Children's orientation of a listener to the context of their narratives

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Studied narratives from 96 3.5-9.5 yr olds; the adequacy of the children's orientation to context was also assessed by an analysis of the number of clauses produced that were solely orientative in function, a quantitative analysis of the types of orientative comments given by the children, and qualitative analysis of how well they answered the traditional questions of who, where, what, when, how, and why. All Ss provided a substantial amount of orientation, and the proportion of the narratives that was devoted to orientation remained constant across age. Ss gave good orientation about what props were used and how the events occurred. They were less explicit about who, where, and why. They seldom provided information about when the events took place. Older Ss increasingly clustered their orientative comments at the beginning of their narratives and gave more complete contextual embedding. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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