Article

Three Components of Background Knowledge in Reading Comprehension

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Abstract

Research in native (English) and nonnative (ESL) reading comprehension has shown that the ability to understand texts is based not only on the comprehender's linguistic knowledge, but also on general knowledge of the world and the extent to which that knowledge is activated during processing. Separate components of background knowledge which have been identified in the literature are: (1) prior knowledge in the content area of the text (familiar vs. novel); (2) prior knowledge that the text is about a particular content area (context vs. no context); and (3) degree to which the lexical items in the text reveal the content area (transparent vs. opaque). This paper reports a study which shows the individual and interactive effects of these three separate variables on the reading comprehension of both native (English) and nonnative (ESL) readers. Results indicate that, unlike native speakers for whom all three components of background knowledge play a significant role in reading, understanding, and recalling a text, nonnative readers show virtually no significant effects of background knowledge. Further, also unlike native readers, nonnative readers appear not to have a good sense of how easy or difficult a text is for them to understand. These findings are discussed in relation to schema-theoretical views of reading as an interactive process between the text and the reader, and in relation to their implications for ESL reading pedagogy.

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... The place of background knowledge in the reading process has been discussed within schema theory (Bartlett, 1932;Carrell & Eisterhold, 1983). Schema theory deals with preexisting knowledge structures stored in the mind (Nassaji, 2002, p. 444) and how readers combine their previous knowledge with the text (Ajideh, 2003;Alderson, 2000;Alptekin, 2006;Anderson, 1999;Carrell, 1983;Carrell & Eisterhold, 1983;Grabe & Stoller, 2002;Johnson, 1981Johnson, , 1982Ketchum, 2006;McKay, 1987;Murtagh, 1989). In this paper, the terms schema and background knowledge will be used synonymously and interchangeably. ...
... Content schema, which is more relevant to this study and is described as knowledge of the content (Carrell, 1983), can further be divided into two different types: background knowledge and subject matter knowledge. The former refers to the knowledge that may or may not be relevant to the content of a particular text, and the latter is directly related to the text content and topic (Alderson, 2000). ...
... Studies adopted the schema-theoretic view in both L1 and L2 reading have reported facilitative effects of familiarity with both text content (content schemata) and with the structure or rhetorical patterns of the text (formal schemata) on improved inferencing and comprehension as measured by recall (e.g. Carrell, 1983;Lee, 1986). ...
Article
This study attempts to answer the questions regarding the relationship between content schemata and reading comprehension of ESP readers' at two different levels of reading proficiency and how much time takes for good and poor readers to answer the reading comprehension Tests. The participants were 80 ESP students of Guilan and Rasht Azad Universities, IRAN .They were junior students; their scores on the TOEFL were used as a consistent criterion for assigning the participants into two proficiency levels. Four IELTS were also used to see the effects of academic topic familiarity on learners' reading proficiency based on their field of study. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient Formula revealed that there is a relationship between the participants' scores of TOEFL and IELTS. The results suggest that language instruction should focus on improving the reading and language ability of students through the presentation of reading materials with appropriate linguistic challenges.
... L2 proficiency has been hypothesized to influence the role of topic knowledge in comprehending a text on that topic. Carrell (1983) claimed that advanced L2 learners whose L2 proficiency is above the upper end of threshold would rely less on prior knowledge than intermediate L2 learners. Al-Shumaimeri (2006) argued that high L2 proficiency would enable L2 learners to rely more on reading strategies and skills than prior knowledge. ...
... Most studies on the relationship between prior knowledge and L2/FL reading development have included secondary or postsecondary students (e.g., Al-Shumaimeri, 2006;Carrell, 1983;. , , and reported the positive role of prior topic knowledge in comprehending a text about that topic in a target foreign language among college students. ...
... That is, regardless of language status students who had stronger general knowledge about topics such as trains, planes, and firemen (Rock et al., 2002) measured at the beginning of schooling were likely to develop reading achievement more throughout the elementary years than those who had less general knowledge. According to the upper-end-threshold hypothesis, the relationship between general knowledge and reading growth would become weaker or non-significant (Carrell, 1983) in students who are ELs, presumably because their L2 proficiency is likely to be improved in later grades. There was no evidence in this study that students who were ELs benefitted less from general knowledge in reading development in later grades. ...
