  the  unfamiliar  the  processing limits may have been reached,  improvement  but one  task well context,  showing of the  pictures may not have been enough to aid performance. processing  This observed  three  way  interpretation  interaction  Picture. For the three year olds, of  the task were demanding.  been useful events,  i.e.  only if  if the  the  compatible with  Age,  Familiarity  the and  it seems likely that all aspects  Nonverbal cues to meaning may have  child  stories  between  is  also had prior were  about  knowledge  familiar  of  events.  the For  63 unfamiliar content, the pictures could not assist performance, and may  If  even have been detrimental.  so,  the  net  effect  of  the  pictures would be, as observed, to heighten the familiarity effect. The four year olds, for  on the other hand,  material  familiar  the  circumstances,  without might  pictures  could perform near ceiling  the  pictures.  mean  only  these For  distraction.  the nonverbal cues might begin to be  unfamiliar material, however,  The net effect of these influences would be,  useful.  In  as observed,  to diminish the basic familiarity effect. These developmental trends may be somewhat obscured by The pictures were  the manner in which the pictures were presented.  in front of the children for them to use as references  not left  when answering the questions, but rather were placed down and taken such that not all were seen at once.  one at a time,  away, method  presentation may  of  have  reduced  the  degree  of  This  help  to  children who otherwise might have found them beneficial. The  picture  effect  for  the  different  difficult to explain.  As mentioned previously,  effect  correct  of  opposite  effect  conditions. has  to  natural  increasing  do  for  .  This  responses was  for  lexemes  pictures had the  because,  true across  is more  ages  with  the  and picture  One possible explanation for this interaction effect with  order of  reviewed earlier,  the  order  events,  of  mention:  whereas  this ‘violation’  the  the because  items items  retain do not.  the As  of event order apparently adds  further complexity to the because items.  It makes some sense that  pictures would have a facilitating effect for the more difficult  64 the  but  material,  mechanism  for  this  assistance  is  unclear.  Pictures were presented with the stories, not the eventual lexical probes.  At the time of picture presentation,  the material had not  yet been identified as pertinent to because or  Presumably the  .  pictures helped the child create a clearer representation of the Such clarity might  sequence.  story event  indeed prove valuable  when faced with a difficult probe, but it should also have assisted or at least led to no change.  with the easy probes, in  performance  on  in  items  .E.g  the  Picture  The decrease requires  condition  further investigation.  Lexeme Effect The difference  results  indicated no main  lexeme  in performance between because and  some studies  (Bebout et al,  1980),  i.e.  effect,  .  no  According to  this should not have been the  case due to the fact that with the term because as it was used in this study, the real world order of events was not preserved in the it was.  probe, and with the term  Bebout et al (1980) had found  that performance on g was significantly better than performance on That  is,  comprehension of “Y because X” was poorer than either “because  X,Y”  because,  if  order  of  events  was  not  preserved.  or “X so Y”. Their explanation for this difference in performance included an order of mention strategy in which children view the clause  order  as  always  being  important to note, however, al  the  order  of  occurrence.  It  is  that the results obtained by Bebout et  (1980) were based on an enactment task.  French (1988) was able  65 to replicate their findings. influence  of  task  as  variable  a  completion data,  recognized the  however, and  so  sentence  In her sentence  as was true for the current data,  in performance between because  a  added  task to the Bebout et al paradigm.  completion  difference  type  She also,  there was no regardless of  and ag,  whether the real world order of events was maintained. How then are we to understand the original Bebout et al findings?  In order to explain what might possibly be occurring it  is necessary to direct attention to what was earlier described as secondary task demands.  It seems possible that the enactment task  might have more complex secondary task demands then the sentence completion task such that the task itself is making it difficult for  children  to  That  terms.  demonstrate might  their  prompt  knowledge  children  to  of  relational  the  turn  various  to  simplification strategies, that may be child specific, one of which might be the order of mention strategy. Informal task analysis suggests that this explanation is The  plausible.  enactment  task  requires  the  child  to  formulate  nonverbal acts for both the antecedent and consequent events,  and  to figure out how to nonverbally portray the causal relation. The completion task requires the child to express only one of the two events, examiner.  