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My Go-To Research Article for Narrative Language Intervention

Updated: Nov 3, 2022

I frequently get asked for literature or research articles about narrative-based language intervention. I used to refer people to a variety of different articles that were information rich, but required the clinician to determine how to implement the findings.

As of August 2020, I no longer have to do that! Trina D. Spencer and Douglas B. Petersen published a peer reviewed article which 1) synthesizes the current research on narrative-based language intervention and 2) combines that information with their own clinical experiences to provide clinicians with 10 principles to facilitate effective narrative-based language intervention.

Narrative Intervention: Principles to Practice | (Spencer & Petersen, 2020)

This is hands-down my number one favorite and most highly recommended research article for both seasoned users of narrative-based language intervention AND new users.

This article provides 10 immediately-implementable principles to ensure you provide effective narrative-based language intervention.


  1. Build story structure BEFORE vocabulary and complex language

  2. Use multiple exemplars to promote metalinguistics and generalization

  3. Promote active participation

  4. Contextualize, unpack and reconstruct stories

  5. Use visuals to make abstract concepts concrete

  6. Deliver immediate corrective feedback

  7. Use efficient and effective prompts

  8. Differentiate, individualize, and extend

  9. Arrange for generalization opportunities

  10. Make it fun

Even though this is a peer-reviewed research article, I find it to be easily digestable and immediately implementable for the busy SLP!

Read the article here

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