Thesis
Reading development in students who are second language learners (SLLs) has been a concern of many educators. It is important to understand reading development in students who are SLLs to effectively support their reading development. The dissertation consists of two studies, presented in two stand-alone manuscripts, that aimed to deepen our understanding in the role of general knowledge and reading motivation in reading development in students who are SLLs, along with students who are monolinguals (MLs). Students who were MLs were also included in the studies to explore how similar or different the role of general knowledge and reading motivation are in reading development of students who are SLLs and students who are MLs. In the first study of this dissertation, I explored the contributions of kindergarten general knowledge and third-grade reading motivation to reading growth from first through fifth grade in U.S. students, using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99. The longitudinal associations of the predictors with reading growth were examined because the findings can contribute to understanding reading difficulties emerging in later grades. The main statistical approaches included factor analysis to identify motivational constructs and multi-group latent growth modeling to examine how the two predictors simultaneously predict reading growth, while controlling for early decoding skills and demographic covariates. The results indicated that early general knowledge predicted reading growth to a similar extent between the two groups (approximately beta = .20 on a growth slope). In addition, third-grade reader self-perception explained reading growth similarly in both groups (approximately beta = .09 on a growth slope), even after accounting for early general knowledge. In the second study of this dissertation, I investigated the role of fourth-grade science knowledge (a proxy for general knowledge) and reading motivation in fourth-grade reading comprehension of informational and narrative texts. The study used three merged international datasets (PIRLS 2011, TIMSS 2011, and the combined dataset of TIMSS and PIRLS 2011). By using the international datasets, the study was able to investigate reading development in fourth-grade students from five countries. Factor analyses were used to identify motivational constructs for reading, and the associations of reading comprehension of each genre with science knowledge and reading motivation were examined with multi-group multilevel regression, controlling for demographic covariates. The results indicated that science knowledge, reader self-perception, and reading attitudes predicted informational and narrative reading comprehension to a similar extent between students who were SLLs and students who were MLs (approximately R2 = .40). The concurrent and longitudinal association between general knowledge and reading development suggests that enhancing knowledge at the beginning of schooling and in the middle grades may support reading development in students who are SLLs as well as students who are MLs. However, policies related to reading development (e.g., the U.S. No Child Left Behind Act) have often focused on enhancing reading skills apart from knowledge development. It is important to convince policy makers that enhancing students’ knowledge has the potential to support reading development not only in students who are MLs but also students who are SLLs. Additionally, the two studies revealed that reader self-perception significantly predicted reading development concurrently and longitudinally for both language groups. Professional development for teachers to enhance reader self-perception of students may benefit students’ reading development, regardless of language status.
... According to Hudson (1988) and Carrell (1983), background knowledge is not as important as language proficiency in comprehending texts. Low-proficiency students cannot comprehend texts even with the background knowledge about those texts as said by Pulido (2004). ...
... It depends on their age, culture and so on. Carrell andEisterhold (1983, as cited in Bao, 2016) claim that content schema provides people with a foundation, a basis for comprehension. Content schema refers to background knowledge which is related to national and social knowledge. ...
... Many researchers have also concluded that it is not just insufficient background knowledge that hinders reading and listening comprehension, rather, some learners possessing the background knowledge have been found to be unable to activate their background knowledge (Carrell, 1983;Ridgway, 1997;Roller, 1990). ...
Article
This study tried to find the possible relationship between listeners' cultural schemata and its activation and their performance in EFL listening comprehension. The participants of this study were two groups of 37 Muslim Iranian students. Firstly, the students were divided into two groups of high and low proficiency. Then, they were exposed to two audio files, one about mosques and the other about cathedrals. In one of the classes the recording about the cathedrals was played first, but in the other the order was reversed. The collected data were inputted into the SPSS program. The null hypothesis of the study was whether listening to a culturally unfamiliar topic (cathedrals) can activate low-level learners’ schema of the culturally familiar topic (mosques). The hypothesis of the study was accepted implying that an unfamiliar text, even if it is conceptually similar, cannot activate a culturally familiar schema in the low-level students. This study has pedagogical implications for teaching listening comprehension.
... Moreover, the role of the cognitive and psychological components in reading comprehension might differ by language status, an important component of Aaron et al. (2008)'s ecological domain for reading comprehension. For example, in a study with college students, Carrell (1983) found that prior knowledge predicted reading comprehension in college students who were ELs, but not in students who were monolingual. Although differences in reading development between students who are ELs and students who are monolingual have been postulated (Hedgcock & Atkinson, 1993;Riddle Buly & Valencia, 2002), little comparative analysis has been conducted to understand whether and how the role of the predictors in reading comprehension differ by language status (Gámez & Lesaux, 2015). ...
... For example, Rydland et al. (2012) found that topic knowledge predicted L2 reading comprehension of that topic even after decoding skills and vocabulary knowledge in L2 were accounted for in fifth-grade students who learned Norwegian as their second language (see also Burgoyne et al., 2013). However, Ridgway (1997) and Carrell (1983) did not find a significant relationship between topic knowledge and L2 reading comprehension of texts on that topic in college students who were learning English as their L2. The discrepancy in findings in this area may be due to differences in the age of the study participants, underscoring the need to study the topic further with third graders, currently an especiallyreading-policy-relevant age-group. ...
