The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of a multi-tiered oral narrative language intervention on kindergarteners’ oral and written narrative and oral expository skills. The participants included 686 kindergarten students from four school districts in the upper Midwest. They were randomly assigned at the classroom level to a treatment or control condition. The treatment group received large group (tier-1) oral narrative language instruction led by classroom teachers and followed the Story Champs procedures. Students whose oral narrative retell skills did not improve after one month of large group instruction were placed in small groups and received more intense oral narrative language instruction in addition to Tier 1 instruction. Tier 2 instruction followed the Story Champs small groups producers and was administered by speech-language pathologists. At posttest, students’ narrative retell, personal story generation, narrative writing, and expository retell scores were analyzed. The treatment and control groups were compared across all measures. The Tier 2 treatment group was also compared across all measures to matched samples of at-risk, average, and advanced students in the control group. The results indicate that the treatment group made significant improvements across all measures when compared to the control group. Tier 2 students consistently performed similarly to or significantly outperformed their at-risk, average, and advanced peers across all measures with the exception of expository retell. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a multi-tiered oral narrative language intervention in improving the narrative and expository language skills of kindergarten students. Future research is needed to determine the effects of implementing an explicit expository oral language intervention on kindergarten students’ language skills.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





oral language, narrative, writing, multi-tiered intervention, kindergarten