This investigation examines the performances of 63 urban 4-to 7-year-old African American children from middle-income homes on two tasks designed to assess the development of comprehension skills. Performances on a task designed to elicit responses to wh-questions, and another to distinctions between active and passive sentence constructions, revealed grade effects and a positive relationship to age. The findings are discussed in terms of the appropriateness of using tasks of these types with young African American boys and girls who are dialect users.
KEY WORDS: language comprehension, African American, children, language development
Submitted on February 7, 1997
Accepted on August 28, 1997
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