... These studies are typical of research on domain knowledge and reading comprehension to date in that they have included only students who are monolingual or have not considered the language status of children one way or the other. Most of L2 studies have been focused on the relationship between topic knowledge with reading development in secondary or postsecondary students (e.g., Al-Shumaimeri, 2006; Barry & Lazarte, 1995, 1998Carrell, 1983;Ridgway, 1997). Thus, we need research that investigates the broader types of knowledge (domain or general knowledge), rather than topic knowledge, in students who are L2 learners, including ELs, particularly in the elementary years. ...
Article
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This study examined the role of science domain knowledge, reading motivation, and decoding skills in reading comprehension achievement in third-grade students who are English learners (ELs) and students who are monolingual, using a nationally representative data set. Multigroup probit regression analyses showed that third-grade science domain knowledge and motivation for reading, decoding skills, and early attainment of decoding skills were significantly associated with third-grade reading comprehension in both language groups. Also, using Wald chi-square tests, the study showed that the association between third-grade science domain knowledge and reading comprehension was stronger in students who were ELs than in students who were monolingual. These findings suggest that cultivating science domain knowledge is very important to supporting reading comprehension development in third grade, particularly for students who are ELs.
... General knowledge might have a stronger relationship with the reading growth of bilingual students than monolingual students because it can compensate for still-developing English language proficiency of bilingual students (Chen & Donin, 1997). Alternatively, monolingual students might benefit more from general knowledge because monolingual students can utilize general knowledge more effectively than bilingual students; due to stilldeveloping English language proficiency, utilization of general knowledge might be less effective among bilingual students than their monolingual peers (Carrell, 1983). ...
... In addition, English language proficiency needs to be considered in investigating the longitudinal contribution of general knowledge to English reading growth because previous studies using different operationalization of prior knowledge have yielded inconsistent results regarding the role of English language proficiency in the relationship between prior knowledge and English reading in bilingual students. Contrary to the study by Hwang and Duke (2020) that indicated a greater advantage for science domain knowledge in English reading development in bilingual students than that in monolingual students, studies on topic knowledge (i.e., knowledge related to the topic of a text) have shown that topic knowledge is not necessarily in the service of bilingual students' English reading development due to their still-developing English language proficiency (Carrell, 1983;Carrell & Wallace, 1983;Hammadou, 1991) or that the positive role of topic knowledge is limited to bilingual students who have already acquired a certain level of English language proficiency (Al-Shumaimeri, 2006;Ridgway, 1997). For example, in a study with older learners, Carrell (1983) found that topic knowledge in college bilingual students did not predict text comprehension on that topic in English, whereas it was a significant predictor for college monolingual students, a finding that is contrary to that reported by Hwang and Duke (2020). ...
... Contrary to the study by Hwang and Duke (2020) that indicated a greater advantage for science domain knowledge in English reading development in bilingual students than that in monolingual students, studies on topic knowledge (i.e., knowledge related to the topic of a text) have shown that topic knowledge is not necessarily in the service of bilingual students' English reading development due to their still-developing English language proficiency (Carrell, 1983;Carrell & Wallace, 1983;Hammadou, 1991) or that the positive role of topic knowledge is limited to bilingual students who have already acquired a certain level of English language proficiency (Al-Shumaimeri, 2006;Ridgway, 1997). For example, in a study with older learners, Carrell (1983) found that topic knowledge in college bilingual students did not predict text comprehension on that topic in English, whereas it was a significant predictor for college monolingual students, a finding that is contrary to that reported by Hwang and Duke (2020). Carrell (1983) argued that still-developing English language proficiency prevents bilingual students from utilizing their prior knowledge, thus resulting in a nonsignificant contribution of topic knowledge to the prediction of text comprehension on that topic in English. ...
Article
This study investigated the role of early general knowledge in English reading growth of bilingual and monolingual students in the elementary years by using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class data set. The analyses of latent growth models showed that the estimated gap in English reading between students who started school with higher general knowledge and students who started school with lower general knowledge increased throughout the elementary years in both language groups. Early general knowledge consistently predicted English reading growth in the subsample of bilingual students even after accounting for early decoding skills and English proficiency. The findings on the role of early general knowledge in English reading growth are discussed in relation to research and practice.
... Perdebatan tentang skemata bukanlah perkara baru. Istilah skemata dikatakan mula digunakan oleh Bartlett sebagai suatu pengaturan aktif yang berlaku dalam minda seseorang tentang reaksi atau pengalaman lepas (Carrell, 1983). Dalam konteks kemahiran membaca pula, konsep skemata dikaji apabila seseorang pembaca menggunakan pengetahuan lampau atau pengalaman lepas untuk memahami teks dan mempelajari sesuatu daripadanya. ...
... Skop kajian dan perbincangan tentang fungsi skemata dalam kemahiran ini pula terlalu luas. Malah, skemata dalam pemahaman teks merupakan bidang yang banyak dikaji oleh sarjana barat seperti Rumelhart dan Carrell yang terkenal dengan penyelidikan tentang pembacaan teks dalam konteks pembelajaran bahasa (Carrell, 1983;Carrell 1987). Skemata dianggap penting kerana menurut Carrell (1983), seseorang itu lebih memahami sesuatu perkara apabila perkara itu dapat dikaitkan dengan pengetahuan sedia ada pada dirinya. ...
