Exploring inferences prompted by reading a very short story.

Durant, Alan (1998) Exploring inferences prompted by reading a very short story. Perspectives: Journal of TESOL Italy, XXIV (1). pp. 45-55.



Using the illustrative case of a very short story, which generates a large number of inferences that vary interestingly between readers of different social experiences, this article investigates the role in communication performed by inference. For L2 readers, questions of language proficiency are involved, to the extent that even slightly different linguistic formulation would prompt different lines of thinking. Questions of culture are also involved, to the extent that background assumptions combine with linguistic decoding to produce any given interpretation. Together, such linguistic and cultural elements constitute what we informally call comprehension or interpretation. Paying closer attention to the inferential dimension of discourse comprehension, I argue, can make a valuable contribution to language courses which try to bridge the gap between language teaching and literature teaching. My discussion takes the form of an informal report on experimentation with the three-sentence short story, used on a number of occasions and with different kinds of student-reader group.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
ID Code:8173
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Deposited On:10 Oct 2011 06:41
Last Modified:12 Mar 2015 08:25

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