UBC Theses and Dissertations
Storytelling : a classification of the elements identified in the oral storytexts of three- and four-year-old children Filipenko, Margot Jessica
Although research has probed the linguistic elements of the storytexts produced by children, it appears to have ignored the child's use of the paralinguistic elements of storytelling as a further indicator of the child's developing sense of story. The purpose of this study has been to identify what linguistic and paralinguistic elements are employed by three-and four-year-old children in episodes of spontaneous storytelling. In order to develop a practical structure which adequately described the linguistic and paralinguistic elements embedded in children's oral storytexts, the design of the study has involved the following procedure: collecting spontaneous storytellings from three- and four-year-old children; analysing and describing recurrent linguistic and paralinguistic elements embedded in the data; organizing this information into a classification system that clearly illustrates the linguistic and paralinguistic abilities of three- and four-year-old children. In the process of developing the classification system, the following general observations were made: 1. Three- and four-year-old children use a broad range of linguistic and paralinguistic elements in episodes of spontaneous storytelling. 2. Definite patterns emerged in individual children's storytelling style. Once developed, the classification system was used to identify whether there is a developmental pattern in the acquisition of skill in the linguistic and paralinguistic area and, whether context affects the storytelling ability of three- and four-year-old children. The findings showed 1. There appears to be a developmental pattern in acquisition of skill in the linguistic and paralinguistic area, however, it does not appear to be tightly linked to age. 2. The context in which a child is asked to tell story influences the outcome.
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