The effects of story schemata on narrative recall

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Stories, Schema theory, Schemata


Stories are an integral part of the school curriculum, widely used for the teaching of language and different content areas. The comparatively high readability of stories is related to a particular viewpoint of narrative comprehension, generally termed schema theory, the core components of which are derived from Bartlett's (1932) use of the term schemata to describe prior experiences in one's memory which influence how incoming information is interpreted and remembered. Graesser and Nakamura (1982) extend this definition to a broader sense. They see schemata as "generic knowledge structures that guide the comprehenders' interpretations, inferences, expectations and attention" (ibid.:60), since the content of a schema is so highly structured that it can be described as having "slots" which are eventually filled by specific input. A schema thus develops when repeated experiences of similar events and situations generate mental structures that represent them.

Source Publication

Thinking Language: Issues in the Study of Language and Language Curriculum Renewal



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