Oral Storytelling Projects

Preschool Children’s Narrative Development
Funded by a variety of organizations, most recently the Department of Health and Human Services, we investigate the narrative discourse of parents and teachers and the ways in which these practices support Latino preschoolers’ school readiness, with a particular focus on children’s oral storytelling skills.

Read our recent publications:

Melzi, G. (2000). Cultural variations in the construction of personal narratives: Central American and European American mothers’ elicitation discourse. Discourse Processes, 30(2), 153-177.

Melzi, G., & Caspe, M. (2005).  Variations in maternal narrative styles during book reading interactions. Narrative Inquiry, 15(1), 101-125.

Melzi, G., & Fernández, C. (2004). Talking about past emotions: Conversations between Peruvian mothers and their preschool children. Sex Roles, 50(9/10), 641-657.

Melzi, G., Schick, A., & Bostwick, E. (2013). Latino children’s narrative competencies over the preschool years.  Actualidades en Psicología, Special Edition: Desarrollo narrativo en poblaciones latinoamericanas, 27(115), 1-14.

Melzi, G., Schick, A., & Kennedy, J. (2011). Narrative participation and elaboration: Two dimensions of maternal elicitation style. Child Development, 82(4), 1282-1296.

Schick, A. R. (2014). Home-school literacy experiences of Latino preschoolers: Does continuity predict positive child outcomes? Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology35(4), 370-380.

Schick, A. R. (2015). Wordless book-sharing styles in bilingual preschool classrooms and Latino children’s emergent literacy skill. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. 

Schick, A., & Melzi, G. (2010). Children’s oral narrative development across contexts.  Early Education & Development, 21(3), 293-317.


Classroom Storytelling Project
Funded by the Brady Educational Foundation and the Brooke Astor Foundation, the Co-Constructive Elaborative Telling (CET) Classroom Intervention Project seeks to improve the reading readiness of Latino children from low-income families through a teacher-focused oral storytelling intervention that capitalizes on the cultural forms of narrative Latino children bring into the preschool classroom.

Read our recent publications:

Melzi, G., Schick, A., & Scarola, L. (2018). Building Bridges Between Home and School for Latinx Families of Preschool Children. Occasional Paper Series, 2018 (39). Retrieved from https://educate.bankstreet.edu/occasional-paper-series/vol2018/iss39/10

If you are a teacher currently participating in CET, please see our webinars.

If you are a principal or preschool director who is interested in partnering with us, find out more about our exciting project.