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Academic Paper


Title: Emotional state talk and emotion understanding: a training study with preschool children
Author: Ilaria Grazzani
Institution: Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Author: Veronica Ornaghi
Institution: Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: The present study investigates whether training preschool children in the active use of emotional state talk plays a significant role in bringing about greater understanding of emotion terms and improved emotion comprehension. Participants were 100 preschool children (M=52 months; SD=9·9; range: 35–70 months), randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions. They were pre- and post-tested to assess their language comprehension, metacognitive language comprehension and emotion understanding. Analyses of pre-test data did not show any significant differences between experimental and control groups. During the intervention phase, the children were read stories enriched with emotional lexicon. After listening to the stories, children in the experimental group took part in conversational language games designed to stimulate use of the selected emotional terms. In contrast, the control group children did not take part in any special linguistic activities after the story readings. Analyses revealed that the experimental group outperformed the control group in the understanding of inner state language and in the comprehension of emotion.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 38, Issue 5, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .



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