ERIC Number: ED199666
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
On Investigating Children's Transition from Narrative to Expository Discourse: The Multidimensional Nature of Psychological Text Classification. Technical Report No. 195.
Spiro, Rand J.; Taylor, Barbara M.
Conventional wisdom holds that many children experience difficulty when they first read expository material after spending most of their reading time with simple narratives. Unfortunately, there is little available data bearing on this belief, nor is it clear how one would go about testing the claim. The labels "narrative" and "exposition" in fact reflect conglomerates of characteristics that affect text processing. However, these characteristics are not found exclusively in one type of text or the other--a narrative can possess many of the characteristics of exposition and vice versa. If children do tend to have greater difficulty with expository text, it is because expository text tends to have certain traits that produce heightened psychological processing difficulty. Perhaps the traditional text-type classification should be abandoned in the study of reading difficulty. Instead, texts should be classified as a function of the characteristics they possess that influence processing. A multidimensional psychological classification scheme of texts could be used to identify children's text processing problems, to investigate the cause of those problems, and to bring about the appropriate instructional changes. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, New York, NY.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.