Theory of Mind Development and Narrative Writing
A longitudinal study
The purpose of this paper is to study the development of Theory of Mind capacities in one individual´s narrative writing from year 1 in elementary school through high school and onwards. To this end this longitudinal study focuses on evaluative expressions while drawing on the Appraisal theoretical frame work, developed by Martin (2000) and Martin and White (2005). Both quantitative and qualitative methods are applied. The findings illustrate clear developmental trends in the evaluative choices regarding Appraisal categories, as well as the amount and types of evaluations, and the linguistic realizations of the evaluations in the texts. The findings also display how the individual´s Theory of Mind capacities are inextricably linked to the level of advancement in linguistic repertoire and an increased complexity and sophistication in the organization of narrative structure. The paper concludes with a discussion of some pedagogical implications of the study.
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