Tele-Assessment of Oral Personal Narratives in Arabic- and Hebrew-Speaking Children Using the Global TALES Protocol

Sara Ferman, Khaloob Kawar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Tele-assessment (TA) has the potential to enhance access to speech therapy. This preliminary study aimed to investigate the impact of assessment mode (face-to-face [FTF] vs. TA) on the microstructure level and chosen topics of personal narratives produced by Arabic-speaking and Hebrew-speaking school-age children living in Israel. We also investigated whether performance variations, if evident, could be attributed to the children's language/culture. Methods: Eighty-nine 10-year-old children, 38 Arabic-speaking and 51 Hebrew-speaking, living in Israel, participated in this study. Forty participants were assigned to a TA group (via Zoom) and 49 to a FTF group. All participants were assessed using the Global TALES protocol, generating six personal narratives each. The narratives were analyzed regarding the following microstructural measures: total number of words, total number of utterances (TNU), number of different words, and mean length of utterance in words (MLU-W). Additionally, each narrative was categorized into a topic according to the Global TALES protocol. Results: The analysis revealed no significant main effect of assessment mode on any of the microstructure measures. However, a significant interaction effect between language/culture and assessment mode was found for TNU and MLU-W, with a significant main effect for TNU exclusively in the Arabic narratives, with the Arabic-speaking children producing more utterances through FTF compared to TA. Across language/culture groups, there was a significant effect of assessment mode on the chosen topic. Additionally, there were significantly higher scores in the Hebrew compared to the Arabic narratives in all microstructure measures, and language/culture also influenced the chosen topics. Conclusions: The results support the feasibility of TA mode for assessing personal narratives in school-aged children, using the Global TALES protocol. However, the results also suggest that TA results may be affected by the language/culture of the narrator. Finally, the findings highlight the potential influence of TA on the chosen topics of personal narratives, perhaps due to a decrease in the quality of communication in TA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-469
Number of pages14
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • Global TALES
  • Language effect
  • Microstructure
  • Personal narratives
  • Tele-assessment
  • Topic


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