Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

School or Department

Communicative Sciences and Disorders


Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Ginger Collins PhD, CCC-SLP

Faculty Mentor Department

Communicative Sciences and Disorders


language sample analysis (LSA), narratives, assessment, school-based, speech-language pathologists (SLPs), barriers

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Early Childhood Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Special Education and Teaching


Language sample analysis (LSA) provides a non-standardized, culturally sensitive method of language assessment and is considered a best practice by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). One type of LSA is the elicitation and analysis of children’s written narratives. Narratives, one type of language discourse, either fictional or personal, can be thought of as stories.

Across the literature, there are differences in the types and clinical implications of the individual types of discourse and narratives. For example, eliciting conversational discourse for LSA is less demanding for the student than eliciting narrative discourse. Additionally, research shows that students with a language impairment (LI) produce personal narratives of higher quality than fictional narratives. Research shows that difficulties with narrative skills are a hallmark of children with language learning disorders and that students with LI produce poorer narratives than their typically developing peers. One third of school-based SLPs report not using LSA in their clinical practice. Additionally, research suggests that even the two thirds of school-based SLPs who do engage in LSA demonstrate inconsistency in its use. For example, research shows that SLPs are not adjusting their elicitation context for students with increased maturity. The limited use of other elicitation procedures besides conversation by SLPs deprives some students of robust opportunities to use age-appropriate and complex language skills. Fifty-two percent of school-based SLPs reported transcribing in real-time, against ASHA recommendation, while engaging in elicitation procedures, instead of using a recording device. Researchers report barriers which limit use of LSA in practice. These barriers include time, limited access to resources, limited training and expertise, and inconsistency in analysis procedures, as reported by school-based SLPs. Further research should be conducted to address reported barriers to using LSA and provide solutions to these barriers.

An identified gap exists between what ASHA recommends and current clinical practice by school-based SLPs in regards to LSA. However specific scoring rubrics, such as the Index of Narrative Complexity and the Narrative Scoring Scheme, currently exist in the literature and could serve as tools for SLPs to assess narratives in a consistent and efficient manner.

Honors College Research Project


GLI Capstone Project




© Copyright 2017 Megan Chamberlin, Michelle Tatko, Marissa McElligott, and Savannah Lovitt