The MAIN Network is a worldwide network of linguists and practitioners who work with the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (MAIN), develop new language versions and digital materials, and conduct projects and studies with MAIN. 

The MAIN network already has over 1500 members (as of May 2021) and is coordinated at ZAS. Regular online meetings (Text & Tea with MAIN) are held, providing a platform for exchange of experiences and scientific presentations. The MAIN website and newsletter provide information on new developments, plans and news about MAIN. A MAIN app is in the process of development. The MAIN community is growing rapidly and is very active.

Test instrument

MAIN (Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives) is an instrument for investigating narrative skills in children, adolescents, and also adults who acquire one or more languages from birth or from an early age. The instrument was developed as part of the LITMUS battery of tests (within the framework of “COST Action IS0804 LITMUS: Language Impairment in a Multilingual Society: Linguistic Patterns and the Road to Assessment”). Currently, there are 64 language versions (over 80 are planned) in use in more than 50 countries. MAIN contains four parallel stories, each with a carefully designed six-image sequence based on a multidimensional model of story organization, and 10 comprehension questions for each story. The stories were controlled for cognitive and linguistic complexity, parallelism in macro- and microstructure, and cultural appropriateness and robustness.

MAIN allows assessment of comprehension and production of narratives in several languages in the same person and in different elicitation modes: Model Story, Retelling, and Telling. It can be used for evaluation, intervention, and research purposes.

Network Partners