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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

R. Ann Finck

First Committee Member

David Baral

Second Committee Member

Sandra Anselmo

Third Committee Member


Fourth Committee Member

Elizabeth Blanchard


The purpose of the study was to determine what differences, if any, existed among monolingual (English) children, partial bilingual (English-Spanish) children, and proficient bilingual (English-Spanish) children in the level of sophistication of their sense of story. Sense of story was defined as the degree to which one has internalized the features, conventions, and structures of the story genre. Sense of story was analyzed in three areas: structural complexity (number of words, number of T-units, mean length of T-units, number of characters, number of incidents), story convention usage (use of past tense, formal beginning, formal ending, use of quoted and described dialogue), and story scheme analysis (the degree to which the subjects manifested knowledge of the parts or categories of story and the relationship of said categories).

Ninety subjects from grades four, five, and six participated in the study. They were grouped into three linguistic categories, Monolingual, Partial Bilingual, and Proficient Bilingual. Subjects were asked to tell a story in English. It was predicted that the Proficient Bilinguals would outperform the other linguistic groups on all variables. Small hut significant associations were found on two of the criteria. Proficient Bilinguals were found to use past tense to a slightly greater degree than the other two groups, and Partial Bilinguals were seen to fall behind the other two groups in the use of quoted dialogue. No significant differences or associations were revealed in any other criteria.



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