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Narrative Assessment for School-Age Children with Language Impairment

presented by Sandra Laing Gillam, PhD, CCC-SLP

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Sandra Laing Gillam receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

 Non-Financial:  Sandra Laing Gillam has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Accreditation Check:

Narrative language skills are an important part of curricular standards related to literacy. Children with language impairment have difficulty developing proficiency in narrative language. This course will provide an overview of procedures that may be used for analyzing narrative proficiency. The Test of Narrative Language-2, a standardized measure of narrative comprehension and production, and a criterion-referenced measure of narrative production, Monitoring Indicators of Scholarly Language (MISL), will be described. A holistic scoring procedure useful for characterizing oral narratives will also be discussed.

Meet Your Instructor

Sandra Laing Gillam, PhD, CCC-SLP

Sandra Laing Gillam is a Professor in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University and the current Vice President for Speech Language Pathology Practice for the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Since coming to Utah State, she has received numerous awards and honors including being named ASHA Fellow,…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Overview of Assessment procedures for Measuring Narrative Proficiency

This section will summarize the kinds of procedures that may be used to assess narrative proficiency in school-age students. Advantages and disadvantages of each procedure will be discussed.

2. Standardized Assessment of Narrative Proficiency

This section will summarize the Test of Narrative Language–2 (TNL-2, Gillam & Pearson, 2017). The test includes a narrative comprehension subtest and an oral narration subtest. These subtests will be summarized, and scoring procedures will be described. The subtest scores combine to form a composite score that will also be described. Reliability, validity and other psychometric properties of the test will be summarized. This section will also summarize some ways to use the individual items of the TNL-2 to inform assessment and intervention decisions.

3. Criterion Referenced Assessment of Narrative Proficiency

This section will review criterion referenced measures for analyzing narrative language. Examples of the Hadley Protocol, Narrative Assessment Procedure (NAP), and the Narrative Scoring Scheme (NSS) are described.


This chapter continues the discussion of criterion referenced assessment of narrative proficiency with a deep dive on the Monitoring Indicators of Scholarly Language (MISL). The MISL is a rubric for measuring macrostructure and microstructure in spontaneously produced oral narratives. Each subscale will be described and scoring examples given. There will be a discussion of how to use the scores on the subscales for intervention planning and progress monitoring. The psychometric properties of the MISL will be summarized.

5. Factors That Contribute to the Measurement of Narrative Proficiency

This section will summarize factors that contribute to the measurement of narrative proficiency. Some students have less difficulty retelling a story than composing one from a single-scene picture. Aspects of the stimuli that impact the kind of sample that is obtained will be described. Studies that have been conducted on these aspects will be summarized.

6. Holistic Scoring of Narratives

Holistic scoring of narrative proficiency is an important part of assessment because it allows clinicians to measure the overall quality of stories produced by students who are receiving narrative intervention. A holistic scoring procedure for characterizing narrative quality will be described. Examples of stories that are considered weak, average, good or strong will be provided. The reliability of using the holistic scoring protocol will be discussed.

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