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Cognitive, linguistic, and contextual factors in Norwegian second language learner's narrative production

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 November 2015

Østfold University College
University of Toronto
University of Oslo
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Jannicke Karlsen, Faculty of Education, Østfold University College, Halden NO-1757, Norway.


The present study investigated the contribution of cognitive, linguistic, and contextual factors to the narrative production of Norwegian second language learners. We assessed cognitive ability and first and second language proficiency in 66 kindergarten children with Urdu/Punjabi as their first language. Number of children's books in the home and time spent in kindergarten were treated as contextual factors. Oral narration was assessed in Grade 1. A series of fixed-order hierarchical regression analyses displayed a complex relationship among cognitive, linguistic, and contextual factors and various facets of narrative production of young second language learners; nonverbal ability and books in the home predicted the mastering of story (macro)structure, while linguistic (vocabulary and grammar) and both contextual variables predicted microaspects of narrative proficiency. The results suggest that combining home book reading practices, kindergarten attendance, and second language interventions might improve language minority children's narrative production and chances of school success.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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