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Title: Narrative skill : ways to understand and promote its development
Author: Silva, Macarena
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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Different narrative skills have been linked to reading comprehension (Cain, 2003; Oakhill, Cain, & Bryant, 2003) and they develop before children begin reading instruction (Paris & Paris, 2003). However, previous research has not distinguished between narrative comprehension and production considering different structural levels. The current thesis studied narrative structural levels, and also determined the skills and factors that foster narrative growth including different aspects of narrative. The main results showed that the ability to construct a coherent plot of a story precedes the construction of a cohesive narrative, suggesting that once the ability to integrate the events globally is acquired, children can devote cognitive resources to link events locally. In addition, it was found that the home literacy environment influence narrative skills over and above lower-level language skills. These findings suggest that narrative requires knowledge that goes beyond the word and sentence level, and also that interactive parental activities developed at home impact children's ability to produce stories. Further, it was found that the construction of coherent narratives predicts reading comprehension over and above control measures and earlier narrative skill. In addition the ability to construct coherent narratives was fostered by the use of questions, and children with better working memory skills get greater benefits from the scaffolds. Taken together, those findings suggest that narrative skills consist on a good predictor of later comprehension skills, and can be promoted even before children start formal reading instruction. Finally, the distinction between comprehension and production, and also within production structural levels, reveals the relevance of addressing different narrative elements, to look at their relation with other language skills more accurately.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available