In this article, we describe tasks and an assessment framework, collaboratively designed with kindergarten teachers in a northern rural Canadian school district, to assess young children’s language and nonverbal communication. Our analysis of 44 five-year old children’s language samples showed that children usually provided information about the name or role of at least one character in their narrative, although a few children referred to characters only using pronouns and a few provided information about multiple features of characters. The events and ideas in most children’s narratives were loosely connected, although some children used conjunctions to connect them and even explained causal relationships between them. To enhance meaning, many children communicated multimodally, most frequently by using gestures or a combination of gesture, intonation, and sound effect. They also used a question or invitation to hook their audience. The use of open-ended tasks allows children to draw on their funds of knowledge resulting in greater relevance and potential value across classroom contexts.
Stagg Peterson, Shelley; Eisazadeh, Nazila; and Liendo, Andrea
"Assessing Young Children’s Language and Nonverbal Communication in Oral Personal Narratives,"
Michigan Reading Journal: Vol. 53
, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/mrj/vol53/iss2/6