Tableau’s Influence on the Oral Language Skills of Students With Language-Based Learning Disabilities




arts integration, inclusion, language arts learning disabilities, narrative, oral language, story recall, tableau, urban


This study examined the influence of tableau on the expressive language skills of three students with language-based learning disabilities in inclusive urban fourth-grade English language arts (ELA) classroom settings. Data were collected on linguistic productivity, specificity, and narrative cohesion through analysis of students’ responses to oral story recall tasks following tableau lessons (n = 30), in comparison to conventional ELA lessons (n = 30). Measures of students’ linguistic productivity and specificity included mean rate of use for different words, total words, and literate language features per utterance. Narrative cohesion was measured by mean frequency of cohesive elements in students’ oral retellings. Findings showed increased linguistic productivity, specificity, and cohesion in students’ oral retellings following tableau, as compared to conventional ELA lessons. Individual student findings across tableau and conventional ELA lessons indicated that students’ unique language profiles influenced their gains in linguistic productivity, specificity, and cohesion. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

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Author Biography

Alida Anderson, American University

Associate Professor of Learning Disabilities, School of Education, Teaching and Health at American University, Washington, DC