Ep. 73: Building Language Skills with the Personal Narrative with Carol Karp

Mar 22, 2022 | 0 comments

Returning to the podcast today is Carol Karp, and this episode is all about the impact a personal narrative has on language development. Many of us love stories and storytelling, but we don’t often think of storytelling as a way to develop language skills. The personal narrative helps kids who struggle with language based learning challenges, and Carol is here to explain how.

Carol brings her own stories to this episode to truly demonstrate the power the personal narrative can have. The personal narrative is something that can be developed at all different ages, and Carol gives us strategies to start conversing with kids in ways that help promote their language skills, creativity, flexibility, and self-image.


Show Notes:

[2:03] – Welcome back, Carol!

[3:33] – “Meeting kids where they are” means having conversations with them about their interests and figuring out what they can and can’t do.

[4:41] – Carol shares a story with a child and how meeting her where she was made the biggest difference.

[6:50] – You can’t work in a traditional sense all of the time or you will miss out.

[8:07] – Some kids have these great continuous stories that go on in their head that can be used to help them communicate.

[9:47] – Studies show that children who tell stories well are more accepted by peers.

[10:31] – A personal story is the story we have about ourselves in our head.

[11:50] – Having a more complicated personal narrative can positively affect writing.

[12:49] – Young children tend to tell stories about things that have happened and the older they get the more fiction develops.

[14:40] – Narration style is developed by asking questions.

[15:30] – A real sense of self can’t be replicated through technology.

[16:40] – Language develops in a social setting.

[18:22] – When a child doesn’t tell a story in sequence, parents can direct them to think about the order of events.

[19:32] – Sometimes, children develop a negative personal narrative.

[22:16] – Carol demonstrates the effect of a negative personal narrative and how to help.

[24:01] – When children see improvement in their communication, their personal narrative changes.

[27:08] – With language difficulties, slow things down and listen.

[29:50] – A common assignment in school is how to relate to the text. Kids have to have a personal narrative to be able to connect.

[32:37] – Vocabulary lessons help promote personal narrative and language flexibility.

[35:14] – Early intervention is very important.

[38:10] – Cultural variations were not taken into account when grammar norms were created.

[40:01] – Storytelling is rooted in culture.

[41:51] – It is harder to connect with other people without a personal narrative.


About Our Guest:

Carol W. Karp, M.S., M.Ed., CCC-SLP, is a pediatric clinical speech-language pathologist. Carol holds two Master’s Degrees, one in Education and one in Communicative Disorders. She has two teaching credentials and was an elementary school teacher and training teacher for LAUSD. Upon completion of training in communicative disorders Carol was awarded a clinical fellowship at the Neuropsychiatric Institute Hospital (Semel Institute) at UCLA, where she received advanced training in diagnosis and intervention for children with speech and language difficulties. She is one of only a small number of Speech and Language Pathologists with this unique dual background. Carol has a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA Number 01099141); as well as licensure as a Speech-Language Pathologist by the California Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispenser Board for over twenty years (License Number Sp8297). She is the founder of Westside Speech and Language Pathology Associates, Inc. and has conducted a thriving private practice since 1991.


Connect with Carol Karp:

Links and Related Resources:

Cited Research:

Clarke, P. J., Snowling, M. J., Truelove, E., & Hulme, C. (2010). Ameliorating children's reading-comprehension difficulties: a randomized controlled trial. Psychological science, 21(8), 1106–1116. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610375449


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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.