Examining Indonesian school-aged children's written narratives on sad experiences

Raina Dellani Johanna, Bernadette Kushartanti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Narrative can be a medium of children's expression of their feelings, especially towards their own experiences. Therefore, narrative does not only show their thinking and language ability, it can also provide information on their emotional understanding. The emotional understanding ability of themselves and people around them needs to be considered as it is one of the supporting factors for their achievement at school. This chapter discusses narratives on children's sad experiences in written form. The question to be addressed in this paper is: how do children use narrative as the medium of expression? The aim of this study is to describe the structure in children's writing on a sad experience. The main data in this study is handwritten writings of Indonesianspeaking children aged 8-11 years old (N = 141). The data were obtained from a writing task 'I would like to tell you an experience that made me feel sad' which were taken at their school which located in Bekasi and Depok. Labov and Waletzky (1997) theory was applied to classify the components and analyse the narrative structure. Based on the completeness of its components and the number of topics in each narrative, we found nine types of narratives. Finding in this study indicates the tendency that the older the children are, the more complex narrative structures are produced. Children could write about their sad experience and expressed their feeling about that. In addition, there are also children who added their expression of hope based on that said experience. The study on narrative related to children's language is plentiful. However, the study on sad experience narrative in a form of writings by children who speak Bahasa Indonesia is still quite rare. The results of this study will contribute to the research on children's language studies, especially on narratives with data from Indonesian-speaking children.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn Language, Education, Politics, and Identity
Subtitle of host publicationA Cross-Linguistics Perspective
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781536193374
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021


  • Indonesian school-aged children
  • Narrative
  • Narrative structure
  • Sad experience
  • Writings


Dive into the research topics of 'Examining Indonesian school-aged children's written narratives on sad experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this