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ERIC Number: ED277971
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: 0
Learning to Read by Reading: Exploring Text Indices for Understanding the Process. Final Report.
Pappas, Christine C.
To better understand the early stages of literacy, a study investigated how young children learn about the registers of the written story genre. Subjects, 47 kindergraten children, were individually read to and then asked to "pretend-read" one or two selected picture storybooks on three consecutive days; their readings were audiotaped and their comments--with the adult's responses--were also recorded. Results of a textual-linguistic analysis showed that by the third reading, children's pretend readings were already close approximations of the actual text, although all of the children had been initially unfamiliar with the stories. Findings indicated (1) that these approximations could not be explained simply in terms of rote memory; and (2) that, by the time they reach kindergarten, children are fairly sensitive to written language registers; (3) that the development of these registers, characterized by various kinds of approximations and overextensions, is a constructive process in children's cognitive/linguistic development; and (4) that some element triggers children to create implicit rather than explicit meanings from texts, allowing them to learn to read by reading. Overall, findings suggested that the message dimension of written language provides an important continuity from prereading to reading. (The two stories used in the study, coding examples of the token types for each book, a 10-page bibliography, and extensive statistical data are appended.) (JD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Council of Teachers of English, Urbana, IL. Research Foundation.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Funding for research also provided by the University of Kentucky.