... Malah, skemata dalam pemahaman teks merupakan bidang yang banyak dikaji oleh sarjana barat seperti Rumelhart dan Carrell yang terkenal dengan penyelidikan tentang pembacaan teks dalam konteks pembelajaran bahasa (Carrell, 1983;Carrell 1987). Skemata dianggap penting kerana menurut Carrell (1983), seseorang itu lebih memahami sesuatu perkara apabila perkara itu dapat dikaitkan dengan pengetahuan sedia ada pada dirinya. Oleh itu teori skemata dalam konteks pembelajaran bahasa menyatakan, pemahaman terhadap sesuatu yang didengar atau dibaca merupakan proses interaktif yang saling bertindak balas di antara kandungan teks dan pengetahuan lepas pembaca (Carrell, 1983). ...
Article
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Tujuan – Walaupun pendidikan tahfiz berkembang pesat mutakhir ini, pencapaian hafazan al-Quran di institusi tahfiz didapati masih kurang memberangsangkan. Salah satu faktor kelemahan pencapaian hafazan dipercayai berpunca daripada kelemahan memahami makna ayat al-Quran dalam kalangan pelajar tahfiz. Walaupun banyak kajian telah dijalankan, namun terdapat jurang pengetahuan tentang faktor di sebalik masalah kefahaman al-Quran. Sementara itu, beberapa sarjana Islam didapati menekankan pengajaran bahasa Arab dalam sistem pendidikan tahfiz. Justeru, kajian ini meneroka kepentingan skemata bahasa Arab dalam meramal pencapaian hafazan melalui kefahaman al-Quran. Metodologi – Dengan mengambil pendekatan kuantitatif, kajian ini menyelidiki pengaruh skemata bahasa Arab terhadap pencapaian hafazan dalam kalangan pelajar tahfiz yang mempunyai latar belakang pengajian bahasa Arab. Faktor pengantara, iaitu kefahaman al-Quran turut diteliti. Kajian dijalankan terhadap 246 sampel dari empat buah institusi tahfiz di Malaysia yang mensyaratkan pelajar mempunyai skemata bahasa Arab pada peringkat Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia. Pengumpulan data dilakukan melalui teknik ujian bagi mengukur tahap skemata bahasa Arab yang terdiri daripada nahu, saraf dan kosa kata, tahap kefahaman al-Quran dan juga pencapaian hafazan. Dapatan – Hasil analisis menggunakan Partial Least Square – Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) dan prosedur Bootstrapping menunjukkan bahawa skemata bahasa Arab mempunyai kesan langsung dan kesan tidak langsung terhadap pencapaian hafazan melalui kefahaman al-Quran. Signifikan- – Dapatan kajian ini menjelaskan bahawa skemata bahasa Arab dan kefahaman al-Quran menjadi faktor peramal yang relevan terhadap pencapaian hafazan.
... The first three written texts cover a poem, a webpage and a newspaper report. Based on schema theory (Carrell, 1983), this scaffolds learners with vocabulary related to environmental issues and expressing opinions, and grammatical structures of conditionals and participle phrases. This exposes learners to a variety of genres, which the Curriculum Development Council (2002) encourages. ...
... This could allow students to use the two grammar items interchangeably in writing and integrate what they have been learning. Connection could be further strengthened with the students' prior knowledge (Carrell, 1983). Since students should have already learnt conditionals Types 0, 1 and 2 earlier, after teaching conditional Type 3, there could be a task requiring students to decide when they should use which type of conditionals. ...
... By contrast, formal schemata comprise the language user's knowledge about formal, rhetorical, and organizational structures of different types of texts. Examples of formal schemata include those for poems and advertisements (for further information, see Anderson et al., 1977;Steffensen, et al., 1979;Meyer & Rice, 1982;Carrel, 1983Carrel, , 1987Grabe, 1991;Block, 1992;Wallace, 1992;Day and Bamford, 1998;Nuttal, 2000;Nist and Holschuh, 2000). In addition, there are lower level schemata which represent sentence structure, grammatical inflections, spelling and punctuation, vocabulary, and cohesive structures (Cohen, 1994). ...
... Schemata are cumulative cognitive structures which comprise our knowledge of the universe (Rumelhart and Ortony 1977;Rumelhart 1981;Carrel 1983). They manifest themselves in the form of content, formal, and strategy schemata (Casanave 1988). ...
... In some studies no effect was found for background knowledge. Carrell (1983) found that background knowledge does not affect nonnative readers performance significantly. Yet, other studies have shown test takers with different academic backgrounds perform differently. ...
