PROPOSITIONAL CONTENT PATTERNS IN RECALL PROTOCOLS OF FOUR CULTURO-LANGUAGE GROUPS VIA TEXT BASE ANALYSIS

DORIS S FELDMAN, Fordham University

Abstract

Cross-cultural research findings revealed greater similarities than differences in the understanding of texts, regardless of the language and culture of the reader or the text. These findings were in contrast to recent studies which proposed that cultural differences deleteriously affect reading comprehension (Hudson, 1982; Joag Dev & Steffensen, 1980; Johnson, 1981, 1982). Geographic location as a parameter for cultural division may have precipitated this contrast.^ Location plus language served as descriptors for four culturo-language groups: (a) native Spanish speakers attending Puerto Rican schools; and (b) native English speakers at the same Puerto Rican schools; (c) Native Spanish speakers, from Puerto Rico, attending Connecticut schools; and (d) monolingual English speakers at the same Connecticut schools. Culture and language were also reflected in the research texts.^ Four narrative folktales were selected as culturally typical to Puerto Rico and the United States. Subjects were instructed to read and recall one original and one translated folktale from each location, except for monolingual English subjects who received English versions of all four texts. Students' written recall protocols were subjected to a Kintschian text base analysis (Kintsch, 1974).^ Text base templates were constructed for all four folktales, according to the Kintschian text base model described by Turner and Greene (1977). Propositional content derived from the recall protocols was compared with the text base templates; a score of 1 was given for each propositional match. Individual student scores were obtained by totalling the number of matched propositions for each folktale.^ Student scores and proportions of matched propositions were compared across groups and across folktales by means of nonparametric analytic techniques. Results of these measures indicate that there were considerably more similarities than differences in the meaning structures contained in the recall protocols of the four culturo-language groups. Such results imply that all persons might have a basic understanding which can be built upon toward the total comprehension for any given text. Furthermore, reference to commonly held knowledge patterns might also lead to the accommodation of culturally different ideas for a more complete understanding of texts from any sector of the world, and to various forms of worldwide communication. ^

Subject Area

Bilingual education

Recommended Citation

FELDMAN, DORIS S, "PROPOSITIONAL CONTENT PATTERNS IN RECALL PROTOCOLS OF FOUR CULTURO-LANGUAGE GROUPS VIA TEXT BASE ANALYSIS" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8423122.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8423122

Share

COinS