Research has demonstrated that children with specific language impairment (SLI) have difficulties producing oral narratives, particularly features of macrostructural and microstructural organization. In addition, numerous methods of eliciting oral narratives (e.g. visual images and conversation techniques) have been used, with little agreement as to which is the most effective in eliciting optimal narratives in children with and without SLI. The aim of the current study was to investigate the oral narrative skills of children with SLI, focusing on their ability to generate and use elements related to macrostructural and microstructural organization when presented with visual vs. verbal methods of oral narrative elicitation. Eight participants with SLI (mean age 7;7) were recruited from a mainstream school with an attached language unit in the North West of England. The participants produced oral narratives elicited using a wordless picture book and a conversation prompt technique. An examination of the results and raw data suggested that the conversation prompts (verbal method) were more effective at recognizing the oral narrative abilities of children with SLI. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.
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