When children’s storytelling says so much more

We take for granted that our children tell stories. But what if they can’t? Oral storytelling is a bridge to literacy, yet many children do not develop this skill naturally. Research has shown that narrative skill at school entry predicts writing and reading comprehension up to ten years later. Narrative intervention is a form of language therapy and a classroom instructional approach that leverages personally and culturally relevant oral storytelling to promote school success. Drs Trina Spencer and Douglas Petersen in the US have developed ten principles of narrative intervention that can help guide practice.

There are few things more fascinating for a parent of a young child than listening to that child regaling a story in all its wide-eyed wondrousness. However, we underestimate the intricate interplay of cognitive and linguistic capabilities necessary for a child to structure and express a simple story. As such,