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A cross-cultural study of fictional and non-fictional text understanding.

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2002
<mark>Journal</mark>Poetics
Issue number3
Volume30
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)195-219
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

It is often assumed that readers of texts vary in their responses, even if they come from the same cultural background, depending upon their personal assumptions and knowledge about the kind of text they are reading. In this paper we investigate how readers from three different language groups responded to (translations of) the same textual extracts. We focus on two questions. Do readers respond differently to the same textual extract depending on what text-type they think it is, and does the response vary much from one language/cultural group to another? Our study involves English, Hungarian and German senior secondary school students. They were asked to read and comment on three short extracts from three different text-types (novel, newspaper report and autobiography) according to different text-type assumptions. Although there were some palpable differences in response to the texts, both within and among the samples, there were also considerable similarities. Moreover, there was no discernible effect on reading outcomes of declared text-type.