Narrative comprehension and production in children with typical and atypical development

Successful comprehension and production of narratives is a higher-level linguistic ability that represents a crucial competence for the development of academic skills. Narrative competence is a complex and multi-component cognitive and linguistic skill. Research of narrative development of children with typical language development and children showing an atypical linguistic trajectory (bilingual children, children with specific language impairment, children with Down syndrome) was conducted. As different cognitive and linguistic components play a role in narrative competence the research activity included the assessment of both linguistic abilities (namely phonology, vocabulary, morphosyntax) and the role of working memory, metacognition, inferential skills and intelligence in narrative competence. The interest for this research field is both theoretical and practical: defining different cognitive and linguistic profiles underlying narrative competence in various atypical populations allows for identification of areas of strength and areas of weakness which also may provide directions for clinical and educational interventions. Recently it was developed and validated an intervention training for the improvement of text comprehension of 5 years old typically developing children

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Selected Publications

Roch, M., Florit, E. & Levorato, M.C. (2013). Listening text comprehension and the acquisition of new vocabulary in Down syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34,  605-616.

Florit, E., Roch, M., & Levorato, M. C. (2014). Listening text comprehension in preschoolers: a longitudinal study on the role of semantic components. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 27, 793-817

Lavelli, M., Barachetti, C., Florit, E. (on-line first). Gesture and speech during shared book reading with children with specific language impairment. Journal of Child Language. doi: 10.1017/S0305000914000762

Florit, E., & Levorato, M.C. (2012). A longitudinal study on listening text comprehension and receptive vocabulary in preschoolers. Rivista di Psicolinguistica Applicata, XII, 1-2, 65-80

Levorato, M.C., Roch, M., & Florit, E. (2011). La comprensione del testo orale nel Disturbo Specifico del Linguaggio: Il ruolo del vocabolario recettivo e della comprensione della frase [Listening text comprehension in children with SLI: The role of receptive vocabulary and sentence comprehension], Psichiatria dell'Infanzia e dell'adolescenza, vol. 1.