About this Issue: Pragmatic Language Development in African American Children
I invite you to explore a “road less traveled” in the articles in this issue co-edited by Drs. Yvette Hyter and Kenyatta Rivers regarding “Pragmatic Language Development in African American Children and Adolescents.” The issue opens with a critical synthesis of prior literature (Hyter, Rivers, & DeJarnette, 2015).
New studies follow, which provide original empirical evidence to fill some of the gaps in this less researched area. Articles include a research report on using puppets and an emotion-explanation task to observe pragmatic skills of African American preschoolers (Curenton, 2015), an article explaining the importance of developing pragmatic codes that fit the population being studied rather than trying to force-fit an existing coding system to the population (DeJarnette, Rivers, & Hyter, 2015), a research report on using the favorite game or sport task to assess pragmatic and syntactic aspects of expository discourse of school-age African American students (Koonce, 2015), and a research report on pragmatic features in original narratives written by African American fourth, sixth, and ninth grade students compared to their European American peers (Kersting, Anderson, Newkirk-Turner, & Nelson, 2015).
With sadness, but joy and admiration for a life well lived, I also draw your attention to a memorial tribute to Sylvia O. Richardson, which appears in this issue. Sylvia was one of the founding mothers of this journal and helped establish the study of language learning disabilities across disciplines. The memorial tribute was contributed by two of “Mama Syl’s” many lucky mentees, Barbara Ehren and Gerry Wallach. They not only capture her spirit well, they reflect her mentoring in their lives and careers.