... The results indicated that test takers with different academic backgrounds performed almost similarly on both tests. Regarding the reading comprehension test, the findings are in line with Carrell (1983) while they are in contrast with some other studies (e.g., Hale, 1988;Taillefer, 2005). The cloze test results are in contrast with some other studies (e.g., Sasaki, 200;Chihara et al., 1989;Al-Fallay, 1994). ...
... A schema is defined as an abstract knowledge structure (Anderson & Pearson, 1984:306). The theory is closely associated with how readers combine their previous knowledge with the text (Alptekin, 2006: 494;Carrell, 1983aCarrell, : 183, 1983b.In cognitive sciences, a schema theory is basically "a theory about knowledge" (Rumelhart, 1980: 33). Sir Frederick Charles Bartlett (1886Bartlett ( -1969 was credited as the first psychologist who used the term in its cognitive sense in the 1920s (Brewer, 2000: 69-89). ...
... By now several empirical studies have been carried out showing the effect of schema, or background knowledge, on language comprehension (Carrell 1983a(Carrell , 1983b(Carrell , 1983c(Carrell , 1981a(Carrell , 1981bHudson, 1982;Johnson 1981Johnson , 1982Kintsch& Greene 1978;Thorndkey 1977;Anderson, Reynolds, Schallert& Goetz 1977,Mandler& Johnson 1977Bransford& Johnson, 1973),supporting the previous studies with the inclusion of reading activities would be worth replicating to have a better account of the issue with the use of a similar design in a different context with different groups. Therefore the aim of this study is to find out to what extent both cultural knowledge and reading activities are effective on the comprehension of short story. ...
... Interactive models can be divided into two types. The first type is based on the interaction of componential cognitive processes of reading, while in the second the interaction focus is on the product of the interaction of readers' background knowledge (schema) with the text information in the process of comprehension [9][10][11]. ...
... 1.1 The EFL supplementary reading materials used specific English contents which the TNI students were able to analyze critically, and students had the background knowledge to understand the contents. This is advocated by Carrell [10] who stated that background knowledge has played an important role in reading comprehension development for a long time. The effectiveness of background knowledge in improving reading comprehension indicates the constructive nature of comprehension, and the critical role of the reader's prior knowledge in that construction. ...
Conference Paper
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The purposes of this research were 1) to develop and test the efficiency of EFL supplementary reading materials to upgrade reading ability of the low English proficient TNI students 2) to compare the students' English reading achievement before and after using EFL supplementary reading materials for the first year undergraduate students, Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology and 3) to find out the students' satisfaction towards the EFL supplementary reading materials in 8 units. The subjects were 72 first year undergraduate students at the Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology, Bangkok, during their first academic year 2011. The experiment consisted of 8 units of EFL supplementary reading materials, the English reading achievement test, and a questionnaire for measuring the students' satisfaction with the effectiveness of the materials. The experimental process and data collection were conducted as follows: The subjects were given a 30-item English reading achievement pretest followed by 8 units of EFL supplementary reading materials over 16 class sessions in 16 weeks. After the completion of each unit, the English reading formative test was administered to measure the subjects' English reading achievement and a questionnaire was used for surveying the subjects' satisfaction on their EFL supplementary reading materials. The t-test was used to compare the subjects' English reading achievement before and after the class. The average of the eight English reading formative test scores was compared with the post-test scores in order to determine the efficiency of the instructional materials. The mean and standard deviation of the questionnaire scores were used to measure the students' satisfaction with the materials. The results of the study were as follows: 1. The EFL supplementary reading materials were highly effective. Students scored 84.30 on the English reading formative tests and 84.53 on the post-test. 2. The students' English reading achievement after the EFL supplementary reading materials was significantly higher than before, with lessons constructed at 0.05 level. 3. The students were very satisfied with the eight English reading lessons. Keywords-EFL Supplementary Reading Materials, Upgrading EFL Reading Ability I. INTRODUCTION Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology has been operated under the philosophy of "disseminating knowledge and building economic base". One of the TNI objectives is to generate human resources who have abilities in technological advancement and industrial management. Moreover, TNI concept of program administration is to focus on the students' language skills-the students will be able to communicate in Japanese and English. In order to achieve in the TNI objectives, TNI has provided English courses for students from all faculties to enroll [1]. Reading plays a crucial role in our lives. It is so much a part of everyday living that one can hardly imagine life without it. Reading is also uniquely individual and flexible. In the age of the Internet and information revolution, reading retains its importance as an essential skill for learners of any language. For most of them, it is the most important skill to master in order to ensure success in learning [2]. Students at the university level need to understand textbooks, articles, or magazines written in English to acquire knowledge and gather information for both their careers and their academic studies [3]. For these reasons, the ability to read and understand English effectively is regarded as the most important skill for EFL students at all levels. Reading plays an important role in language learning, but EFL educators have found that most students cannot read English texts effectively [4]. The problems impeding students' reading success come from the inappropriateness of the reading materials, the misunderstanding of grammatical structures, difficulties with vocabulary, and the lack of background knowledge from the readers' part [4-6]. According to Aebersold and Field [4], in L2 reading, practice is important; to be precise, the more frequently the word is seen, the faster the lexical access and the shorter the recognition time. For L2 learner, the acquisition of a large mental lexicon involves exposure to a great deal of written text. The interactive models of reading attempt to combine the crucial insights of bottom-up and top-down models. Such reading models operate in both a top-down and a bottom-up fashion simultaneously. They are bidirectional in nature [7,8]. Interactive models can be divided into two types. The first
... schemata) seems to override linguistic knowledge. These results along with myriad of research findings supporting the positive effect of activated schema knowledge on listening comprehension (Mueller, 1980;Carrell, 1983Carrell, , 1987Chaudron, 1983;Markham & Latham, 1987;Anderson & Lynch, 1988;Long, 1990;Chiang & Dunkel, 1992;Cervantes & Gainer, 1992) may lead to this conclusion that, to improve listening comprehension ability, all that is needed is to activate and reinforce the listeners' background knowledge. For instance, Kelly (1991) claims that foreign language learner would find little advantage in practicing the bottom-up features, especially ear training, because it is unlikely for him to ever match the native speaker in this area, and even if he could, this ability is of little value. ...
