ERIC Number: EJ933251
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
Going beyond the Author: What Retellings Tell Us about Comprehending Narrative and Expository Texts
Kucer, Stephen B.
Literacy, v45 n2 p62-69 July 2011
This research examines the nature of comprehended meanings that do not match those of the author. These meanings were generated by two groups of fourth graders after reading a narrative or expository text. Readers read their respective texts aloud, followed by a recall and probes. Reading behaviours were examined to establish that processing difficulties did not significantly impact reader comprehension. Retold clauses that did not match those in the text were classified using a retelling taxonomy: substitution, addition, summary, conflict, rearrangement, omission. It was discovered that both groups of readers went beyond the information given, approximately 18 per cent of the time for the narration and 59 percent of the time for the exposition. Additionally, the profiles of this information varied between the two groups. Narrative retellings contained a high percentage of conflicts, with very few substitutions, summaries or rearrangement of ideas. In contrast, expository retellings had significant numbers of substitutions and summaries, with fewer additions and rearrangements. It is hypothesised that reader background knowledge accounted for the variation in the retelling profiles and that this background facilitated as well as inhibited understanding. Given such variation even among these proficient readers, teachers not only need to help students develop background knowledge related to the text, but also encourage readers to cross-check their understandings with the text. Interestingly, this cross-checking is especially needed when there is an alignment between reader background and text content.
Descriptors: Reading Comprehension, Profiles, Grade 4, Reading, Reader Text Relationship, Classification, Elementary School Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4
Authoring Institution: N/A