and  the  causal  If valid,  present more  relation  is  already  expressed  by  the  this analysis indicates that enactment does  demanding  secondary task characteristics  lead children to invoke order of mention strategies.  and might  This is the  strategy that would lead to a greater number of errors on because  66 items than on  a  Further confirmation of this interpreta  items.  tion can be seen in the fact that the order of mention strategy was observed in only a few of the four and five  (error type #1)  year old children in the current study,  as might be expected from  the low secondary task demands of the sentence completion paradigm.  In summary, the current study did not find a significant difference in performance between because and in accord with the French reports of difference Bebout et al  (1980)  (1988)  This finding is  .  data and suggests that earlier  in performance between because and  by  and others, have been the result of the use of  the order of mention strategy  -  a strategy not inherent to a stage  of lexical comprehension, but one used by some children in the face of  secondary  the  task demands  that  accompany  the  test  paradigm  chosen by the experimenter.  Support for the Contextual Model This particular study provides support for what is known as the Contextual Model of lexical development. an  intermediate  stage  in  the  process  of  This model posits acquisition  the  of  relational terms in which children appear to understand the term in a  familiar  context.  context As  but  fail  children get  to  understand  it  in  older they become less  an  unfamiliar  dependent  on  contextual support. As reviewed in Chapter Two, proponents of the Contextual Model  have offered two explanations for the prolonged period of  67 acquisition.  French  (1986a)  at an intermediate stage  children can use their prior knowledge  of lexical representation, of  argues that,  the likely relationship between two events to infer the full  meaning of a relational term. If prior knowledge is not available, construct  children must  representation and assess  an event  it’s  probable relationships before any inference about word meaning can be made. At later stages of lexical knowledge, children are able to the  access  directly  the  of  meaning  reference to event representations. level  ‘intermediate’  between  relational  By this view, and  performance  without  term  the difference level  ‘high’  performance involves change in the lexical representation itself. French  (1988),  on  the  other  hand,  general cognitive processing demands: dependent further  to  context  lexical  focuses  her  independent understanding does  development,  but  does  facility’,  not  provide  an  rather  increasing  extensive  not  of  reflect  facility  (p. 262)  discussion  .  in  Although  ‘increasing  this change clearly involves those processes needed to  interpret auditory linguistic material, on line, (real or pictured)  accompanying events processes  on  “the transition from context  dealing with decontextualized linguistic input” she  explanation  include  memory  and  in the absence of  or event knowledge.  attentional  functions  of  Such  diverse  sorts. The relative merits of these two interpretations can be explored by manipulating the degree and type of support provided to the young listener.  If the problem is primarily one of limited  processing resources,  then assistance with any aspect of the task  68 If the problem is primarily  should lead to gains in performance.  then only those aids that  one of partial lexical representation,  help with inferring causal meanings will prove beneficial.  In the  familiar content could aid comprehension either by  present study,  reducing processing load or by indicating the likely meaning of the relational term.  unfamiliar meanings,  particularly when used with  however,  Pictures,  could only assist with processing load,  not  with the meanings of the lexical terms. the present  Unfortunately, allow  to  us  for  alternative  do not  ultimately  versions  of  the  Pictures did assist performance with unfamiliar  Contextual Model. content  the  between  choose  findings  four  the  year  This  olds.  suggests  that  overall  processing load does play some role in the course of development for relational terms. of  pictured  anticipated  content  However, across ages and lexemes, the effect was  small This  direction.  and could  unreliable, be  due  to  albeit the  in  the  specific  procedures used, the relative unimportance of the process targeted for  intervention,  representations  or  are  the indeed  fact  that  partial.  intermediate Further  stage  research  lexical will  be  needed to further explore these alternatives.  Clinical Implications It is important to discuss the clinical implications of this research in regards to two different issues: the development of assessment batteries education  for  children  in language and other areas, including  those  with  and future  delayed/disordered  69 language.  The Development of Assessment Batteries. There  is  dissatisfaction  frequent  with  assessment methods we typically use with children.  