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Title:Effects of story grammar on reading comprehension of L2 readers of French
Author(s):Riley, Gail Lynne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Savignon, S.J.
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Language, Modern
Abstract:Schema theory has had a profound impact on second language reading research in the last decade. A schema-theoretic view of reading acknowledges the role of the reader as an active participant whose background knowledge allows him or her to reconstruct meaning from a text. Background knowledge is not only linguistic, but includes knowledge of the content area of a given text, as well as knowledge of its rhetorical organization. Few studies have focused on the effects of the rhetorical organization of texts and little research has been done on how L2 readers of French interact with narrative texts.
The present study explores the effects of story grammar of a French narrative story on comprehension and recall by L2 readers of French. A comparison of first-, second-, and third-year L2 learners' recall of three structural organizations of the same story was conducted. The three story organizations consisted of an ideal story grammar version where the narrative structure matches the canonical order of events, a flashback version, and a version that violates the ideal story grammar.
The total number of nodes recalled were analyzed as well as the type, or category, of node in an effort to determine if deviations from an ideal story grammar affect the overall amount and accuracy of recall of the story. The number of additions made by subjects to the material found in the story were also examined. Findings indicate that both Story Organization and Language Level impact on L2 readers' comprehension and recall of short narrative stories.
The research presented here may lend insight into both text-based and reader-based factors that influence comprehension. The data suggest that when a story conforms to L2 readers' structural expectations, it is more memorable. Furthermore, analyses of both category effects and additions suggest that L2 readers use a story schema to organize their recalls.
Issue Date:1990
Rights Information:Copyright 1990 Riley, Gail Lynne
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9114388
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9114388

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