Document Type : Research Paper


1 English Department, Yazd University, Yazd, iran

2 English Department, College of Foreign Languages, Yazd University


The present study was an attempt to investigate the probable differences between narratives as rehearsed by EFL language learners of two different English proficiencies. It aimed to find out how narrative elements (abstract, orientation, main action, results, and coda) are recounted differently by EFL language learners of different English proficiencies. To this end, 250 personal oral narratives were recorded through classroom discussions and interviews. Two hundred participants were asked to narrate a personal story in the classroom, and the other 50 were interviewed. The analysis focused on narratives structure to discover how knowledge of target language might affect the way language learners construct English narratives. The collected data were interpreted according to Labov and Waletzky’s (1967) and Labov’s (1972) analytical models. The results revealed that upper-intermediate language learners reported more organized, chronological, logical, and to the point stories than pre-intermediate ones. The difference was in orientation, main action, and result parts. Neither group of language learners expressed the abstract and coda sections.


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Appendix: Transcription System
Line                             Independent clause or utterance marked as separate by intonation
((…))                           Incomprehensible
(.)                                 Short pause
(…)                              Noticeable pause
( )                                 more explanations by the researcher
[  ]                                Uncertain transcription
//                                  The beginning of an overlap where the other speaker(s) talks
]                                   The end of an overlap where the other speaker(s) talks
                                    Clause in focus
Line                             Stressed elements
@                                Laughter (@@@ means long laughter)
Numbered line            Narrative clause