the  tests  or  What can the  findings from this study offer in terms of alternative assessment Let’s first consider the findings of this study.  measures? study  demonstrated  a  familiarity  effect  in  which  This  preschool  children’s comprehension of relational terms presented within the context  familiar events  of  terms  relational  is  significantly better then that of  presented within  an unfamiliar  context.  This  finding coupled with age-related trends also suggested a course of development for relational terms in which comprehension for a given term occurs first within a familiar context then with an unfamiliar context.  Finally, to  comparison  comparisons of the findings from this study in  those  of  earlier  studies  clearly  illustrates  the  effect of secondary task demands. Each of these points indicates a direction for the development of assessment tools. What we wish to discover when using an assessment tool is the  child’s  language.  ability to understand/produce particular  aspects  of  If the findings from this study are valid, then the type  of assessment tool that would be most useful  is one which would  assess the child’s comprehension of language forms within both a familiar and unfamiliar context.  In assessing story comprehension,  for example, a child could be given stories based on both familiar and unfamiliar scripts.  70 Secondly,  study  this  that  suggests  need  may  to  Rather than asking  reformulate our typical assessment questions. broad,  we  simple questions about the level of functioning of a child,  e.g. what does the child know? or what is the child’s developmental stage?,  we may need to ask focused,  contingent questions,  e.g.  in  what circumstances does the child demonstrate knowledge of causal conj unct ions? Finally, effects  (i.e.  we know about  given what  secondary  extraneous requirements.  task  demands),  For example,  we  task can  and  type to  try  it’s  minimize  comprehension of relational  terms seems to be tapped more directly by sentence completion tasks than by enactment tasks. Review of the literature on other aspects of  language  may  indicate  the  best  tasks  to  use  in  assessing  comprehension of other sorts of language forms.  Therapy and Classroom Education Although this study looked at one small part of language, the comprehension of the relational terms because and  ,  one can  make inferences about language in general based on these findings. One of the main findings in this study was that preschool children with  familiar  material  than  with  unfamiliar  performed  better  material.  It seems reasonable to imagine that children go through  the same decontextualization process in other areas of learning. If  so,  this would have wide  implications  for the nature  context in which children initially learn best.  of  the  71 When children reach school age they are asked to do tasks that  specific  require  prerequisite  skills  they  must  acquire.  Without these skills children will have problems doing the assigned school work.  These skills range from auditory memory skills to  sequencing and metalinguistic skills.  The findings from this study  suggest that such skills be taught first in the context of familiar content, favourite  e.g.  exercises  in  rather  than  foods  sequential the  memory  names  of  should  African  involve  countries.  Likewise,  it is important for the constraints of familiarity to be  observed  as  example,  one  children cannot  learn expect  new a  concepts  child  to  or  information.  easily  learn  the  For finer  details about the solar system when he does not even know what the solar  system  is.  In  this  particular  case  the  child must  have  already acquired a specific knowledge base about the solar system before being able to effectively comprehend new and more complex information on the  solar system.  With this knowledge base,  the  child can slot new information into already established schemes. It is particularly important for children who may have learning disabilities or comprehension difficulties that a solid knowledge base be  established.  Comprehension difficulties will  make it harder for that child to sort out new information and slot it into the appropriate space in his knowledge base.  Therefore, a  very well defined knowledge base is important for more effective learning. with  It is also important that new skills be presented first  familiar  content.  One  does  not  wish  to  place  cognitive load on the child then he/she can handle.  a  greater  Therefore,  if  72 unfamiliar context adds a greater cognitive load on the child it simply makes sense to reduce that load by introducing new concepts, skills or language forms in the context of familiar content.  Summary and Conclusion The main purpose of comprehension  of  abilities  this  study was  preschool  to  children  investigate the with  the  terms  because and .Q, as well as to determine the effect of two variables believed to influence comprehension, namely event familiarity and pictured content. Results indicated that familiarity with context performance  increased  on  sentence  a  completion  task,  that  preschoolers could comprehend causal connectives in the context of familiar events, and that comprehension performance on these terms increased between the ages of three and five.  