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Narrative comprehension and production in children with SLI: an eye movement study.
This study investigates narrative comprehension and production in children with specific language impairment (SLI). Twelve children with SLI (mean age 5;8 years) and 12 typically developing children (mean age 5;6 years) participated in an eye-tracking experiment designed to investigate online narrative comprehension and production in Catalan- and Spanish-speaking children with SLI. The comprehension task involved the recording of eye movements during the visual exploration of successive scenes in a story, while listening to the associated narrative. With regard to production, the children were asked to retell the story, while once again looking at the scenes, as their eye movements were monitored. During narrative production, children with SLI look at the most semantically relevant areas of the scenes fewer times than their age-matched controls, but no differences were found in narrative comprehension. Moreover, the analyses of speech productions revealed that children with SLI retained less information and made more semantic and syntactic errors during retelling. Implications for theories that characterize SLI are discussed.