First Advisor

Maria Kapantzoglou

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech and Hearing Sciences





Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 36 pages)


Bilingual children of the same age may have different narrative skills depending on the quantity and quality of their experiences in the two languages. Thus, children's storytelling skills can vary depending on children's oral proficiency in each language. The present study examined the effects of oral proficiency on story structure in forty 5- to 7-year-old Spanish-English speaking children using Spanish and English samples from story retelling tasks. Language proficiency was measured as continuum of performance using the Spanish-English Language Proficiency Scale (SELPS; Smyk et al., 2013). To estimate the effects of Spanish and English proficiency on story structure, linear regressions were conducted across the two languages on five dependent variables: total number of elements, number of complete episodes, initiating events, actions, and outcomes. In Spanish, results indicated that language proficiency accounted for the variability in all story structure measures except initiating events and actions. In English, language proficiency accounted for the variability in all dependent variables except story outcomes. Findings indicate language proficiency effects on story structure when working with bilingual children. Therefore, story structure scores should be interpreted with caution, taking into account children's proficiency level in each language.


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