... Since 1970s, when first language research revealed the positive effect of schema knowledge on comprehension, myriad of studies have been conducted to investigate whether the same results can be obtained in second and/or foreign language reading and listening comprehension. Schema has been operationalized in a variety of ways, such as : cultural knowledge (Kintsch & van Dijk, 1975;Johnson, 1981;Roshkow, 1988;Sasaki, et al. 1991), technical knowledge (Mohammed & Swales, 1984), religious knowledge (Carrell, 1987;Markham & Latham, 1987), topic familiarity (Bernhardt, 1988;Hammadou, 1991;Schmidt-Rinehart, 1994), and contextual visuals (Carrell, 1983;Alvermann & Boothby, 1986). ...
Thesis
Research on the effects of schematic knowledge on comprehension dates back to the ’70s -- the seminal works in the first language by Bransford & Johnson (1972), Anderson et al. (1977), and Steffenson et al. (1979). Ever since, a great number of studies have investigated the same phenomenon in the context of L2 reading and listening comprehension (Carrell, 1983, 1987; Anderson & Lynch, 1988; Long, 1990; Schmidt-Rinehart, 1994; to name but a few). It is imperative to acknowledge the contribution of these studies to our enhanced understanding of the processes involved in comprehension, yet two issues seem to have received almost no attention: first, the extent of the predictive power of schema, and second, the question of defining schema in terms of its constituents. The majority of research findings in this area have focused on investigating the effect of existence vs. non-existence of stereotypic schema, making use of conventional and predictable linguistic input. These results, however, may not be generalizable to real language use that often exceeds the limits of pre-established frames. With this in mind, the primary purpose of the current study was to explore the effects of employing nonconventional and atypical input on listening comprehension of EFL learners at different levels of language proficiency. With regard to the second issue, it should be pointed out that despite the existence of a large body of related literature, schematic knowledge, itself, is still treated as a broad and blurred concept. That is, schema often has been operationally defined in general and fuzzy terms such as cultural knowledge, religious knowledge, technical knowledge, etc. with little attention to its underlying factors. In the present study, nonetheless, it was attempted , as the secondary purpose, to bring schematic knowledge under scrutiny, analyze it into its possible components and determine the informative weight of each and every component in listening comprehension. To this end, Brown & Yule’s (1983) model was utilized, in which speaker, listener, place, time, genre, topic and co-text are supposed to be the features of schematic knowledge. To provide empirical evidence for the study, the following steps were taken. Two 31-item multiple-choice tests were developed. In both tests, the input was preceded by some pieces of schematic information. In the first test (called compatible), conventional and in the second test (called incompatible), nonconventional situations were incorporated. The items of the two tests were randomly distributed to form one 62-item test which was then pretested with 70 EFL adult learners. It proved to enjoy acceptable psychometric characteristics ( reliability index = .79, averaged item facility = .39, and averaged item discrimination = .41). It was then concurrently validated against the TOEFL with the participation of 100 EFL learners (reliability and validity indices .83 and .77, respectively). The listening section of the TOEFL also served as the no schema part of the project. Concerning the first purpose of the study, multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) for repeated measurement was applied to the data and all Fs turned out to be significant (98.03 for high and low levels of language proficiency, 446.17 for compatible, incompatible, and no schema tests, and 45.04 for levels by tests, at the p<.01 level). Due to the significance of Fs, Scheffe test was conducted to locate the source(s) of the observed differences. Concerning the second purpose, to check the construct validity of components of schematic knowledge, three varimax rotated factor analyses, and to determine their informative weight, three multiple regression analyses were applied to compatible, incompatible and combinations of the two tests (the 62-item test). The results of the Scheffe test indicated that the low proficient group performed quite differently on the compatible and incompatible tests, whereas the difference between these two tests was not statistically significant for the high proficient group. This points to the fact that the higher the level of language proficiency, the less difficulty the learner will have in handling novel and non-conventional situations. Moreover, activation of schema did not prove to be the single most important factor in improving the subjects’ listening comprehension. Overall, the findings indicated a crucial role for linguistic knowledge and cast doubts on recent theories that underestimate the importance of bottom-up factors in comprehension. The results of factors analyses of the components of schema as proposed by Brown & Yule (1983) were not conclusive enough to either support or reject the psychological reality of those components. While the results of regression analyses indicated that the number of components presented to activate schematic knowledge does not have much to do with their informative weight in listening comprehension.
