Research Symposium

22nd annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

Kathy Nguyen She/Her/Hers Poster Session 6: 2:30-3:15/Poster #53



Hello! My name is Kathy Nguyen and I am originally from Kansas City, Missouri. My research interests include educational interventions that promote achievement success within minority and low socioeconomic status communities.

Examining the Role of Dialect in Children’s Writing Samples

Authors: Kathy Nguyen, Denisha Campbell
Student Major: Behavioral Neuroscience
Mentor: Denisha Campbell
Mentor's Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Mentor's College: College of Communication and Information


This research study focuses on the role of dialect in children’s writing samples, specifically African American English (AAE) dialect. Written samples of 35, second-grade African American students were coded for AAE using dialect density measures and graded for narrative writing quality using a 6-point rubric. Samples were graded by main idea, organization, sentence structure, and word choice, out of 72 points total. Relations between dialect density and narrative quality writings were analyzed using Pearson product-moment coefficient. There was a medium to large correlation between the use of Mainstream American English and perceived narrative quality ratings (n = 35, r = .45, p = .007). Proportions of dialect use helps explain 20% of variance in narrative writing quality. Further development of dialect awareness can benefit educators by assisting AAE speakers in becoming more proficient in language learning.

Keywords: African American English Dialect, Narrative Writing Quality