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Children’s reflection on coherence during text construction


In this article, a study is reported in which 11–13 year old students are explicitly required to consider a limited set of alternative continuations of a text. Examination of their choices and protocol analysis of the verbalizations of their motives gives insight into their problems and their reasoning while constructing a coherent text. This analysis results in a description of three levels of reasoning by the subjects. Level 1 is characterized by implicit, local reasoning, and a focus on the concrete events in the text. Leve 2 is characterized by more attention to global text characteristics and by more elaborative statements. Level 3 involves considerations on the function of sentences, resulting in more attention to abstract connections between text elements. The type of reasoning is mainly elaborative, and involves many aspects of the text. This research is carried out in the perspective of the development of a computer program that can adequately monitor text production and correct problems related to coherence.

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Correspondence to E. B. Andriessen.

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Andriessen, E.B. Children’s reflection on coherence during text construction. Eur J Psychol Educ 6, 257–266 (1991).

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Key words

  • Coherence
  • Improvement of writing
  • Reflection
  • Text construction