Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Stephen Bird


The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of picture stories in improving the use of various verb tenses in the writing of narratives of adult English language learners (ELL) over five treatment sessions. The participants in this classroom study consisted of two cohorts for a total of 36 participants between the ages of 18 and 22, eight from Angola and 28 from China; 18 males and 18 females. The results showed no significant improvement in the experimental picture condition compared to the control group across three tests; possible reasons are discussed. However, the study shows that ELL prefer to use the simple past form of verbs over all the other verb forms available. Furthermore, it was noticed that using picture stories along with a narrative model may help ELL to accurately integrate various verb forms in written output creating more compelling narratives. The results of this study have significant importance for the language classroom since they provide a framework on which to expand the contextualized practice of verb forms.