The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of oral narrative intervention delivered in a multi-tiered system of support format on proximal narrative retell outcomes, and more distal personal story generation and expository language outcomes of preschool and kindergarten students. Participants included 241 preschool and kindergarten students. Students were divided into 3 different groups (treatment, alternate treatment, and no-treatment control). The treatment group received Story Champs Tier 1 oral narrative language intervention from their classroom teacher twice a week for 15-20 minutes over 14 weeks. A sub-sample of students from the Story Champs group who did not meet a narrative retell criterion after 1 month of large group instruction were assigned to receive additional, Story Champs Tier 2 small group intervention. Tier 2 narrative intervention consisted of two 20-minute small group narrative intervention sessions each week for 14 weeks. The students assigned to the alternate treatment group participated in Tier 1 shared storybook reading intervention with their classroom teacher twice a week for 15-20 minutes over 14 weeks. Students in the no-treatment control group participated in classroom activities that were in place at the outset of the school year. Narrative retell and personal story language samples were elicited and scored using the CUBED Narrative Language Measures (NLM) subtest, and an expository language sample was elicited and scored using a researcher-generated protocol. Students in the Story Champs group had significantly higher posttest narrative retell scores with large effect sizes compared to the shared storybook and no-treatment control groups. Students in the Story Champs and shared storybook reading groups performed to a similar degree in their ability to generate a personal story at posttest. Expository retell posttest results were not significantly different between all of the different conditions. This study contributes to previous research suggesting that brief multi-tiered oral narrative language intervention can improve the receptive and expressive academic language of young children, as measured using narrative retelling. This study provides evidence that multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) for language can be successfully delivered by teachers and speech-language pathologists working in the schools. It is also evident that both oral narrative language intervention and shared storybook interventions can improve personal story generations. However, the narrative-based interventions applied in this study did not appear to significantly impact expository language.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





narrative intervention, personal story generation, expository language, multi-tiered systems of support