ERIC Number: ED198504
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Selected Prose Characteristics of an ESL Narrative and Their Effect on Comprehension.
Bean, Thomas W.; Bishop, Ashley
A study was conducted to explore the effect of systematically modifying story structure propositions and pronoun antecedents on monolingual, English-speaking students. The study was a replication of earlier work that had involved bilingual students. Thirty fourth-grade students were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Those in the first group read the original version of a story, those in the second group read a version that had been rewritten at the sentence level to provide explicit antecedents for 20 obscure pronouns without significantly altering the propositional density of the original, and those in the third group read a version in which trivial propositions that seemed to detract from the predictable structure had been removed. Each student read the story silently and then retold it. Following the retelling, the student was given a probed recall test designed to assess comprehension of the goal of the story as well as success in identifying obscure pronoun referents. The results showed that the students benefited from story material displaying semantic features of discourse that encourage comprehension as well as decoding ease. These features include a predictable story structure and propositions that are salient because they contribute to rather then detract from comprehension. The findings are consistent with those of the earlier study. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (30th, San Diego, CA, December 3-6, 1980).