"Children’s Surface, Textbase, and Situation Model Representations of Written and Illustrated Written Narrative Text."
According to the tripartite model of text representation (van Dijk & Kintsch, 1983), readers form representations of the text surface and textbase, and construct a situation model. In this study, an experiment was conducted to investigate whether these levels of representation would be affected by adding illustrations to narrative text and whether the order of text and illustrations would make a difference. Students aged between 7 and 13 years (N = 146) read 12 narrative texts, 4 of them with illustrations presented before their corresponding sentences, 4 with illustrations presented after, and 4 without any illustration. A sentence recognition task was used to assess the accuracy for text surface, textbase, and situation model. For the text surface and situation model, neither the presence of illustrations nor the order of text and illustrations influenced accuracy. However, the textbase was negatively affected by illustrations when they followed their corresponding sentences. We suggest that illustrations can initiate model inspection after situation model construction (Schnotz, 2014), a process that can make substantial changes to the textbase representation.