Explore the research behind LDG products

Language Dynamics Group is committed to developing, validating, and disseminating empirically supported assessment and intervention materials and procedures for use with diverse children. We believe that all children, regardless of cultural and linguistic diversity or disability, have the right to effective instruction. Applying empirically supported programs, tailoring instructional intensity to meet students’ needs, and monitoring student progress are important for making instruction effective for all children. Our philosophy aligns with a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework, in which the intensity and focus of instruction is adjusted to provide powerful intervention to students who do not readily make progress.

The development of Story Champs has spanned fourteen years and has included over 39 feasibility and experimental studies. The effects of the Story Champs has been documented with preschoolers through 6th grade students in several states, and with typically developing students, students who are at risk, and students with disabilities. Outcomes have included improved story retelling, personal story generation, fictional story generation, story comprehension, acquisition of targeted vocabulary, inferential word learning, story writing, information retelling, and reading comprehension.

Published Story Champs Studies

Spencer, T. D., Kirby, M. S., & Gardner, C. (2023). Oral academic narrative language intervention improves listening comprehension and generalized word learning of first graders at risk for comprehension difficulties. (Submitted for publication)

Spencer, T. D., Kirby, M. S., & Garcia, A. R. (2023). The effect of narrative intervention on the listening and reading comprehension of children with autism. (Submitted for publication)

Petersen, D. B., Staskowski, M., Foster, M. E., Douglas, K., & Spencer, T. D. (2023). A three-arm randomized controlled trial examining the effects of multi-tiered oral narrative language instruction on kindergartners’ academic language. (Submitted for publication)

Spencer, T. D., Moran, M. K., Petersen, D. B., Thompson, M. S., & Restrepo, M. A. (in press). A design-based implementation study of a preschool Spanish-English multi-tiered language curriculum. Journal for the Study of Education and Development.

Spencer, T. D., Kirby, M. S., & Petersen, D. B. (2023). Vocabulary instruction embedded in narrative intervention: A repeated acquisition design study with first graders at risk of language-based reading difficulty. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 1-18. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., Kirby, M. S., Garcia, A. R., & Sturm, R. (2023). Additive effect, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness of family engagement activities that supplement dual language preschool instruction. Early Childhood Education Journal. INFOGRAPHIC

Petersen, D. B., Staskowski, M., Spencer, T. D., Brough, M. P., & Foster, M. E. (2021). The effects of a multi-tiered system of language support on kindergarten oral and written language: A large-scale cluster randomized trialLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. INFOGRAPHIC

Raymond, S. M, & Spencer, T. D. (2021). The effect of narrative language intervention on the language skills of children with hearing loss. Perspectives of ASHA Special Interest Groups, 6(2), 386-396. INFOGRAPHIC

Kirby, S. M., Spencer, T. D., & Chen, Y. I. (2021). Oral narrative instruction improves kindergarten writing. Reading & Writing Quarterly137(6), 574-591. INFOGRAPHIC

Gutierrez Arvizu, M. N. & Spencer, T. D. (2020). Comprensión auditiva en inglés con cuentos en primaria en MéxicoLenguas en Context, 11, 30-37. INFOGRAPHIC

Petersen, D. B., Mesquita, M. W., Spencer, T. D., & Waldron, J. (2020). Examining the effects of multi-tiered oral narrative language instruction on reading comprehension and writing: A feasibility study. Topics in Language Disorders, 40 (4), pp. E25-E39. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., Moran, M. K., Thompson, M. S., Petersen, D. B., & Restrepo, M. A. (2020). Early efficacy of multi-tiered dual language instruction: Promoting preschoolers’ Spanish and English oral language. AERA Open, 6(1), 1-16. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., Petersen, D. B., Restrepo, M. A., Thompson, & M. Gutierrez Arvizu, M. N. (2019). The effect of a Spanish and English narrative intervention on the language skills of young dual language learners. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 38(4), 204-219. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., & Petersen, D. B. (2018). Narratives bridge oral and written language: An oral language intervention study with writing outcomes. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 569-581. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., Weddle, S. A., Petersen, D. B., & Adams, J. A. (2018). Multi-tiered narrative intervention for preschoolers: A Head Start implementation study. NHSA Dialog, 20(1), 1-28. INFOGRAPHIC

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2016). Using narrative intervention to accelerate canonical story grammar and complex language growth in culturally diverse preschoolers. Topics in Language Disorders, 36(1), 6-19.

