ERIC Number: ED284298
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr-22
Reference Count: 0
Contextualizing the Text: The Contribution of Readers, Texts and Situations to Aesthetic Reading.
Hunt, Russell A.; Vipond, Douglas
To learn more about how people read literary texts, with a view to improving the way literature is taught in schools, a study examined the extent to which the reading of literature is affected by variations in readers, texts, and situations. Subjects, 12 skilled (faculty) readers and 96 novice (undergraduate) readers, read a short story, either in its original version or in a version in which textual "evaluations" (figurative language) had been replaced by nonevaluative phrases. Participants read the story in conjunction with one of two orienting tasks, a plot-related question to induce "story-driven" reading or a frame-related question to induce "point-driven" reading. Results indicated that readers of evaluated text tended to prefer phrases containing discourse evaluations to a greater extent than readers of paraphrased text preferred the corresponding phrases. Results also indicated that what readers found most striking in a literary text was influenced by characteristics of the text--in this case, its evaluative structure. However, readers' sensitivity to evaluative language was modified by the situation in which the reading occurred, oral or silent. Other results indicated that readers given the frame question were in greater disagreement about the story than were the readers given the plot question. The effect of the frame task was to make the undergraduates' responses more closely resemble those of the faculty readers. Findings direct attention to the possibility of point-driven literature instruction. (A table of evaluative sentences and their corresponding paraphrases and references are attached.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Aesthetic Reading; Text Factors; Text Structure
Note: Poster session presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, April 20-24, 1987).