Pictures of story  content did not appreciably aid the comprehension of causal terms. These findings support what is known as the contextual This model claims that the compre  model of lexical development.  hension of relational terms is initially context dependent.  In the  course of development the child goes through a stage of decontext ualization in which he/she context  of  unfamiliar event  comes  to understand the  sequences.  term in the  Applying this model  to  educational practice suggests that children will learn best when new  skills,  information,  concepts  presented in familiar contexts.  or  language  forms  are  first  Further, if we wish to give a more  thorough analysis of children’s level of functioning we will need to use assessment tools which vary task type, and familiarity with  73 context. The purpose of this research was not to show that other or  wrong  in  inaccurate  researchers  were  conclusions,  but rather to show that,  their  and  results  given the right conditions,  children are able to demonstrate knowledge of relational terms at a younger age than previously thought. are  useful  known  because  terms  or because the  sentences,  they aid  end  in  interpretation  the  is  partially  of  the processing of  simplify  they  result  the  Whether familiar contexts  same  -  young  complex can  children  comprehend because and so if they are presented in the context of familiar  performance  the  acknowledge  To  events.  in no way decreases  its  of  limitations If  significance.  this  familiar  context is the only condition that elicits comprehension then that but not in  child is at a stage at which comprehension is present, all situations.  That invites us to characterize the environments If we  and conditions that are most conducive to comprehension. take  this  particular  comprehension  and  attitude  production  effectively understanding  we  to  all  may  be  children’s  areas on  the  acquisition of  of  language  way  to  more  language  as  well as more effectively inducing learning in children in both the classroom and therapy situations.  74  REFERENCES Bebout, L.J., Segalowitz, S.J. & White, G.J. (1980), Children’s comprehension of causal constructions with “because” and “so”. Child Development, , 565-568. Recognition, reconstruction and recall of Brown, A.L. (1975) Child pre-operational children. by sequences narrative Development, 46, 156-166. .  Preschool children’s assumptions Bullock, M. & Gelman, R. (1979) about cause and effect: Temporal ordering. Child Development 89-96. , .  Carni, E. & French, L.A. (1984). The acquisition of before and after reconsidered: What develops? Journal of Experimental Child Psycholoqv, i, 394-403. Chi,  Knowledge structures and memory Michelene T.H. (1978). development. In R. Siegler (Ed.), Children’s Thinking: What develops? (pp. 73-96)  Clark, E.V. (1971). On the acquisition of the meaning of before and after. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, .ifl, 266-275.  in the factors Syntactic and semantic P.L. Coker, (1971) acquisition of before and after. Journal of Child Lancruaqe, 5, 261-277. .  Corrigan, R. (1975). A scalogram analysis of the development of the Child in children. “because” comprehension of use and Development, 4k., 195-201. Emerson, H.F. (1979). Children’s comprehension of “because” in reversible and non reversible sentences. Journal of Child Language. , 279-300.  75 Emerson H.F. & Gekoski, W.L. (1980). Development of comprehension of sentences with “because” or “if”. Journal of Experimental Child Psycholoqy, , 202-224. French, L.A. (1986a). Acquiring and using words to express logical relationships. In S.A. Kuczajill & M.D. Barrett (Eds.), The development of word meaning: Progress in cognitive development research. (pp. 303-334). New York: Springer-Verlag. French, L.A. (1986b). The language of events. In K. Nelson (Ed.), Event Knowledge: structure and function in development. (pp. 119-136). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. French, L.A. (1988). The development of children’s understanding of “because” and “so”. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 45, 262-279.  (1977). Comprehension of before and French, L.A. & Brown, A.L. after in logical and arbitrary sequences. Journal of Child Lanquage, 4, 247-256. French, L.A., Lucariello, J., Seidman, S. & Nelson, K. (1983). The influence of discourse content and context on preschoolers’ use of language. In P.H. Mussen (Ed.), Handbook of child psycholoqy, volume 3, (pp. 1-27). New York: John Wiley and Sons.  French, L.A. & Nelson, K. (1985). Young children’s knowledge of relational terms: some ifs, ors and buts. New York: SpringerVerlag.  Effects of script structure on Hudson, J. & Nelson, K. (1983) children’s story recall. Developmental Psychology, 19, 625635. .  sirri].ar Hudson, J. & Nelson, K. (1986). Repeated encounters of a autobiographic kind: Effects of familiarity on children’s memory. Cognitive Development , , 253- 271.  Kavanaugh, R.D. (1979). Observations on the role of logically constrained sentences in the comprehension of before and after. Journal of Child Language, 6, 353-357.  