Emergent stories written by children while coding: How do these emerge and are they valid compositions
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Emergent stories written by children while coding: How do these emerge and are they valid compositions?

Colin Price & Ruth Price-Mohr (2019)
Journal of Writing Research, 11(2), 271-297

This paper extends our research into a novel Story-Writing-Coding engine, where Primary School children produce animated stories through writing computer code. We first discuss the theoretical basis of our engine design, drawing on Systemic Functional Grammar, embodied cognition and perceived animacy. This design aims to help children draw on the appearances of characters, props and scenery to evoke linguistic constructs leading to the emergence of stories. The second part of this paper reports on an empirical study where we aim to answer two research questions. First can compositions so produced be seen as valid compositions? To answer this question we conducted a linguistic analysis of coded stories and those written in an English classroom, and also using teacher ratings of these stories. Results indicate that while there are no significant linguistic differences between coded and English stories, coded stories are impoverished and should be seen as a first-draft to be revised in the English classroom. The second question was to probe our observation that while coding, children spontaneously told stories. Here we draw upon theories of embodied cognition and of perceived animacy. Our analysis suggests that these theories, taken together, help to explain the spontaneous emergence of stories.

PDF | doi: 10.17239/jowr-2019.11.02.02

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