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Volume 26Number 1 publication date:Jun. 2013
A Two-Year Study on Children’s Interpretive Contexts in Responding to Picture Story Books
    Author:Fang-Wei Tai & Min-Ling Tsai
Research Article


This paper presents a two-year study on picture book reading process involving a teacher and a group of children in Kinmen County. The aim was to explore how children create their interpretation of the story (the interpretive contexts applied by these children) when responding to questions posed in the discussion sessions, the teacher’s ways of participation, and other possible contextual influences. In the first year, two kindergarten teachers and 18 children read picture books together three times a week. In the second year, as children moved on to first grade, 12 of them continued to participate in monthly picture book reading sessions offered by the authors. A total of thirty audio-taped reading sessions were transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were devided by topics with every speaking turn coded. After a thorough inductive analysis, the authors constructed seven categories of children’s interpretive contexts and sorted out teacher’s ways of questioning, probing, and responding. The seven contexts in which the interpretation is drawn included life experiences, the story, common knowledge, the illustration, the author’s intention, compound contexts and others. The most frequently applied interpretive context by kindergarteners was life experiences, whereas the most frequently applied interpretive context by first-graders was the story. The interpretive contexts applied by first-graders were more diversified. Based on the long term observation, it is proposed that the reading culture and the teacher’s role contributed significantly to the development of these children’s diversified interpretive contexts. Lastly, the authors provided some practical suggestions on picture book reading activities and the analytic method for future studies.

Keywords: children, picture story books, reading together, response

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