Assessing Pragmatic Abilities in School-Age Children


This study aims at developing a measure for assessing pragmatic language abilities related to Theory of Mind (ToM) in Greek, typically developing, school-age children. We developed stories, based on previous work by Sodian and Frith (1992), Baron-Cohen and colleagues (1999), and Giannakou (2008), to assess the reception of deception, faux pas and irony by school-age children. The story presentation was supported by pictures presented with video. We performed a validation study with adult Greek speakers and included the most comprehensible stories in our materials (32 stories in total). We tested 120 school-age children (64 females, Mean=10;2, SD=1.74). The results indicated high correctness scores (> 90%) for the deception and the faux pas task. Irony comprehension caused difficulties for the younger children and seemed to be significantly improved only at the age of 9. Furthermore, we performed error analysis, which showed that pragmatic errors were more frequent than semantic ones in the comprehension of these stories. Finally, we discuss these findings in the light of previous studies on the reception of deception, faux pas and irony (e.g., Baron-Cohen et al., 1999) and address the issue of age of acquisition in typically developing children.

Author Information
Maria Voulgaraki, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2021
Stream: Assessment

This paper is part of the ECLL2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Voulgaraki M. (2021) Assessing Pragmatic Abilities in School-Age Children ISSN: 2188-112X The European Conference on Language Learning 2021: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon