An oral narrative intervention for second graders with poor oral narrative ability
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This study examined the effects of a narrative intervention for second graders with poor narrative ability. Second graders in one school were screened for narrative ability and 36 students with poor oral narrative skills were randomly assigned to an intervention or comparison group (no narrative instruction). The intervention group participated in 22, 30-minute small group narrative instruction sessions for 8 weeks. Intervention focused on macrostructure and microstructure aspects of narrative. Before and after the 8-week intervention, students in both groups were evaluated by the Test of Narrative Language (Gillam & Pearson, 2004), a measure of narrative production and narrative comprehension. In addition, students were given a researcher-developed measure that assessed knowledge of specific words encountered in intervention materials. Narratives were also analyzed with respect to microstructure and macrostructure elements. Three separate Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted using the following dependent variables with each pretest score used as a covariate: (1) the narrative comprehension subtest of the Test of Narrative Language (TNL), (2) the oral narration subtest of the TNL, and (3) a researcher-developed vocabulary test. Practical significance effect size results indicated that there was a statistically significant intervention/comparison group difference effect on oral narration ability (effect size = 1.45) and specific vocabulary knowledge (effect size = 1.32); however, there was no significant difference between group posttest scores on the narrative comprehension subtest (effect size = .19). In addition, English language learners in the intervention group (n = 3) performed similarly to their peers.