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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Oral narration of African American students in general and gifted education programs
by Mills, Monique Tenette, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008, 179; 3314970
Abstract (Summary)

This mixed methods study sought to better understand potential sources of underrepresentation African American children in gifted education programs. The differences in oral narration among 50 students in general and gifted education programs, grades two through five, were investigated. Students produced audiotaped oral narratives based on a wordless book, Frog, Where Are You?, and on child-friendly story prompts. Stories were analyzed for rhetorical feature, morpho-syntactic African American English (AAE) feature, lexical diversity (NDW), and general language production (MLU, TNU, TNW). A culturally-fair standardized language assessment battery was administered including the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-4, Expressive Vocabulary Test-2, and the Diagnostic Evaluation of Language Variation-Screening Test to more fully describe language skill. All 50 students and 15 teachers were interviewed to better understand perceptions of good storytelling and of verbal intelligence. Quantitative data suggested that group differences existed based on story type and educational placement. Students in the gifted education program tended to produce higher rates of lexical diversity and general language measures as well as standard measures of vocabulary. Students in the general education program tended to produce higher rates of AAE. These findings suggested that heavy reliance on certain verbal measures and a particular verbal profile may contribute to the underrepresentation of African American students in gifted education programs. Students and teachers perceived of individuals with good storytelling and verbal intelligence as communicating within and across three modes: associative, informative, and performative. The in-depth observation of one student suggested that oral narratives may be useful as an index of verbal intelligence.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Watkins, Ruth V.
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 69/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Speech therapy, Special education, Curricula, Teaching
Keywords: African-American, Children, Ethnography of communication, Gifted, Gifted education, Language assessment, Oral narration, School-age children
Publication Number: 3314970
ISBN: 978-0-549-65023-2
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