LEVELS OF PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF FOURTH GRADERS RELATED TO MACROSTRUCTURE RECALL AND ANAPHORA RESOLUTION IN EXPOSITORY PASSAGES

MOLLY FINE, Fordham University

Abstract

This investigation examined the importance of accessing prior knowledge of topic and text structure in relation to comprehending expository text, resolving anaphoric structures, and expanding topic knowledge.^ The 18 null hypotheses tested differences between fourth grade proficient readers who had highly/partially organized prior knowledge for two topics and diffusely organized prior knowledge for two different topics as well as differences between good predictors of text structure and poor predictors of text structure.^ The dependent variables were measures of recall of macrostructures; resolution of inter- and intra-sentential forward acting pronouns and the demonstrative adjective "this" followed by a noun or noun phrase; and expansion of topic schema.^ The final sample consisted of 30 subjects who scored at or above the 67th percentile on the Reading subtest of the CAT and who had similar profiles on the Topic Familiarity Procedure. The same 30 subjects were subsequently regrouped into good predictors of text structure (18) and poor predictors of text structure (12).^ The null hypotheses for 14 of the 18 hypotheses were retained. One of these hypotheses tested differences between subjects' recall of macrostructures for familiar and unfamiliar topics. Correlation for resolution of anaphora with expansion of topic schema for familiar topics was also retained. Hypotheses testing correlations for unfamiliar topics were retained. Also, hypotheses that tested differences between good and poor predictors of text structure showed no statistical significance.^ The hypothesis which tested the difference between expansion of topic schema for familiar topics and unfamiliar topics was rejected at the .01 level. Furthermore, the difference between resolution of anaphora for familiar topics and unfamiliar topics was found to be highly significant at the .001. Two correlations for familiar topics, recall of macrostructure with expansion of topic schema and recall of macrostructure with resolution of anaphora, were significant at the .01 level.^ Supplementary analysis of the raw data demonstrated that subjects (a) accurately assessed their prior knowledge of each topic, (b) followed the author's structure in their recall, (c) expanded their knowledge of each topic, and (d) had the most difficulty with resolving the demonstrative adjective followed by a noun or noun phrase. ^

Subject Area

Language arts

Recommended Citation

FINE, MOLLY, "LEVELS OF PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF FOURTH GRADERS RELATED TO MACROSTRUCTURE RECALL AND ANAPHORA RESOLUTION IN EXPOSITORY PASSAGES" (1987). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8715798.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8715798

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