The purpose of the current study was to examine how well the Narrative Language Measure (NLM) of Listening predicts the NLM Reading measure and the extent to which brief narrative-based listening and reading comprehension assessments administered to first, second, and third grade students demonstrate symmetry and equity. A total of 1039 first graders, 395 second graders, and 501 third graders participated in this study. The students were administered the NLM Listening and NLM Reading, and their scores were examined to address the research questions. Students with incomplete data sets and students who performed 1.5 standard deviations (7th percentile based on the local dataset norms) below the mean within their respective grade using local norms on a either the first or second winter benchmark reading fluency measure were removed from the participant pool. A correlation and regression analysis indicated that the NLM Listening was weakly predictive of NLM Reading. The means and standard deviations of listening comprehension and reading comprehension were compared, with the expectation that the means from both tasks would not be significantly different. This was examined using repeated measures ANOVA. Results indicated that for the first, second, and third-grade students, while removing those who scored at or below the 7th percentile, there was a statistically significant difference between the means for both the NLM Listening Benchmark 1 and NLM Reading Benchmark 1, as well as the NLM Listening Benchmark 2 and NLM Reading Benchmark 2. An equipercentile analysis determined the first-grade students scored higher in the listening comprehension than reading, and the second and third-grade students scored higher in the reading comprehension. While the data from this study indicate that the NLM Listening is not an adequate proxy for the NLM Reading measure, this study is another step in laying a foundation that a narrative-based assessment with carefully constructed parallel forms that reflect written academic language has the potential to produce scores in listening and reading comprehension that are symmetrical and equitable, in order to justify the use of one measure as proxy for the other.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





listening comprehension, reading comprehension, narrative, first grade, second grade, third grade



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Education Commons