DOI: 10.1044/2023_lshss-22-00124 ISSN:

Narrative Retell Assessment Using “Frog” Stories: A Practice-Based Research Speech-Language Pathology Partnership Exploring Story Equivalency

Caitlin Coughler, Taylor Bardell, Mary Ann Schouten, Kristen Smith, Lisa M. D. Archibald
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics


Narrative abilities are an important part of everyday conversation, playing a key role in academic settings, at home, and in social interactions. As narrative assessments are an effective method for identifying children falling below age expectations, it has been recommended they be included as a routine part of clinical language assessments. It is important that assessments meet the needs of clinicians and their practice. The current study is a practice-based research partnership, where research questions arose from a partnership with school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Working together, SLPs and researchers evaluated a bespoke narrative retell assessment tool. The current study examined recall of events in two wordless picture books, in order to evaluate story equivalency and determine if the tool was appropriate for progress monitoring. These findings were then used to develop local norms.


Two hundred sixty-three students were recruited across 12 schools in kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2. Students completed the narrative retell task, retelling either One Frog Too Many or Frog Goes to Dinner , followed by answering 10 comprehension questions related to story events.


A significant effect of story was found for both main and supporting events recalled, but not for total events recalled. Total events recalled were found to be predicted by grade only. An examination of percent events recalled revealed four main and four supporting events in each story that were potentially misclassified. Reanalysis following reallocation revealed no significant effect of story for main or supporting events recalled. Normative values for each grade were created using percentile ranks of total events recalled.


Through a practice-based research partnership, researchers and clinicians worked collaboratively to evaluate a tool, adapt its use, and improve evidence-based practice in a manner that was appropriate and met the needs for the clinical context.

More from our Archive