27 SES 05.5 PS, General Poster Session
General Poster Session, Chaired by Convenors of NW 27
Summarization is an effective strategy of reading comprehension (Duke & Pearson, 2002). Good readers often summarize what they read during and after reading. This strategy is important in particular since fourth grade on, because it is the beginning of the stage of reading to learn. According to Chall (1983), the focus of reading development at this stage shifts from decoding and fluency to reading comprehension. Reading strategies such as summarization are needed for helping the children to construct meaning from the text. Previous studies showed that the process of generating summaries helps readers to focus on gist information, to build relations among concepts contained in a text as well as to link these concepts to prior knowledge and, therefore, improve comprehension (Anderson & Armbruster, 1984; Pearson & Fielding, 1996; Wittrock & Alesandrini, 1990).
Reading theories propose that, three processes are used to summarize a text; the reader would delete unnecessary or redundant materials, to substitute a superordinate term for a list of items or actions, and then to select or invent a topic sentence for each paragraph (Kintsch & van Dijk, 1978; Brown & Day, 1983). Application of these three rules, i.e. deletion, generalization, and construction, allows the reader to reduce the number of textual propositions and to extract the macrostructure of the text.
Studies suggested that summarizing skills develops slowly with grade; young children find it very difficult to construct the macrostructure of a text. Brown and Day (1983) found that the fifth graders in the United States used deletion only to summarize; they called this simple strategy “deletion-copy”. The other two rules, i.e. generalization and construction, were not mastered until the students were in secondary schools or even colleges. It is not clear if this developmental trajectory of summarizing skills holds for children from a totally different culture and language, i.e. Taiwan. Studies found that many upper-level elementary students in Taiwan still have great difficulty in writing summaries (Tung, 2003). However, most of the studies examined the children’s performance in terms of the end products, rather than the processes of summarizing. Few studies examine how the three components of summarization develop and how these summarizing subskills relate to reading comprehension.
The purposes of this study, therefore, are threefold: (1) to develop an assessment of summarizing subskills for upper level elementary school children; (2) to examine the differences in summarizing subskills among students of different reading ability in fourth and sixth grade; (3) to probe the relationship between the summarizing subskills and reading comprehension of fourth and sixth graders.
Anderson, T.H., & Armbruster, B.B. (1984). Content area textbooks. In R.C. Anderson, J. Osborn, & R.J. Tierney (Eds.), Learning to read in American schools (pp. 193-224). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Brown, A. L. ＆ Day, J. D. (1983). Macrorules for summarizing texts: the development of expertice. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 22, 1-14. Chall, J. S. (1983). Stages of reading development. New York: McGraw-Hill. Duke, N. K., Pearson, P. D. ( 2002). Effective practice for developing reading comprehension. In A. E. Farstrup, & S. J. Samuels (Eds.), What research has to say about reading instruction (pp.205-242). Newark, DE: International Reading Association. Kintsch, W. & Van Dijk, T.A. (1978). Toward a model of text comprehension and production. Psychological Review, 85 (5), 363-394. Ko, H.W. (1999). Reading Difficulty Screening Test [in Chinese]. National Science Council. Pearson, P.D., & Fielding, L. (1996). Comprehension instruction. In R. Barr (Ed.), Handbook of reading research (vol. 2, pp. 815-860). NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Tung, Y. (2003). The development of the Chinese reading comprehension test for the 6th graders [in Chinese]. Unpublished Master Thesis, National Taichung Teachers’ College. Wittrock, M. C., & Alesandrini, K. (1990). Generation of summaries and analogies and analytic and holistic abilities. American Educational Research Journal, 27(3), 489-502.
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