The nature of the relationship between comprehension skill and the ability to tell a story

Cain, Kate and Oakhill, Jane (1996) The nature of the relationship between comprehension skill and the ability to tell a story. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 14 (2). pp. 187-201. ISSN 0261-510X

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This experiment assessed the relation between children's comprehension skill and their knowledge about stories, as measured by their ability to tell stories from picture sequences or title prompts. To investigate the direction of any relation between comprehension skill and story knowledge, the performance of 7- to 8-year-old less skilled comprehenders was compared to that of two control groups: same-age skilled comprehenders matched for reading accuracy, and younger skilled comprehenders matched for comprehension age. The main findings were that, although the groups did not differ in their use of conventional story features, such as beginnings, settings and endings, they did differ in the quality of the story structure they produced, at least in the topic prompt condition. Also, as predicted, stories elicited with picture prompts were better structured overall. In the easier, picture prompt, condition the less skilled group also performed more poorly than the skilled group, but not significantly more poorly than the comprehension-age match group. These results demonstrate that the differences in the story knowledge, found between the same-age skilled and less skilled comprehenders, are not simply the result of differential experience in reading comprehension. Instead, they suggest that knowledge about story structure may play a causal role in the less skilled comprehenders' comprehension difficulties. Possible sources of these differences are discussed.

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Journal Article
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British Journal of Developmental Psychology
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18 Dec 2014 09:38
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2023 01:08