ABSTRACT

This study examined the developmental characteristics of school-aged children by analyzing their abilities to produce sentence structure and to use the meaning and cohesive devices in spoken and written expository discourse. The subjects of this study were 60 regular elementary school students, with 20 students from each of the 2nd, 4th, and 6th grades. The results of this study were as follows: First, it was shown that total number of T-unit, MLTw and the number of subordinate clauses per T-unit significantly increased as the grade got higher. In the low grade, the development significantly increased as the grade got higher. However, in the high grade, there was no big difference of development in ability to produce sentence structure and complexity. In the total number of T-units, the number of T-units steadily increased in writing as the grade increased, but the difference of development in speaking was absent in the high grade. There was a difference between assignments in MLTw, but the length of sentence structure was longer in speaking rather than in writing. Second, in diversity of vocabulary, the mean increased in both speaking and writing assignments, as the grade increased. It was also shown that there was a significant difference among all grades. The diversity of vocabulary in speaking was highest in the 2nd and 4th grades. However, the vocabulary in writing discourse was more varied in the 6th grade. Third, as a result of investigating the difference in ability to use cohesive devices depending on grade and a form of expression in expository discourse, it was shown that accuracy significantly increased as the grade got increased. These results implied that ability to produce sentence structure increased and sentences became more complicated depending on grade. Also, it was shown that diversity of vocabulary increased and sentences were developed further in terms of meaning. This study showed that ability to produce sentence structure in writing has developed in expository discourse since the late school-age. It suggests that evaluation of writing and expository discourse generation are important to examine the development ability of school-aged children to produce sentence structure.

KEYWORD

School-aged, expository discourse, spoken and written language, syntax, semantics

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