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The language sample under review was transcribed from a ten-minute recording
of a four-year old child in the context of fr...
recorded at the child’s house, a place where he felt safe and comfortable, and that
allowed him access to all of his own t...
had previous knowledge of words associated with shopping in a grocery store, because he
was able to retrieve the words and...
through interaction and conversation, giving the child an opportunity to make mistakes
and, in turn, be corrected by an ad...
As the adult participating in the recording, and transcribing the sample, I am so
pleased to have had the pleasure of work...
Works Cited

ASHA. "Social Language Use (Pragmatics)." Social Language Use (Pragmatics).
ASHA, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013.

Re...
Regan Orman
Description of Transcription
4 November 2013
SPLP 1052
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Transcription Analysis of a Normally Developing Child

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Transcription Analysis of a Normally Developing Child

  1. 1. The language sample under review was transcribed from a ten-minute recording of a four-year old child in the context of free play with a Lego set; no other materials were utilized. Only the adult (represented with an R) and the child (represented with a P) participated in the conversation. Seventy-three of the child’s respective utterances were counted and recorded for analysis. Thus, this transcription is only an excerpt of dialogue from the session and may not correctly represent the child’s comprehensive language abilities in other contexts. For the purposes of this written description, however, the child’s language development will be determined based upon the sample under review. Overall, the outcome of the recording was positive. The child was completely engaged in the activity, and made appropriate comments based in the context of the conversation. He also demonstrated creative thinking, problem solving, and exceptional use of conversational skills throughout the duration of the session. Much of the success can be attributed to following the suggested guidelines for interaction. The child was able to choose the topic of play, and the adult continued and elaborated upon his utterances while limiting the use of questions as conversational stimulators. Because the child was given encouraging feedback, his interest was sustained, improving the quality of his responses. The goal of any completed transcription is to represent the child’s true language as closely as possible. Style and punctuation conventions are used to further clarify the nature of the utterance, and to determine –on paper– the manner in which an utterance was spoken. Representativeness can be affected by many factors: the relationship between the child and the adult, the setting and surrounding activity, and the kinds of materials used as topics of discussion (Retherford 9-11). This particular sample was
  2. 2. recorded at the child’s house, a place where he felt safe and comfortable, and that allowed him access to all of his own toys. Also, the adult participating in the session was someone with whom the child was very familiar. Therefore, before the recording ever began, much of the criteria necessary to produce a representative sample were met. Some changes, however, could be made. For example, the adult and child never left the room for the duration of the recording; if they had recorded samples in the kitchen or even outside, the transcription would be more representative of the child’s true language development. Also, Legos were the only toy utilized. The use of a variety of toys would have elicited opportunities for the child to exemplify his vocabulary ability in another context as well.Context specific language can limit the child’s lexical variety in a sample, and obtaining samples in multiple contexts helps to broaden the availability of different content specific language. Taking a closer look at some of the major language characteristics, the sample can be analyzed from multiple viewpoints: phonology, morphology, semantics, pragmatics, and syntax. Semantic analysis is very important for determining the appropriate measures to take when developing a treatment plan for children with language delays. “A variety of procedures are appropriate, including analysis of individual semantic roles, analysis of prevalent semantic relations, and analysis of vocabulary diversity” (35). The child recorded in the sample under review has normally developing language, therefore, his semantic achievements should compare to the standards determined by these tests. In this sample, the child demonstrated exceptional use of vocabulary associated with playing Legos. He correctly labeled pieces of the set as a vegetable, flowers, an aisle, etc., as he and the adult were constructing a “grocery store.” It is obvious that he
  3. 3. had previous knowledge of words associated with shopping in a grocery store, because he was able to retrieve the words and then name the representational items in the Lego set. Near the end of the sample, he is able to exemplify use of vocabulary that is not as contextualized. He shifts from a fictional mindset to a realistic dilemma when he says, “we don’t have any cinnamon crescent rolls.” The child goes on to use novel vocabulary to clarify his message with the adult. Syntax is the most manipulated language characteristic in a transcribed sample. In order to calculate the mean length of utterance and determine if the child has delayed language production, each utterance and individual morpheme must be counted. The child in this sample is producing complete sentences and multiple word utterances. He also correctly forms and asks wh- questions and makes suggestions. According to Miller and Chapman (1981), “When the child’s age is lower than the age range for the MLU stage, the appropriate conclusion is that the child’s production is advanced for his age” (161). After calculating the mean length of utterance for this sample, it is safe to suggest that the child recorded has very advanced language for his age. Considering that the child had just turned four, his MLU should be around or above 4.60. The MLU calculated for this sample exceeded 7.0. Pragmatics is one of the later developing skills of language characteristics, and it is never completely mastered. Even adults are constantly altering and advancing their social language skills. It has been said, “the ability to communicate within conversation is thought to develop from mutual focus and joint activity in which both participants engage in interaction” (165). Pragmatics, unlike other characteristics of language, cannot develop solely from learning and using language itself. It is a system that has to be mastered
  4. 4. through interaction and conversation, giving the child an opportunity to make mistakes and, in turn, be corrected by an adult who understands the language systems and conventions of the culture. However, it can be “measured”, more or less, by a few factors that can be discussed based on the transcription. The child demonstrated throughout the sample that he was able to follow the rules of pragmatic language, such as: taking turns in conversation, introducing topics of conversation, staying on topic, rephrasing when misunderstood, the use verbal and nonverbal signals, and the use facial expressions and eye contact (ASHA). When he detected surprise or uncertainty in the prosody of the adult’s voice, the child would often restate or rephrase his previous utterance. Also, he was able to make suggestions to the adult about what to build, or how to use certain pieces of the play set. Making indirect suggestions is an advanced form of pragmatic language use. Phonology and morphology are the most basic foundations of language. Phonology, which focuses on the systematic organizations of sound in languages, is almost completely mastered by the age of four. Certain sounds, like the /z/, /sh/, /th/ and /v/, commonly develop later than most phonemes, but the child in this recording did not demonstrate any difficulty with phoneme production. Morphology and syntax are closely related, but syntax focuses more on the sentence structure while morphology focuses on word structure. After transcribing this sample, and counting morphemes, the child’s morphological abilities became clear. Most noticeably,he was very skilled in applying the plural and possessive endings to words, and preferred to use contractions of word pairsin most circumstances.
  5. 5. As the adult participating in the recording, and transcribing the sample, I am so pleased to have had the pleasure of working with this child and determining his current language development. He was easy to work with and very compliant and polite throughout the entire process. I learned so much about the skills necessary to interact with children and encourage their participation in an active conversation. Also, the immersive activity of transcribing the sample, led me to ask questions and analyze language at a deeper level for the first time. It will take plenty of practice and years of experience to perfect the process, always considering that every child is different, but this experience was the first step in the right direction.
  6. 6. Works Cited ASHA. "Social Language Use (Pragmatics)." Social Language Use (Pragmatics). ASHA, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2013. Retherford, Kristine S., Ph.D. Guide to Analysis of Language Transcripts. 3rd ed. Austin: ProEd, 2007. Print.
  7. 7. Regan Orman Description of Transcription 4 November 2013 SPLP 1052

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