EFFECTS OF GRADE LEVEL AND TASK TYPE ON COMPREHENDING EXPLICIT, IMPLICIT AND METAPHORICAL INFORMATION IN WRITTEN TEXT

KAY M KINCADE, Fordham University

Abstract

Children's reading comprehension was investigated to determine the effects of grade level, as defined by specific age ranges, and recall task types on their recall of Explicit, Implicit and Metaphorical information. Ten sentence prose passages were constructed to control for passage content, metaphor construction, passage length, number of propositions and sentence length, syntactic complexity count and word frequency count. After reading four prose passages, 40 second and 40 fifth grade subjects from a suburban school system (N = 80) were assessed on either a cued or free recall task. Their comprehension was evaluated on the quantity of Explicit, Implicit and Metaphorical propositional units they were able to recover from the original texts under the two recall conditions, cued and free, and at the two grade levels, second (age range 7.5 to 8.5) and fifth (age range 10.2 to 11.2). An analysis of the protocols rendered three qualitative recall scores, EXPLICIT, IMPLICIT and METAPHOR scores, and a total quantitative score produced by summing all scores, Total Recall score.^ A series of two-way analysis of variances produced significant main effects for grade level and task type on each of the four dependent variables, EXPLICIT, IMPLICIT, METAPHOR and Total Recall scores, but no significant interactions were found. The fifth grade subjects consistently recalled more propositional units than the second graders in all categories, and the cued recall condition consistently produced greater propositional recall for both grade levels than did the free recall condition in which they had to provide their own retrieval cues and strategies. In other words, both grade levels benefited significantly from the provision of external retrieval cues in the form of structured probe questions.^ The results clearly demonstrate the ability of second graders' to complete abstract metaphorical and inferential reasoning when the task is appropriately structured for their specific level of cognitive development. While young children do experience difficulty in expressing their thoughts and in retrieving the appropriate information on their own (free recall), they can effectively utilize external memory retrieval cues. In fact, appropriate retrieval cues were essential for consistent expression of metaphorical understanding. ^

Subject Area

Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

KINCADE, KAY M, "EFFECTS OF GRADE LEVEL AND TASK TYPE ON COMPREHENDING EXPLICIT, IMPLICIT AND METAPHORICAL INFORMATION IN WRITTEN TEXT" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8223605.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8223605

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