Master's Theses


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The term dynamic assessment (DA) has been used to describe several types of informal diagnostic procedures that allow examiners to observe the changes in an individual’s performance over a period of time. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of using a test-teach retest dynamic assessment delivered in English as a way to help bilingual first-graders improve their posttest narrative performance in Spanish and English in terms of mean length of T-unit (MLTU) in words, index of subordination, number of causal connections and descriptions of characters’ internal responses. The participants in this study were five Hispanic bilingual first-graders who had been independently identified as Limited English Speaking (LES). The performance of three of the students was observed during a DA of their narrative skills in both Spanish and English. The goal of the intervention instruction was to improve the students’ posttest narrative performance by encouraging the students to sue subordinate clauses beginning with the word because in their utterances. Pre- and posttest narratives were collected for the remaining two students who served as nontreatment subjects and received no instruction during the intervention phase. The three treatment subjects in this study showed differing amounts of change between their pre- and posttest performance in terms of the variables measured. There was a trend toward improvement on the part of all the treatment subjects, since each of them demonstrated ability to independently create meaningful sentences including subordinate clauses beginning with the word because during the DA intervention context. Changes in MLTU, index of subordination and because-clause use did tend to coincide for all of the subjects. The results of this study demonstrate the usefulness of test-intervention-retest dynamic assessment as a nonstandardized means of observing the narrative skills of bilingual first- graders in speaking contexts requiring various levels of independence on the part of the subjects.


Marcia L. Bannister

Date of Award

Fall 2005

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2005 Roshawna Essmiller


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