Volume 2, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1053-6981
  • E-ISSN: 2405-9374
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AbstractIn a series of cross-cultural studies of narratives by children and adolescents, we examined thematic variations as well as cohesive devices. Our subjects ranged from 5 to 15 years of age. Our initial study included Black, Hispanic, and Native-American participants. We used a story-retelling task for comparative analysis.We found that children between ages 5 and 8 substantively increased the quantity and accuracy of their retold narratives. We also found thematic differ-ences among stories by children from the different speech communities, which suggested coherent cultural schemas specific to each ethnic group. Native-Amer-ican students, who reconstructed stories on the basis of pictorial cues, also revealed strong cultural and tribal variations in their narratives.In follow-up studies, we examined the relationship between narrative compe-tence and narrative cohesion. Our subjects (ranging in age from 8 to 11) were drawn from public school groups of English-speaking American students and Hungarian public school students. In the retold stories of these two groups, we found that the Hungarian students demonstrated a more artful storytelling style, employing a greater variety of cohesive devices and establishing a more coherent narrative experience than did the American students. (Linguistics, Education)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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