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Fides et Ratio - Revista de Difusión cultural y científica de la Universidad La Salle en Bolivia

On-line version ISSN 2071-081X


DOARDI, Davide. Strategies for summarizing expository texts Two case studies within the framework of the theory of discourse. Fides Et Ratio [online]. 2017, vol.14, n.14, pp.53-73. ISSN 2071-081X.

The first study, qualitative and cross-sectional, characterizes the technique of summarization of an expository text, followed by middle school students (N=86, n=31, simple random sample) from the private school Saint George in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, where explicit and systematic protocols for its teaching could not be found. The theoretical framework was provided by the theory of discourse (van Dijk, 1977, 1983), together with the empirical benchmark set by Brown and Day (1983; see also Mandler and Johnson, 1977), which formalized a procedure of analysis based on macrorrules. The second study, same sample but quantitatively designed (pre-post test), assesses the usefulness for the students' reading comprehension of a summary written by the author according to macro rules. The sample includes a subgroup of 11 ADHD students. The first study confirms, on a whole, Brown and Day's results: the students capable of summarizing and relating the main ideas add up to only 16%. No significant statistical effect was noticed due to ADHD symptomatology. The second experiment shows that the summary crafted by the teacher as a means of facilitation of the comprehension does not contribute to raise its level - on the contrary: even if delivered immediately after the pre-test, simphfication and reorganization of contents prompt schemata running counter the facts. The first study points to the necessity of standardizing the teaching of summarization, laying stress on processes different from Suppression. The second study suggests that summaries facilitated by the teacher are of no use for the students' reading comprehension and should be avoided. Limitations: the benefits of summaries written by the students were beyond the scope; on the other hand, the gathering and analysis of the quality of the summaries rest on instruments whose validity calis for a more extensive check.

Keywords : ADHD; cognitive strategies; discourse theory; macro rules; summarization.

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