Weddle, S. A., Spencer, T. D., Kajian, M., & Petersen, D. B. (2016). An examination of a multi-tiered system of language support for culturally and linguistically diverse preschoolers: Implications for early and accurate identification. School Psychology Review, 45(1), 109-131. INFOGRAPHIC

Petersen, D. B., Thompson, B. E., Guiberson, M., & Spencer, T. D. (2016). Cross-linguistic interactions from L2 to L1 as the result of individualized narrative language intervention with children with and without language impairment. Applied Psycholinguistics, 37(3), 703-724. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., Petersen, D. B., & Adams, J. L. (2015). Tier 2 language intervention for diverse preschoolers: An early stage randomized control group study following an analysis of response to intervention. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 619-636. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., Petersen, D. B., Slocum, T. A., & Allen, M. M. (2015). Large group narrative intervention in Head Start classrooms: Implications for response to intervention. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 13(2),196-217. INFOGRAPHIC

Petersen, D. B., Brown, C. L., Ukrainetz, T. A., DeGeorge, C., Spencer, T. D., & Zebre, J. (2014). Systematic individualized narrative intervention on the personal narratives of children with autism. Language, Speech, Hearing Services in Schools, 45, 67-86. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., Kajian, M., Petersen, D. B., & Bilyk, N. (2013). Effects of an individualized narrative intervention on children’s storytelling and comprehension skills. Journal of Early Intervention, 35(3), 243-269. INFOGRAPHIC

Spencer, T. D., & Slocum, T. A. (2010). The effect of a narrative intervention on story retelling and personal story generation skills of preschoolers with risk factors and narrative language delays. Journal of Early Intervention, 32(3), 178-199. INFOGRAPHIC

Teacher Friendly Articles

Spencer, T. D., & Pierce, C. (2023). Classroom-based oral storytelling: Reading, writing and social benefits. The Reading Teacher.

Spencer, T. D. (2023). Is the reading crisis associated with an academic language crisis? Open Acess Government, 288-289.

Spencer, T. D. (2023). Oral storytelling is important for reading, writing, and social well being. Open Access Government, 286-287.

Research Outreach (2022, April). When children’s storytelling says so much more.

SLP Practice Articles

Spencer, T. D., & Petersen, D. B. (2020). Narrative intervention: Principles to practice. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 51(4), 1081-1096.

Katakowski, D., & Frank, M. (2020). Shift to workload model shows enhanced learning, reduced referrals. ASHA Leader.

Independent Research

Schmitt, M. B., Tambyraja, S., & Hutchins, C. (Commentary Authors) (2022). Story Champs: Changing the narrative on oral language intervention. Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention. INFOGRAPHIC

Gorman, B. K., Martinez, G., & Garcia, L. P. (2021). Dual-language narrative intervention outcomes for a bilingual adolescent with down syndrome. Bilingual Research Journal, 44(4), 444-465. INFOGRAPHIC

Pico, D. L., Hessling Prahl, A., Biel, C. H., Peterson, A. K., Biel, E. J., Woods, C., & Contesse, V. A. (2021). Interventions designed to improve narrative language in school-age children: A systematic review with Meta-analyses. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 52(4), 1109–1126.

