Telling Tales: Personal Event Narratives and Life Stories Purpose Speech-language pathologists know much more about children's development of fictional narratives than they do about children's development of personal narratives and the role these personal narratives play in academic success, social–emotional development, and self-regulation. The purpose of this tutorial is to provide clinicians with strategies for assessing and developing ... Tutorial
Tutorial  |   October 01, 2016
Telling Tales: Personal Event Narratives and Life Stories
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carol Westby
    Bilingual Multicultural Services, Albuquerque, NM
  • Barbara Culatta
    Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Barbara Culatta: barbara_culatta@byu.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: LaVae Hoffman
    Associate Editor: LaVae Hoffman×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Tutorial
Tutorial   |   October 01, 2016
Telling Tales: Personal Event Narratives and Life Stories
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2016, Vol. 47, 260-282. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0073
History: Received October 14, 2015 , Revised January 25, 2016 , Accepted May 10, 2016
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2016, Vol. 47, 260-282. doi:10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0073
History: Received October 14, 2015; Revised January 25, 2016; Accepted May 10, 2016
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose Speech-language pathologists know much more about children's development of fictional narratives than they do about children's development of personal narratives and the role these personal narratives play in academic success, social–emotional development, and self-regulation. The purpose of this tutorial is to provide clinicians with strategies for assessing and developing children's and adolescents' personal narratives.

Method This tutorial reviews the literature on (a) the development of autobiographical event narratives and life stories, (b) factors that contribute to development of these genres, (c) the importance of these genres for the development of sense of self-identity and self-regulation, (d) deficits in personal narrative genres, and (e) strategies for eliciting and assessing event narratives and life stories.

Implications To promote development of personal event narratives and life stories, speech-language pathologists can help clients retrieve information about interesting events, provide experiences worthy of narrating, and draw upon published narratives to serve as model texts. Clinicians can also address four interrelated processes in intervention: reminiscing, reflecting, making coherent connections, and signaling the plot structure. Furthermore, they can activate metacognitive awareness of how evaluations of experiences, coherence, and plot structure are signaled in well-formed personal event narratives and life stories.

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