Edmonton Narrative Norms Instrument

The Edmonton Narrative Norms Instrument (ENNI) is a tool for collecting structured language production samples from children aged 4 to 9 through storytelling activities. The ENNI consists of two sets of three-story picture books from which children tell a total of six stories. The picture books increase in complexity by adding characters and making story action more involved. A child tells the stories to the examiner, who cannot see the pictures, so the child cannot use strategies like joint attention or gestures like pointing.

The ENNI and accompanying manual with instructions for administration and transcription are available for free download from the ENNI website.

Administering the ENNI takes approximately 30 minutes. The transcription of 6 stories takes from 45 minutes to an hour. Scoring and analyzing all measures takes an additional 45 minutes to an hour. Analyzing just the three measures required for identification of language impairment takes approximately 15-25 minutes.


Children's narratives from the ENNI are recorded (video- or audio-taped) and transcribed later using a simple word processing program, CLAN. CLAN is available for free download from the Child Language Data Exchange System website. For more information, see Transcribing Narrative Samples.


The ENNI can be analyzed for the following measures: story grammar, first mentions of characters, mean length of communicative unit, syntactic complexity, and lexical diversity (number of different words and total number of words).

For identification of language impairment, the following ENNI scores can be used: Story Grammar (Narrative A3), Mean Length of Communicative Unit (MLCU) and Number of Different Words (NDW). For more information, see Analyzing Narrative Samples.


Schneider, P., Dubé, R.V., and Hayward, D. (2005). Edmonton Narrative Norms Instrument. University of Alberta.