76 Kuhn, A. (1978). Evidence for preschoolers’ understanding of causal direction in extended causal sequences. Child Development, , 218-222. Event Engel, Kyratzis, A. S. & (1986). J., Lucariello, representations, context, and language. In K. Nelson (Ed.), Event knowledge: structure and function in develotment. (pp. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 137-159) .  (1985). A naturalistic study of the McCabe, A. & Peterson, C. production of causal connectives by children. Journal of Child Language, j, 145-159. Nelson, K. (1978). How children represent knowledge of their world in and out of language. In R.S. Siegler (Ed.), Children’s NJ: Hillsdale, 255-273) What develops? thinking: (pp. Lawrence Eribaum Associates. .  Nelson, K. (1985). Making sense: The acquisition of shared meaning. New York: Academic Press. Nelson, K. (1986). Event knowledge: Structure development. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.  and  function  in  event (1981). Generalized Gruendel, K. J. & Nelson, congnitive of blocks building Basic representations: development. In M.E. Lamb & A.L. Brown (Eds.), Advances in developmental psycholoqy, volume 1. (pp. 131-158). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Piaget, J. (1928). Judgement and reasoning in the child. New York: Harcourt, Brace. Operativity and reversibility Schmidt, C.R. & Paris, S.C. (1978) in children’s understanding of pictorial sequences. Child .  Development,  j,  1219-1222.  Children’s R. N.L. & Johnson, (1981). T., Stein, Trabasso, knowledge of events: A causal analysis of story structure. In G. Bower (Ed.), The psycholoqy of learning and motivation, volume 15. New York: Academic Press.  77  Appendix A STORY TEXTS  Story #1 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  The Birthday Party  Today is Jimmy’s birthday and he is having a party. All of his friends have come to the party with presents. Everyone is playing games now. Everyone is now hungry and they eat some birthday cake. Jimmy then opens his presents. The party is now over and everyone goes home.  Story #2 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  -  Getting Ready for Bed  -  It’s time for Johnny to go to bed. He is dirty and his father puts him in the tub. After his bath Johnny puts his pyjamas on. He then brushes his teeth. Johnny likes books and his mommy reads him a story. Johnny is tired and falls asleep.  Story #3 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  Snacktime  It is snacktime at daycare. Kim is playing with a doll. The teacher says it’s time to clean up and Kim puts the doll away. Kim sits down at the table. She drinks some apple juice. Kim is now finished snack and can go play.  Story #4 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  -  -  Playing in the Rain  Becky wants to play outside. It is raining and she puts on her raincoat and boots. She then goes outside to play. Becky likes the rain. Becky splashes in the puddles and now she is very wet. Her mommy calls her to come back inside.  78 Story #5 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  -  Linda is sitting in the sand at the playground. David kicks sand in her eyes and she starts to cry. Linda runs home and tells her mommy. Her mommy washes her face. Linda feels better now and goes back out to play. This time she plays on the slide. Story #6  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  -  -  2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  -  Going Shopping  Peter is going shopping with his mother and little brother. The get into the car and get their seatbelts on. Peter and his brother are making a lot of noise and their mother tells them to be quiet. Peter’s mother parks the car. Peter’s mother is going to buy a lot of food and she gets a shopping cart. They then go inside the grocery store. Story #9  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  Going to McDonald’s  George and his mommy are going to McDonald’s for dinner. George’s mommy gets in line to order food. George is little and he gets to have a Happy Meal. George and his mom sit down at the table to eat. George spiiis his drink and he has to wipe it up. They finish eating and go home. Story #8  1.  Going to the Park  It’s a sunny day. Nicky and his dad go to the park. Nicky loves balloons and his daddy buys him a balloon. Nicky is very happy. He and his daddy watch the birds flying in the sky. Nicky let’s go of the balloon and it flies away.  Story #7 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  At the Playground  -  Making a Date  Jack wants to make a date with Tina and calls her up. Tina says she would like to go out with Jack. Jack picks Tina up at her house. Tina wants to go bowling. The bowling alley is closed and they go sailing instead. Afterwards Jack brings Tina home.  79 Story #10 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  -  4. 5. 6.  5. 6.  Putting on a Play  -  Lydia’s class is putting on a halloween play. Everyone in the play is practising. They sent out invitations and everyone knows that there is a play. The night of the play everyone goes to the auditorium. Lydia’s class has practised hard and everyone remembers their lines. The play is over and everyone in Lydia’s class bows. Story #13  1. 