ERIC Number: ED170804
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Reference Count: 0
Visual Context and Children's Sentence Comprehension: Three Studies.
Hopper, Robert; Tilghman, Peter P.
Three studies tested the ability of children of different ages to comprehend spoken sentences while viewing pictures that differed from the sentences according to some plausible combinations of actor, action, and beneficiary. In the first two studies, involving a total of 140 subjects, nine contextual conditions were used, including sentence only, helpful context, and confusing context with between one and four changes from sentence to picture. Analysis of the results indicated that three-year-old children performed poorly in sentence comprehension tasks unless a helpful picture was shown, that five-year-old children were able to respond to verbal stimuli in the absence of helpful visual stimuli but shared the visual reliance of younger children when confusing pictures were present, and that seven-year-old children were 60% to 80% accurate and nine-year-old children 90% accurate, in disregarding confusing pictures and giving sentence-based answers. In the third study, in which 120 children were permitted to choose which type of information (pictorial or spoken) to use in answering questions, three-year-old children demonstrated a clear reliance on pictorial stimuli, which was only slightly diminished for five-year-old children; but seven-year-old children shifted to a fifty-fifty reliance upon sentence stimuli and pictures. (GT)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 1-5, 1979)