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1502: NSS - Narrative Scoring Scheme

The Narrative Scoring Scheme (NSS) is an index of speaker's ability to produce a coherent narrative. It was developed to create a more objective narrative structure scoring system and is based on an earlier version, Rubric for Completing a Story Grammar Analysis, developed by the Madison Metropolitan School District SALT working group in 1998, to create an objective narrative structure scoring system following the work of Stein and Glenn, 1979; 1982. Samples are scored for the quality of their introduction, character development, mental states, referencing, conflict resolution, cohesion, and conclusion. Each of the scoring categories has explicit examples to establish scoring criteria, reducing the abstractness of the story grammar categories. Learn how to score language transcripts for NSS using SALT and how to compare NSS scores from an individual sample to scores from samples selected from the reference databases.

Level: Intermediate
Time to complete: 1.5 hours

Learner outcomes:

Upon completion of the course the participant will be able to:

  • Describe Narrative Scoring Scheme and how it is used to assess narrative structure.
  • Score a language sample for NSS following the NSS scoring rules.
  • Use SALT software to insert NSS scores.
  • Use SALT software to compare NSS scores to samples selected from the SALT reference databases.

Materials needed:

  • Any copy of SALT 20 or SALT 18 software. Older versions of the software may be used though you may notice differences in the menu structures and the reports.
  • Adobe Reader® or other PDF reader which is needed to view document files.

To access this course:

  • Go to
  • Create a new account or log in to your existing Moodle account. Note that this is not the same as your account.
  • To enroll in this course, scroll to the bottom and click the "Enroll me" button.