Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Nichole A. Mulvey


The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a contextualized, explicit narrative intervention on oral narrative retell skills in typically developing preschoolers as a means for fostering the development of narrative structure, story comprehension, and narrative retell skills. Participants were recruited from the Childhood Development Laboratory preschool classrooms located in Buzzard Hall at Eastern Illinois University. Prior to intervention, participants' core receptive and expressive language abilities were assessed using the Comprehensive Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Preschool-2nd Edition (CELF-P-2), and oral narrative retells were analyzed for narrative complexity using the Test of Narrative Retell-Preschool Edition (TNR-P). The six weeks of narrative intervention consisted of explicit story grammar instruction and narrative retell practice. Participants' oral narrative retells were reassessed using the TNR-P at week three, week six, and five weeks post intervention. The results of the study indicated that participants who received the experimental instruction demonstrated significant gains on narrative retell scores concluding the six-week intervention while their control group counterparts demonstrated no gains in narrative retell abilities. Likewise, experimental group participants demonstrated significantly higher skill maintenance five weeks post intervention compared to control group counterparts. Interestingly, participants' core language abilities were inversely related to their TNR-P scores at baseline, while baseline sentence recall skills demonstrated a positive, linear relationship with narrative performance at the conclusion of intervention.