ERIC Number: ED223987
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Aug-31
Reference Count: N/A
Parsing Tasks in Reading Comprehension Research.
The psychological process of segmenting sentences into meaningful units or "chunks" is believed to be an important aspect of text comprehension processes. The most characteristic type of parsing task elicits perceptions of text structure indirectly by asking individuals to make judgments about pause placement in sentences. In four studies of sentence parsing, individuals were asked to locate boundaries between groups of words on the basis of one of the following cues: words that form meaningful groups, locations where one would pause when reading out loud, and locations where it would be acceptable to pause. A major conclusion from these studies was that any one of these instructions was likely to be confusing to children. Children understood the parsing task best when the instructions directed their attention to both the sound and the meaning of instrasentence units. Most studies of pausing phenomena as measures of structural units are based on the idea that pausing is at least acceptable at constituent boundaries. Although the units defined by children's pausal judgments seem to agree fairly well with adult intuitions of parsing structure, it is not clear that such units give a description of the optional "chunks" for processing by poor readers. Critical factors in the selection of an optimal unit appear to be whether information is new or old and the number of propositions expressed (which is correlated with the number of words). (HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Regional Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, Los Alamitos, CA.