Objectives: The field of pragmatics studies language use, which is parallel to structural language such as phonology and grammar. Pragmatic language is considered difficult to assess in a standardized way, because of its variability depending on context. Likewise, the number of studies on pragmatic language development is relatively small compared to other areas, and Korean researchers are often dependent on the results of foreign studies. Methods: Forty-one children participated in this study, divided into three age groups: preschool (4-6 years), elementary school (7-8 years), and middle school (9-10 years). The Korean Pragmatic Language Assessment for Children (KOPLAC) was used for pragmatic language assessment. It consists of three sub-domains: communication regulation, story rules & inference information, and metalanguage awareness. Results: As expected, pragmatic language abilities improve with age. Every matching of age groups and every sub-domain compared by age group showed statistically significant differences. In particular, communication regulation and indirect expressions were domains that showed greater score gaps between age groups. In general, the correlations between pragmatic language abilities and vocabulary abilities were significant. Conclusion: This study confirms that children show developmental growth in pragmatic language. In further studies, a greater selection of the population should be involved, and other assessment tools could be used to get more information about pragmatic language development.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2015S1A5A2A01009816).
© 2017 Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
- Pragmatic language
- Pragmatic language assessment
- Pragmatic language development