Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education

Committee Chair(s)

Sandra L. Gillam


Sandra L. Gillam


Tanja A. Dalton


Ronald B. Gillam


Lillian Duran


This preliminary study was designed to examine which of two interventions (standard practice or narrative based) was associated with better improvement in cognitive academic language proficiency, or literate language, for school-age children learning as a second language(English Language Learners; ELLs). We hypothesized that narrative-based intervention would yield better outcomes than the standard practice intervention because it provided children with contextual cues, redundancy, and predictability, which should promote learning and generalization.

We employed a pre/post test design and included 18 children (ELLs) who were at-risk for language and learning problems to test the hypothesis that narrative-based language intervention would yield better outcomes than a standard practice intervention. Children were randomly assigned to a standard practice intervention (n = 9, average age=112.89 months, SD=15.09 months) or narrative-based language intervention (n = 9, average age=106 months, SD=17.10 months). Children in both groups were seen for 30-45 minutes per day, 4 days per week for 6 weeks in groups of three or four. An ELL teacher administered both intervention programs. Outcomes were measured using the recalling sentences subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-4 in English (CELF-4; Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2003) and Spanish (CELF-4-Spanish Edition; Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2006), a story retelling and analysis of stories produced using the Test of Narrative Language in English and Spanish before and after intervention.

Results suggested that both interventions were effective in increasing cognitive academic language proficiency.


This work made publicly available electronically on August 9, 2011.