Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Education Honours


School of Education


Western Australian College of Advanced Education

First Advisor

Dr Ross Latham


This study was an analysis of an aspect of oral language comprehension. The major purpose was to evaluate the impact of the facilitating effect of a knowledge of a narrative text framework, upon listeners' comprehension of narratives.

One research question was addressed: In the immediate recall of a simple, unfamiliar narrative text, presented orally, once only, will year six listeners who have been taught the schematic structure of narratives perform significantly better than similar year six students who have not?

A teacher-devised listening text was modified from an S.R.A. (1975) listening kit. The results of that test were used as a classifying variable to place students into groups on the basis of being "skilful" or "less-skilful" listeners.

To investigate the research question, a simple pre-test-treatment post- test design was used, consisting of two experimental groups and two control groups.

The testing procedure for the pre-text and post-test was identical. It consisted of Ss in both the experimental and control groups listening to a taped story, followed by each subject's immediate, free recall of the story. The data made available through the recounts, were analysed according to two quantifiable dimensions;

1. amount of information recalled, and

2. the sequence in which the story was recalled.

The treatment given to the experimental groups involved a selection of activities and strategies. These included one focused, teaching session, an activity involving language reconstruction, and, the application of the knowledge of the narrative structure to Ss' own writing of a narrative.

The results of the pre-test and post-test were statistically analysed using a one-tailed t-test.

It was concluded that, for the restricted sample of year six listeners investigated, those students who had been taught a standard schematic structure for the writing of narratives, performed- significantly better than similar students who had not, More specifically, subjects who had internalised the narrative schema were better able to comprehend and recall a specific, orally-presented, narrative text than subjects who did not possess such a schema.

Since this study was designed as a pilot study only. Further research using a larger sample is required to establish the generalizability of these findings.