Narrative analysis: Filtering individual differences in competence

Louise Cherry Wilkinson, Elaine R. Silliman, Leslie Alexander Nitzberg, Margaret Aurilio

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Debate/Erratumpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The choice of methods of analysis, in large part, determines judgments about children's narrative competence. If narratives are seen as a window on the mind, then narrative analysis is the filter for revealing relationships between universal categories and sociocultural variation in narrative production. This article begins with a discussion of narratives as a way of thinking, including the universal and particular aspects. Second, two different perspectives for analyzing narratives are introduced and illustrated with data collected from one adolescent who exemplifies an increasingly common dilemma for language educators and clinicians: When does a sociolinguistic difference in narrative style indicate a learning impairment? Finally, a discussion of the implications of narrative analyses for the practice of teaching, learning, and assessment is given.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-210
Number of pages16
JournalLinguistics and Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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