ERIC Number: ED032933
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Feb-6
Reference Count: 0
Language Structure and the Free Recall of Verbal Messages by Children.
The influence of two aspects of language structure, syntax and associativity, on the free recall of verbal messages was investigated. (Syntax refers to the rules for ordering words within sentences; associativity refers to the network of meaningful relationships which exist among words in a language.) Twenty-four children from each of grades kindergarten, 1, 2, and 3, were asked to randomly repeat as many words as they could remember from a series of stimulus messages. It was hypothesized that older children would benefit more from structural cues and have an increasing advantage over younger children as the tasks became more structured. Eight testing tapes were administered during two sessions using minimal stress and inflection. Each tape consisted of items with syntax and items without syntax. The hypothesis was confirmed; syntax helped only the third graders. There was significantly greater recall of the messages with associativity for all grade levels. The experiment was repeated adding intonation to the items with syntax. Intonation resulted in marked improvement in recall, particularly for messages with associativity. Because the capacity to process and store verbal information increases as children grow older, further research is required in this area. (MH)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park.
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Los Angeles, Calif., February 6, 1969