University of Oulu

Kunnari, Sari; Välimaa, Taina (2020) Narrative comprehension in simultaneously bilingual Finnish-Swedish and monolingual Finnish children. In: Ute Bohnacker and Natalia Gagarina (eds.), Studies in bilingualism: Vol 61. Developing Narrative Comprehension: Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives, (pp. 150-170). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/sibil.61.05kun

Narrative comprehension in simultaneously bilingual Finnish-Swedish and monolingual Finnish children

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Author: Kunnari, Sari1; Välimaa, Taina1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: embargoed
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe20201210100298
Language: English
Published: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-12-31
Description:

Abstract

We analysed narrative comprehension in 5-to-6-year-old simultaneously bilingual Finnish-Swedish (n = 16) and monolingual Finnish children (n = 16) by using the Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives (MAIN). We assessed mean total narrative comprehension scores for bilingual children in both of their languages and for monolingual children in Finnish, in both telling and retelling conditions. We compared bilingual and monolingual children’s narrative comprehension in Finnish and analysed the association between comprehension and production. We also analysed the children’s ability to answer different types of comprehension questions (i.e., questions probing goals, internal state terms, and questions requiring both the ability to draw inferences and to explain answers). We found no difference in total narrative comprehension scores for bilingual children between their two languages or between monolingual and bilingual children. This suggests language-independent narrative comprehension. We found no difference in narrative comprehension between telling and retelling and no correlation between narrative comprehension and production. However, we found a clear question type effect. Children performed better on questions probing goals or internal state terms, but questions that required both inferencing and ability to explain answers were very demanding. In conclusion, detailed analysis of narrative comprehension provides knowledge on how children create a coherent understanding of a story and utilise information in the comprehension process.

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Series: Studies in bilingualism
ISSN: 0928-1533
ISSN-L: 0928-1533
ISBN: 978-90-272-6034-5
ISBN Print: 978-90-272-0808-8
Issue: 61
Pages: 150 - 170
DOI: 10.1075/sibil.61.05kun
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1075/sibil.61.05kun
Host publication: Developing Narrative Comprehension : Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives
Host publication editor: Bohnacker, Ute
Gagarina, Natalia
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Subjects:
Copyright information: © 2020 John Benjamins. This pdf is under copyright and the publisher should be contacted for permission to re-use or reprint the material in any form.