Narrating and Listening in Kindergarten
Abstract In this article, some major results of a longitudinal study on preschool children's narrative development are presented. Narrative development is seen as the acqui-sition of narrative competence, that is, the knowing how narrator activities and listener activities are reciprocally interrelated. Both narrator and listener have to carry out characteristic joint tasks in the phases of narrative units. In the initiation phase, they have to deal with embedding the narrative unit in the ongoing conversation; in the realization phase, they have to create and maintain prerequisites for the listener's understanding, to present and reconstruct the event sequence, to mark and reconstruct the narrator's perspective, and so on; in the closing phase, they have to compare the narrator's and the listener's perspectives on the events presented. The data base for the study consists of narrative units taken from everyday conversations in one kindergarten group recorded over a 3-year period beginning when the children were 3 and ending when they were 6 years old. The narrative units are analyzed and interpreted in order to find out how the children ap-proached and solved the tasks typical for narrating and listening at the ages of 3, 4½, and 6 years. (Linguistics)
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