ERIC Number: ED192260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
The Development of the Perception of Textual Cohesion.
Chapman, L. J.
Three experiments examined children's ability to perceive two of the elements of textual cohesion--personal reference and conjunction. The first experiment investigated the ability of 76 eight-year-old children to process anaphora in order to distinguish those children who were becoming fluent readers from those who were not. The children were given a cloze-type task that required them to replace pronouns from a reference group of cohesive ties that operate anaphorically in a text. It was found that although the children could recognize the pronouns in isolation, only fluent readers could replace them in correct position in a text. In the second experiment, 270 8-, 11-, and 14-year-old children completed a task similar to that in the first experiment, with the added task of replacing conjunctions. The results showed a clear developmental pattern and suggested that the mastery of these linguistic processes, especially conjunctions, was still being acquired at age 14. To eliminate the possibility that the results of the two experiments were affected by the nature of the specially written texts, a third experiment was conducted with 11-year-old-children, using the work of a well-known author. The results confirmed the earlier findings. Taken together, the findings of the experiments suggest that the ability to perceive cohesion is subject to a lengthy developmental process. (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 International Reading Association (25th, St. Louis, MO, May 5-9, 1980).