The purpose of this study was to analyze what kind of advanced information was important for young children's story comprehension. As materials, we used a story of an elephant titled “Gurumpa's Kindergarten”: This story consisted of 7 episodes 5 of which contained repeated and cumulative structure. In relation to the material, we manipulated the content and presentation of advanced information: single and cumulative pictorial information for the former and random and ordered for the latter. The subjects were 76 kindergarten children aged from 5-10 to 6-10 with mean CA of 6-4. They were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: ordered -cumulative, random-cumulative, ordered-single and random-single. The experiment consisted of four parts: (a) a frame-formation session in which Ss were given 7 drawings as advanced information,(b) story telling session,(c) an immediate test session containing free recall comprehension test and reconstruction test,(d) a delay test (3 days later) employing only reconstruction test. Main results were as follows. (1) The group with ordered-cumulative information showed significantly better performance on the immediate reconstruction test than another three groups. However, there were no significant difference among all groups on the delay test, because three groups improved their performance.(See FIG. 2) (2) The hypothesis that the ordered presentation should facilitate the performance of reconstruction test was not proved as a whole. The order of presentation, however, had different effect on the comprehension of each episode of the story.(See FIG. 4) (3) The comprehension scores of primacy and recency episodes were higher than that of intermediate episodes. These results were interpreted as advanced information with ordered-cumulative pictures playing effective roles as a framework for understanding the story but its effect decayed on the delay test, because the subject might process the story through his cognitive “story schema”.
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