Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education


School of Education


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr Marion Milton


This study examined the effectiveness of a structured narrative programme which had been developed to improve the narrative skills of children attending a Language Development Centre in Western Australia. The research was conducted over an eight week period with eight Year One (ie -6 years old) boys who had been diagnosed as having severe language disorders. A single subject research design was used to investigate the narrative development of the students. The design followed the ABAB format (baseline experimental design-baseline-experimental design) as outlined in Tawney and Gast (1984). The number of words used by each subject, the number of adverbials of time and place used and the number of times the subject used 'because' appropriately were measured. During the first fortnight of the study (Weeks 1 and 2) the subjects were required to produce a personal oral narrative on each of the ten consecutive school days. The topics changed daily and coloured posters were used to signal the required topic. During the second fortnight (Weeks 3 and 4), the subjects participated in a structured narrative programme immediately prior to producing their personal oral narratives each day. In the third fortnight (Weeks 5 and 6) subjects were required to produce a personal oral narrative each day but were not involved in the narrative programme. In the fourth and final fortnight the subjects participated in the structured narrative programme immediately before producing their personal oral narratives each day. After each of the 40 personal oral narrative sessions, the transcriber recorded the use of the four language aspects to be measured; the number of words, adverbials of place, adverbials of time and appropriate use of 'because'.