ERIC Number: ED237989
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
A Longitudinal Study of Coherence in Children's Written Narratives, March 31, 1981 - March 31, 1982.
Rentel, Victor M.; King, Martha L.
To understand and describe a developmental learning progression of choices students make in forming chains of relationships in their narrative texts, a study used the Cohesive Harmony Index to measure cohesion in children's written narratives. Data were obtained from 36 grade school children at intervals of four months over the students' first four years of school. Cohesive harmony was expressed as the ratio of central tokens, (lexical items related through identity, or coreferential, chains) to relevant tokens (lexical items participating in similarity, or coclassificational, chains). Coding of the narrative texts followed the scheme set out in "Cohesion in English" by Halliday and Hasan. While it was expected that cohesive harmony scores would improve gradually over a period of years, results showed that children who were able to write stories rapidly achieved high levels of cohesive harmony at the beginning of second grade. Identity relations took precedence in early writing, while similarity relations came to dominate children's fourth grade texts. Furthermore, although reiteration was expected to be a major chain-forming relation in children's first stories and to gradually diminish in importance as children developed, it grew in importance over the entire four years studied. (An appendix describes the primary procedures for obtaining and analyzing the data.) (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Ohio State Univ., Columbus. Research Foundation.