... Many different elements are involved in the creation process of a graphic joke, contributing to the recognition and comprehension of the comic effect on the side of the addressee. In order to interpret and analyze this process we have made use of elements proceeding from different theories: (a) the study of the cognitive processes underlying reading comprehension (Shank and Abelson, 1977;Rumelhart, 1980;Carrel, 1983); (b) linguistic studies of humour (Raskin, 1985;Attardo, 1991Attardo, , 1994); and (c) neo-gricean pragmatics (Levinson, 2000;GRIALE group, 2009). 4.1 The cognitive perspective Within the frame of the connectionist approach of cognitive psychology, Rumelhart (1986) described the cognitive architecture of the human mind as a wide net of elementary units that influence each other by means of inhibition or activation processes. ...
... Many different elements are involved in the creation process of a graphic joke, contributing to the recognition and comprehension of the comic effect on the side of the addressee. In order to interpret and analyze this process we have made use of elements proceeding from different theories: (a) the study of the cognitive processes underlying reading comprehension ( Shank and Abelson, 1977;Rumelhart, 1980;Carrel, 1983); (b) linguistic studies of humour ( Raskin, 1985;Attardo, 1991Attardo, , 1994); and (c) neo-gricean pragmatics ( Levinson, 2000;GRIALE group, 2009). 4.1 The cognitive perspective Within the frame of the connectionist approach of cognitive psychology, Rumelhart (1986) described the cognitive architecture of the human mind as a wide net of elementary units that influence each other by means of inhibition or activation processes. ...
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Humour, together with poetry and metaphors, is one of the most difficult aspects of human language a translator can encounter. However, humour is part of our daily lives in many different shapes and formats, graphic jokes being one of those. The aim of this paper is to show the results of a study, based on a corpus of 100 Italian and Spanish graphic jokes, about how irony and humour work. On the other hand, the pragmatic analysis used for this study will be proposed as an efficient and useful tool to facilitate and improve the translator's task when he or she comes across humour translation.
... El trabajo de escucha debe incluir los procesos de orden superior y orden inferior. Los primeros se basan en los procesos de macro conceptos que involucran la activación del conocimiento esquemático y el conocimiento contextual (Celce-Murcia, 1995;Carrell, 1983, Cook, 1990. En el conocimiento esquemático se integra el conocimiento previo (background knowledge) y el conocimiento socio-cultural; también, el esquema formal que tiene que ver con la organización retórica del discurso. ...
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ResumenEste artículo aborda el efecto de uso de las canciones en la habilidad de escucha a un grupoque estudia inglés como lengua extranjera. Como método de investigación se aplicó el estudiode caso y se usaron tres instrumentos para la recolección de la información: el diario delprofesor, un cuestionario y un grupo focal. Los resultados indican que las actividades depre-escucha, mientras escucha y post-escucha ayudan no solo al progreso de comprensión de escuchasino también al incremento del vocabulario y a la motivación. Sin embargo, los estudiantesmuestran un grado de ansiedad por entender todas las palabras en las canciones.
... Según la teoría de los esquemas (Schank y Abelson 1977), y los modelos de comprensión lectora que derivaron de ella (Rumelhart 1980;Carrel 1983), los textos no trasmiten información directamente, sino más bien ofrecen al lector una serie de indicaciones o pautas que le permiten construir el significado tomando como punto de partida sus conocimientos previos. ...
... Consequently, metacognitive judgement on reading strategies was lost among these students. It seems that it is not the problem of not having certain reading strategies, but the problem of not being able to have a strategic selection of the reading strategies (Carrell, 1983b;Hosenfeld, 1977;Young et al., 1997). ...
