The effect of the audience on the spoken narrative of Chinese children
This study investigated the influence of the audience and narrator’s gender on spoken narratives produced by Chinese children. Sixty typically developing five- and six-year-old children were evenly divided into three groups. Each group was assigned one audience, being a teacher, a same-age peer, or a younger peer. The children were asked to view a wordless picture book and retell the story to the audience. The results showed that the children tended to use more macrostructure elements when telling stories to same-age peers, with boys using more macrostructure elements than girls. Girls used more words and more events when narrating to younger peers, whereas boys used more words, more diverse words, and more evaluative language when narrating to teachers. In addition, the children marked temporality more in narratives to younger peers than to same-age peers. The findings indicated that the audience and narrator’s gender influence the narrative production of Chinese children.
Keywords: spoken narrative, audience effect, gender effect, social understanding, relationship specificity
Published online: 19 October 2018
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