ERIC Number: ED233571
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Use of Prior Knowledge in Understanding Fables in First and Second Languages.
Goldman, Susan R.; Reyes, Maria
Children's understanding of fables and the degree to which knowledge used by the child to understand first language input is also used to understand second language input were studied. In addition, the way that such a relationship changes as the second language is acquired was examined. Students in Spanish-English bilingual programs in kindergarten through fourth grade and other children in monolingual English classrooms were presented Aesop's fables and asked to retell the fables and to answer inferential comprehension questions. For all students, questions and recall performance were positively correlated, with the questions demonstrating higher performance than the recalls. For the students in the bilingual programs, recall and question performance were comparable in both Spanish and English, once basic auditory and orthographic parsing skills were mastered in English. Performance in first languages (Spanish for the bilinguals; English for the monolinguals) was comparable at each grade level. The findings indicate that knowledge used to guide story comprehension in a first language is also used to guide story comprehension in the second language. This conclusion reinforces the instructional practice of using the primary language as the language of instruction while English is introduced as a second language. (Author/SW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Aesop Fables
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, April 11-14, 1983).