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Narratives of Chinese Children: The Effects of Age and Genre


Narratives of Chinese Children: The Effects of Age and Genre

Zhang, Lin (2019) Narratives of Chinese Children: The Effects of Age and Genre. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Children's ability to narrate real or fictional events is important for communication as well as for academic success and literacy. Children’s narratives have thus been studied widely and a developmental path of narrative development has been outlined. There is, however, evidence that development in this area may be influenced by cultural factors as well as by the genre of narrative a child is asked to tell. This study explores narrative development further by examining both personal and fictional narratives by Mandarin-speaking Chinese children aged 5 years (n = 12) and 8 years (n = 12).
The narratives were examined in terms of length, narrative pattern (i.e., the overall structure of the narrative) and narrative elements comprising the pattern, using high point analysis. The findings showed that the stories by 8-year-olds were significantly longer than those by 5-year-olds, as expected. The narrative pattern scores (obtained by assigning a numeric score to each pattern) showed that the classic pattern increased significantly from ages 5 to 8 years, for both narrative genres. The 5-year-olds produced a variety of narrative patterns and more complex patterns in the fictional story than in the personal story. They did not include any direct quotes or reported speech in their personal narratives, or appendages in their fictional narratives. The classic pattern was most common for the 8-year-olds, and they provided more evaluation and resolution than the 5-year-olds, as well as more orientation in both narrative genres. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for education and cross-cultural studies of narrative.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Zhang, Lin
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Child Studies
Date:29 August 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Pesco, Diane
ID Code:985905
Deposited By: Lin Zhang
Deposited On:15 Nov 2019 15:11
Last Modified:15 Nov 2019 15:11
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