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ERIC Number: ED225104
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Processing Experiences with Three "Beowulf" Passages in Old English: Difficulties and Strategies.
Crismore, Avon
Reading Old English poses many problems for a beginning student. Even though it has some similarities to modern English, the special characters, obsolete words, inflected grammar, and alien word order of Old English makes it difficult for Old English neophytes to reconstruct the propositional content in a poem such as "Beowulf." Experts at Old English are able to comprehend an entire situation at a single glance, while novices must struggle through various uncertainties about function words, pronoun usage, word order, and punctuation. Schemata evolved to deal with modern English also interfere with efficient processing. Separation of words and phrases from the words or phrases they modify or refer to causes information and short term memory overload. Attacking "Beowulf" as a beginning reader means paying too much attention to visual information, suffering from too many uncertainties, and not having enough nonvisual information. Still, a beginning reader can become a good processor of Old English, given time and the correct strategies. (JL)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A