Children’s personal narratives reflect where they come from, reveal who they are and predict where they are going

Authored by: Allyssa McCabe

The Routledge International Handbook of early Literacy Education

Print publication date:  March  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138787889
eBook ISBN: 9781315766027
Adobe ISBN: 9781317659204


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Narration is the linguistic meeting ground of culture, cognition and emotion. Children develop the ability to narrate between the ages of two and six years. Parents who talk extensively with their children about past experiences make their children strong storytellers by the age of five, which predicts literacy skill ten years later. Parents differ individually and culturally in the aspects of the past they choose to emphasize with children, resulting in narratives that are structured in a variety of ways, which require numerous analyses to delineate. Traumatic brain injury, specific language impairment and autism compromise narration. Cultural differences should never be mistaken for deficits and vice versa.

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