The Research Behind the Assessment

The NAP is designed for use by professionals who work with children ages 3 to 6 years of age as a companion to tools that examine other domains of language ability. Although narrative ability is considered an important domain of children's language development (Boudreau & Hedberg, 1999; Curenton & Justice, 2004; Liles, 1987), there are few tools available that accurately measure children's oral narrative abilities and can reliably be used by non-experts to assess these skills. Measures of narrative ability that are available are largely restricted to older children and many require a professional to transcribe a child's narrative prior to analyzing it. Most early childhood educators do not have access to specialized transcription software and likely have not been trained in transcription protocols. Consequently, such approaches to narrative assessment are not scalable into everyday early childhood settings. The NAP was developed to address these challenges; specifically, we developed and validated a measure of narrative ability that does not require transcription and can be reliably scored from recorded videos of children retelling NAP stories. Our training protocol has been tested and vetted by both narrative experts as well as a diverse group of early childhood educators. Finally, we have conducted a series of reliability training studies to ensure that early childhood professionals can reliably use the NAP to score children's narratives.