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ERIC Number: ED285132
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Pages: 77
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Lexical and Syntactic Knowledge of Written Narrative Held by Well-Read-To Kindergartners and Second Graders.
Purcell-Gates, Victoria
Educators suggest that children whose families have read to them during their preschool years acquire lexical and syntactic knowledge of sentence-level features typical of written narrative before they begin formal literacy instruction. To test this claim, to discern growth in this knowledge over time and experience, and to describe the lexical and syntactic expectations held by these children, a study compared oral and "written" narratives produced orally by well-read-to children. Twenty kindergarten and 20 second graders first told the researcher about their birthday parties (oral narrative), and then pretended to read a story to a doll from a wordless book (written narrative). The two narrative registers were compared within subjects for significant differences along 16 dimensions representing lexical and syntactic features known to differentiate oral and written narrative (e.g. number of participles, attributive adjectives, literary words and phrases, direct quotes, and formulaic openings). The analysis revealed that children well-read-to prior to formal literacy instruction had abstracted identifiable lexical and syntactic expectations of written narrative. Specifically they expect the language of written narrative to be (1) integrated, (2) involving, (3) literary, and (4) decontextualized. No significant differences between the grades were found, contradicting the hypothesis that second graders' expectations of written narrative would reflect the effects of learning to read. (Interview transcripts, a bibliography, a description of methodology, and tables of results on lexical and syntactic features analysis are included.) (Author/JG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A