The purpose of the current study was to examine the longitudinal effects of a multi-tiered narrative language intervention in at-risk students provided in kindergarten on fourth grade reading comprehension. The participants included 686 students from four school districts in the upper Midwest. Twenty-eight kindergarten classrooms were randomly assigned to a treatment or control condition resulting in 14 treatment classrooms and 14 control classrooms. Every student in the study participated in a pretest regarding oral narrative language skills. Students in the control group were considered to be at-risk, average performing, or advanced performing depending on their pretest score. Each student in the treatment group received large group oral narrative language instruction that followed Story Champs procedures and was led by the classroom teachers for 14 weeks. The control group engaged in their regular classroom instruction that was established at the commencement of the school year. Students who were unable to meet the narrative retell criterion at pretest and whose oral narrative retell skills did not improve after one month of large group instruction then received additional small group (Tier 2) oral narrative intervention for 10 weeks. Tier 2 intervention followed Story Champs small group procedures and was administered by speech-language pathologists. Posttest scores reflecting a significant difference in progress between treatment and control groups in narrative skill in kindergarten are given in Mollie Brough's thesis (Brough, 2019). Reading comprehension was then measured five years later via the state standardized assessment. The results indicated that the at-risk treatment group had similar reading comprehension scores to the average performing, advanced performing and combined average and advanced performing control groups. This study provides preliminary evidence of the effectiveness of a multi-tiered oral narrative language intervention on later reading comprehension skills in at-risk students.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





oral language, narrative, reading comprehension, multi-tiered intervention



Included in

Education Commons