Objectives: Story comprehension is an important ability that supports not only the language skills of preschool children but also their learning skills in school age. Through three subtasks of executive function (updating, inhibition, and shifting) and eye movement, we examined the process of children's story comprehension online and offline. Also, we looked for the variable which predicts children's story comprehension. Methods: Participants were 11 children with specific language impairment (SLI) and 17 typically developing children (TD) aged 4-6 years. Group differences were compared using story comprehension (reference comprehension and inference comprehension), updating, inhibition, shifting tasks (n-back, flanker, and DCCS) representing executive function and story processing using the eye tracker. Moreover, correlation analysis was conducted to find the relationship between variables, and regression analysis was used to determine which variable, executive function or eye tracker, predicts story comprehension. Results: The SLI group showed more difficulty in story comprehension and executive function than children in the TD group. Furthermore, the TD group gazed at important visual cues longer than children in the SLI group. The TD group showed a correlation between story comprehension and both the subelements of executive function and average fixation duration unlike the SLI group. Updating predicted reference comprehension and inference comprehension simultaneously in the TD group. Conclusion: It is suggested that TD children can understand stories more efficiently by using their executive function and also can distinguish areas of significance in picture books through staring at a subject for a long time to foster learning in contrast to children with SLI.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and ICT of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2019R1A2C1007488).
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- Executive function
- Preschool children
- Story comprehension