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Computer-administered narratives (Heilmann et al., 2022)

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posted on 2022-07-25, 18:18 authored by John Heilmann, Denise Finneran, Maura Moyle

Purpose: Narrative language sample analysis (LSA) is a recommended best practice for the assessment of monolingual and bilingual children. With business-as-usual narrative LSA, examiners are actively involved in all aspects of the elicitation. Software advancements have shown multiple benefits of computer-administered language assessments, some of which may be beneficial for narrative assessments, particularly for bilingual children. The goal of this pilot study was to test the feasibility of computer-administered narrative retells in bilingual children.

Method: Ten English–Spanish bilingual children, kindergarten to fourth grade, completed two narrative retells using wordless picture books (Frog Goes to Dinner and Frog on His Own) in two conditions: examiner-administered and computer-administered. Five narrative measures were generated from these 20 transcripts.

Results: Significant, strong correlations were observed between the two elicitation methods for four of the five measures. We completed a series of Wilcoxon signed-ranks tests and found no significant differences in measures across the elicitation methods. Follow-up descriptive analyses revealed few large differences across elicitation methods for the individual participants.

Conclusion: This study provides preliminary evidence on the use of a computer-administered narrative procedure and motivates further research on the method to confirm its validity and to document its effectiveness within clinical practice.

Supplemental Material S1. Lexical field analysis on multiple word classes completed in SALT.

Heilmann, J., Finneran, D., & Moyle, M. (2022). Comparing measures from computer-administered and examiner-administered narrative retells in Spanish: A pilot study. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


Funding for the participant incentives was provided to the first author by the College of Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Additional funding for this project was provided to the first author by the Support for Undergraduate Research Fellows at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.


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