Awareness of text structure: Effects on children's recall of expository text

McGee, Lea M.
June 1982
Reading Research Quarterly;1982, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p581
Academic Journal
THE PURPOSE of this research was to examine whether good and poor readers in elementary school are aware of text structure and whether an awareness of text structure influences recall. Twenty good readers were selected from both third grade and fifth grade, and 20 poor readers were selected from fifth grade. All subjects read and orally recalled two expository passages. Recalls were analyzed to determine how closely structure found in the retellings resembled the author's structure, as well as for proportionate retelling of superordinate and subordinate idea units. The results indicated that fifth-grade good readers are more aware of text structure and recall proportionately more total and superordinate idea units than fifth-grade poor or third-grade good readers, Further, fifth-grade poor readers displayed some awareness of text structure and recalled proportionately more superordinate ideas than third-grade good readers. Third-grade good readers did not display an awareness of text structure and recalled more subordinate than superordinate idea units. These results suggest that some young readers are aware of text structure and this awareness is correlated with recall of important textual information.


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