Favot, K., Carter, M., & Stephenson, J. (2021). The effects of oral narrative intervention on the narratives of children with language disorder: A systematic literature review. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 33(4), 489–536. INFOGRAPHIC

Hessling, A., & Schuele, C. M. (2020). Individualized narrative intervention for school-age children with specific language impairment. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 1-19. INFOGRAPHIC

Lee, L. L. (2020). Effects of a large group combined narrative and expository language intervention on oral language in third graders. Brigham Young University ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 28103516.

Gutierrez Arvizu, M. N. (2020). L2 vocabulary acquisition through narratives in an EFL public elementary school. IAFOR Journal of Education: Language Learning in Education, 8(1), 115-128. INFOGRAPHIC

Gutierrez Arvizu, M. N. (2017). Teaching story grammar to develop retell and speaking skills in an EFL context. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona, United States of America.

Research studies show considerable evidence to support the validity and reliability of the CUBED-3 especially with culturally and linguistically diverse students. The CUBED-3 can be used as a universal screener and a progress monitoring measure of phonemic awareness, decoding, reading fluency, and language and reading comprehension. It can help educators accurately identify diverse students who need supplemental and intensive intervention, and can play a vital role in multi-tiered system of supports for decoding and comprehension. For further details on validity and reliability, please refer to the CUBED-3 manual.

Petersen, D. B., Spencer, T. D., Konishi, A., Sellars, T. P., Robertson, D., & Foster, M. E. (2020). Using parallel, narrative-based general measures to examine the relationship between listening and reading comprehension. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 51(4), 1097-1111. INFOGRAPHIC

Petersen, D. B., & Spencer, T. D. (2012). The Narrative Language Measures: Tools for language screening, progress monitoring, and intervention planning. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 19(4), 119-129.

The PEARL is a PreK and Kindergarten screener for decoding and language that uses dynamic assessment to predict future decoding and language difficulties in students, well before a student is reading. Analyses of the sensitivity and specificity of the PEARL across over 1000 students indicate that the Decoding and Language subtests yield sensitivity and specificity at or above 80%. The predictive accuracy of the PEARL with different subgroups of culturally and linguistically diverse students, including Hispanic students, Native American students, and students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Across each subgroup of students, the PEARL yielded sensitivity and specificity at or above 80%. Estimates on the PEARL’s overall reliability strongly suggest that the PEARL has minimal test error and that examiners can have confidence in its results. Point-by-point inter- and intra-rater analyses of the PEARL have yielded agreements at or above 90% across multiple examiners with varying degrees of education and experience, with fidelity of administration consistently at or above 95%. Click here to learn more about the reliability and validity of the PEARL, or refer to the PEARL manual.

Published Research Articles

Petersen, D. B., Tonn, P., Spencer, T. D., & Foster, M. E. (2020). The classification accuracy of a dynamic assessment of inferential word learning for bilingual English/Spanish-speaking students. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 51(1), 144-164. INFOGRAPHIC

Petersen, D. B., Gragg, S. L., & Spencer, T. D. (2018). Predicting reading problems six years into the future: Dynamic assessment reduces bias and increases classification accuracy. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 875-888. INFOGRAPHIC

Petersen, D. B., Chanthongthip, H., Ukrainetz, T. A., Spencer, T. D., & Steeve, R. W. (2017). Dynamic assessment of narratives: Efficient, accurate identification of language impairment in bilingual students. Journal of Speech-Language Hearing Research, 60(4), 983-998.

Petersen, D. B., Allen, M. M., & Spencer, T. D. (2016). Predicting reading difficulty in first grade using dynamic assessment of decoding in early kindergarten: A large-scale longitudinal study. Journal of learning disabilities, 49(2), 200-215.

Petersen, D. B., & Gillam, R. B. (2015). Predicting reading ability for bilingual Latino children using dynamic assessment. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(1), 3-21.

Petersen, D. B., & Gillam, R. B. (2013). Accurately predicting future reading difficulty for bilingual Latino children at risk for language impairment. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 28(3), 113-128.

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