2. 3. 4.  Fixing a Flat Tire  Jim is driving his car. He has a flat and takes the spare tire out of the trunk. He places the jack under the car. Jim starts cranking the jack and the car lifts up. He takes the old tire of f and puts on a new one. Jim can now drive his car again. Story #12  1. 2. 3.  Sewing  Mrs. Smith wants to sew a skirt and she buys a pattern and some fabric. She pins the pattern pieces to the fabric. Mrs. Smith cuts the pattern pieces out. fabric She pins the sides of the skirt and the two pieces of stay together. She now sews the skirt. Now the skirt is finished. Story #11  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  -  -  In the Hospital  Ted is in the hospital with two broken legs. He cannot walk. He pushes the call button and the nurse comes. Ted tells the nurse that he has to go to the bathroom and she brings him a bedpan. The nurse asks Ted if he wants anything else before she leaves. Ted just wants to sleep.  80 Story #14 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  4. 5. 6.  -  Graduating from High School  Jennifer is graduating from high school. Everyone gets a turn to pick up their diploma. Jennifer’s name is called and she marches up to the front of the auditorium. The principal makes an announcement. Jennifer has earned high grades and gets a special award. Jennifer’s mom and dad are very happy. Story #16  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  At the Horse Races  Jack and Mary are both at the horse races. They want to bet on the horses and line up at the betting booth. They each bet five dollars on their favorite horse. They sit down to watch the horse race. Mary’s horse comes in first place and she gets to collect ten dollars. Jack’s horse comes in last. Story #15  1. 2. 3.  -  -  A Car Accident  Nelly is walking down the street. Two cars crash into each other. Nelly saw the accident and the police ask her questions about it. No one is hurt. The police want to ask Nelly more questions later and she tells them her name and phone number. The policeman writes it down.  81  Appendix B Questions for Story Texts TEST BATTERY #1 Story 4* 1  1. Jimmy is having a party because 2. Everyone is hungry so  Story 4* 2  3. Johnny is dirty so 4. Johnny’s mommy reads him a story because  Story 4* 3  5. The teacher says it’s time to clean up so 6. Kim can now go play because  Story # 4  7. Becky puts on her raincoat and boots because 8. Becky splashes in the puddles so  Story 4* 5  9. Linda starts to cry because 10. Linda feels better so  Story 4* 6 11. Nicky’s daddy buys him a balloon because 12. Nicky lets go of the balloon so Story # 7 13. George gets to have a Happy Meal because... 14. George spills his drink so Story 4* 8 15. Peter and his brother are making a lot of noise so.. 16. Peter’s mother gets a shopping cart because Story 4* 9 17. Jack wants to make a date with Tina so 18. Jack and Tina go sailing because Story 4*10 19. Mrs. 20. Mrs.  Smith want to sew a skirt so Smith pins the sides of the skirt so  Story 4*11 21. Jim takes the spare tire out of the trunk because 22. The car lifts up because Story #12 23. Lydia’s class sent out invitations so 24. Everyone in Lydia’s class bows because Story #13 25. Ted pushes the call button so 26. Ted tells the nurse that he has to go to the bathroom so  82 Story #14 27. Jack and Mary want to bet on the horses so 28. Mary gets to collect 10 dollars because Story #15 29. Jennifer’s name is called so 30. Jennifer gets a special award because Story #16 31. The police ask Nelly questions because 32. Nelly tells the police her name and phone number because  TEST BATTERY #2 Story # 1  9. Jimmy is having a party because 10. Everyone is hungry so  Story # 2 11. Johnny is dirty so 12. Johnny’s mommy reads him a story because Story # 3 13. The teacher says it’s time to clean up so 14. Kim can now go play because Story # 4 15. Becky puts on her raincoat and boots because 16. Becky splashes in puddles so Linda starts to cry because Linda feels better so  Story # 5  1. 2.  Story # 6  3. Nicky’s daddy buys him a balloon because 4. Nicky let’s go of his balloon so  Story # 7  5. George gets to have a Happy Meal because 6. George has to wipe up his drink because  Story # 8  7. 8.  Peter and his brother are making a lot of so. Peter’s mother is going to buy a lot of food so.  Story # 9 25. Jack wants to make a date with Tina so 26. Jack and Tina go sailing because Story #10 27. Mrs. 28. Mrs.  Smith want to sew a skirt so Smith pins the sides of the skirt so  Story #11 29. Jim has a flat so 30. The car lifts up because Story #12 31. 32.  Everyone knows that there is a play because Everyone in Lydia’s class bows because  noise  83  Story #13 17. The nurse comes because 18. Ted tells the nurse that he has to go to the bathroom so Story #14 19. Jack and Mary want to bet on the horses so 20. Mary gets to collect ten dollars because Story #15 21. Jennifer’s name is called so 22. Jennifer gets a special award because Story #16 23. The police ask Nelly questions because 24. The police want to ask Nelly more questions later so. .  


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