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László Tóth: Text comprehension in the primary grades

In his paper the author reports on a follow-up study. The purpose of this study was to explore the development of comprehension of a narrative text with elementary and primary schoolchildren. The new feature of the author's conception was that he wanted to use the same text throughout. For this purpose he chose a narrative text with literary value that carried a complicated message over a simple story. He developed a questionnaire the items of which consist of the following components: (1) data seeking, (2) perception of events, (3) concept formation based on the text, (4) recognition of explicite relations, (5) background knowledge, (6) independent inference, and (7) aesthetics and message. According to the author, (1), (2), and (4) form the direct components of comprehension, and the others the indirect components. He tried to avoid his own subjectivity by having a group of arts students to interpret these items, and the total interpretation formed in this way served as the basis of the judgement of the children's interpretation. The research was conducted in three schools of Debrecen, with approximately 300 students. The most important finding of the study was that primery information processing developed gradually, but interpretation did not. Furthermore, correlations between direct and indirect comprehension did not change from the 2nd to the 8th grade. Based on this fact the author has outlined a model to highlight the interactions between the two main areas. The author hopes that his research means a step forward to expand our knowledge on the nature of comprehension.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 102. Number 3. 355-376. (2002)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Tóth László, Debreceni Egyetem, Pszichológiai Intézet, H­4032 Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia