Linguistics Colloquium: Khaloob Kawar
Khaloob Kawar, Bar Ilan University
Title: Narrative Production in Arabic-speaking adolescents with and without Hearing Loss: Macrostructure, Evaluation methods, Microstructure and Modern Standard Arabic
Abstract: The research aimed to distinguish oral personal narratives of Arabic speaking adolescents with hearing loss from those of normal hearing. Analyses focused on four aspects of narrative production: a) macrostructure features including high point analysis and macrostructure components: abstract, orientation, complication, evaluation resolution and coda; b) evaluation methods that are produced by lexical and phrasal expressions found throughout the narratives; c) microstructure features including productivity, complex sentences and morpho-syntactic errors; and d) the use of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA).
124 Adolescents (63 normal hearing participants and 61 participants with pre-lingual bilateral sensori-neural hearing loss, aged 12;00-16;00), participated in the study by telling personal oral narratives about a dangerous situation.
Results demonstrated that the personal narratives from Arabic speaking adolescents with and without hearing loss showed similarity between the two groups for all macrostructure components except for the evaluation component, which was found to be produced significantly more by the hearing participants. In terms of high point analysis, 57.3% of participants produced the ‘classic pattern’ (which orients the listener to characters, events, time, and place, builds actions up to a high point, and then resolves it.), the remaining patterns were divided among the ‘high point ending’, ‘leap frogging’ and ‘chronological patterns’. There were no differences between the two groups in narrative pattern production.
In terms of evaluation methods, the narratives of adolescents with hearing loss contained significantly fewer and less varied evaluation methods. In terms of microstructure, the narratives of adolescents with hearing loss contained significantly more morpho-syntactic errors and fewer complex sentences. Finally, participants produced a low percentage of syntactic units with MSA expressions (4.3%), with a significant difference between the hearing participants (7%) and the participants with hearing loss (1.6%).
With regard to the relationships between macrostructure, evaluation methods and morpho-syntactic abilities, significant positive correlations emerged between the mean percent of complex sentences and both the frequency and variation of evaluation methods for each group. Conversely, a significant negative correlation was found between the mean percent of syntactic units with morpho-syntactic errors and the frequency of evaluation methods for each group. Trends toward significance were found for the production of evaluation methods and the narrative pattern for the hearing participants.
With regard to the relationship between the use of MSA and other aspects of narrative, no significant correlations between the use of MSA and frequency or variation of evaluation methods. However, a significant negative correlation was found between MSA expressions and morpho-syntactic errors for the sample as a whole.
The adolescents with hearing impaired varied widely in terms of hearing level (moderate, severe, profound), rehabilitation device (hearing aids, cochlear implant), and exposure to sign language. No significant differences emerged for any of the narrative measures. There was, however, a trend toward significance for the difference between those who use cochlear implants and those who use hearing aids for narrative length, where those who with cochlear implants produced longer narratives (measured both in words and in syntactic units). In addition, those exposed to sign produced longer narratives (measured in syntactic units only) than those who were not exposed to sign.
Narrative abilities are important for cognitive, social, emotional and academic skills. Narratives offer speech language pathologists, teachers and researchers of hearing loss and language abilities a wide range of information to assess and diagnose linguistic abilities more effectively and to develop programs for language and social intervention.
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