Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Stephens, M. Irene (Mary Irene)

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communicative Disorders


Storytelling ability in children--Testing; Children--Language--Testing


Research has shown that children’s narratives, elicited by means of a story retelling task, may be used to assess language abilities. In spite of their clinical usefulness, there are few currently available efficient, effective language screening devices for prekindergarteners based on story retelling tasks. The current study is intended to take one step in the development of such a device. The study used a nine-sentence story with three accompanying pictures to screen the story retelling abilities of 33 normally developing prekindergarteners attending non-subsidized daycare centers in northern Illinois. The study determined the mean score, the standard deviation, the range of scores, and the standard error of measurement for the sample population. The scores of the Girls Only and the Boys Only were compared and found to have no statistically significant difference. Individual scores were compared to the professional judgments of the children’s teachers regarding their overall language abilities. Teachers were instructed to judge each child’s general language abilities as above average, average, or below average. A correlation was conducted between the actual scores and the teachers’ ratings, and no such correlation was found. The effectiveness of the device cannot be determined from this study alone, although the device found a range of performance that was distributed in a normal curve. The proposed instrument was found to be quick and easy to administer and to score, and inteijudge agreement was excellent. Further research using the proposed device is warranted in order to fill a gap in the type of language screening measures available for clinical use with the prekindergarten population.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [31]-34)


50 pages




Northern Illinois University

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