ERIC Number: ED235472
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Children's Understanding of the Narrator's Role in Stories. Technical Report No. 294.
Hay, Anne E.; Brewer, William F.
Two experiments were conducted to investigate children's understanding of the relationship of narrators to the texts they narrate and how children's developing cognitive abilities influence that understanding. The subjects, 164 children aged 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10, heard a series of short passages containing several characters, one of whom was the narrator. After each passage, they were asked to identify which character had told the story. In addition, they were asked to identify the narrator when (1) the age and sex of the narrator were varied, (2) the narrator changed midnarrative, (3) the narrator differed in temporal perspective from the child, and (4) the importance of the narrator in the passage was varied. The results indicated that children understood the concept of the narrator by the time they entered elementary school. They have little difficulty in understanding narrator shifts and show no age-based biases in comprehension. Preschool males and females aged 6 to 8, however, showed same-sex biases in identifying narrators. (Passages used in the experiments are appended.) (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.