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This study investigated the overall L2 reading anxiety level, main sources of L2 reading anxiety, the metacognitive reading strategy use and their potential relationship among Chinese postgraduate students studying in the UK. 94 Chinese postgraduate students from British universities were invited to respond to an online questionnaire. The questionnaire contained the two parts: second language reading anxiety scale and survey of reading strategies. Both parts of the questionnaire were 5-point Likert scale and quantified the levels of L2 reading anxiety and the use frequency of metacognitive reading strategies. The results indicated that a majority of the Chinese participants were in the medium level of English reading anxiety. They study also found that Chinese students’ main sources of L2 reading anxiety were the unexpected length, vocabulary, grammar of the target text and the inappropriate amount of reading assignment of each course. Reading in language proficiency test such as IELTS was facing the challenge of validity because half of the participants thought it did not represent the real academic reading level of themselves. Global and problem-solving strategies were the most frequently used metacognitive reading strategies in the context. The examination of their relationship revealed that the overall L2 reading anxiety and the anxiety from the personal factors had a medium level of negative relationship with the problem-solving strategy. Further analysis revealed that there was a slight trend that participants with lower reading anxiety tended to use more global and problem-solving strategies while highly anxious readers may use more supporting strategies to avoid reading uncertainty. This study suggested that students should develop the awareness of what they read in academic setting and tutors on the other hand should make the teaching schedule more appealing to students’ real reading level.
... The purpose of this paper is to help students and teachers realize the important role that cultural background knowledge plays in reading comprehension and to improve students' reading ability efficiently [5]. readers are not able to understand the deep meaning of a passage without adequate background knowledge and it is the lack of background knowledge that causes students' poor reading comprehension. ...
... Knowledge has a pivotal role in accurately understanding and reasoning natural language in MRC. Previous re-search (Hirsch 2003;Carrell 1983) has established that human reading comprehension requires both words and world knowledge. In this paper, we consider words and world knowledge in the format of triplets (subject, predicate, object). ...
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Machine reading comprehension (MRC) requires reasoning about both the knowledge involved in a document and knowledge about the world. However, existing datasets are typically dominated by questions that can be well solved by context matching, which fail to test this capability. To encourage the progress on knowledge-based reasoning in MRC, we present knowledge-based MRC in this paper, and build a new dataset consisting of 40,047 question-answer pairs. The annotation of this dataset is designed so that successfully answering the questions requires understanding and the knowledge involved in a document. We implement a framework consisting of both a question answering model and a question generation model, both of which take the knowledge extracted from the document as well as relevant facts from an external knowledge base such as Freebase/ProBase/Reverb/NELL. Results show that incorporating side information from external KB improves the accuracy of the baseline question answer system. We compare it with a standard MRC model BiDAF, and also provide the difficulty of the dataset and lay out remaining challenges.
... Many researchers have also concluded that it is not just insufficient background knowledge that hinders reading and listening comprehension, rather, some learners possessing the background knowledge have been found to be unable to activate their background knowledge (e.g., Carrell, 1983;Ridgway, 1997;Roller, 1990). ...
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This study tried to find the possible relationship between listeners' cultural schemata and its activation and their performance in EFL listening comprehension. The participants of this study were two groups of 37 Muslim Iranian students. Firstly, the students were divided into two groups of high and low proficiency. Then, they were exposed to two audio files, one about mosques and the other about cathedrals. In one of the classes the recording about the cathedrals was played first, but in the other the order was reversed. The collected data were inputted into the SPSS program. The null hypothesis of the study was whether listening to a culturally unfamiliar topic (cathedrals) can activate low-level learners' schema of the culturally familiar topic (mosques). The hypothesis of the study was accepted implying that an unfamiliar text, even if it is conceptually similar, cannot activate a culturally familiar schema in the low-level students. This study has pedagogical implications for teaching listening comprehension.
... Estos procesos, permiten relacionar la información textual nueva con nuestros conocimientos previos, y viceversa. Según la teoría de los esquemas (Schank y Abelson, 1977), y los modelos de comprensión lectora que derivaron de ella (Rumelhart, 1980;Carrel, 1983), los textos no trasmiten información directamente, sino más bien ofrecen al lector una serie de indicaciones o pautas que le permiten construir el significado tomando como punto de partida sus conocimientos previos. Los esquemas que poseemos son de dos tipos: (a) unos esquemas formales, es decir conocimientos acerca de la estructura de los textos (de un poema, de una novela, de un artículo de periódico, etc.); y (b) unos esquemas de contenido, es decir conocimientos acerca de los contenidos de un determinado campo (economía, arte, deportes, política, etc.). ...
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En un libro especialmente divertido, titulado Platón y un ornitorrinco entran en un bar… aparece la siguiente frase: La filosofía y los chistes surgen del mismo impulso: confundirnos respecto a cómo son las cosas, poner nuestros mundos del revés, y dar con verdades ocultas, a menudo incómodas, sobre la vida. Lo que el filósofo llama perspicacia, el cómico lo llama mordacidad. (Cathcart y Klein, 2008) Unir filosofía y humor puede parecer a primera vista un matrimonio poco avenido. Cuando pensamos en filosofía, recordamos nuestras clases de bachillerato en las que un esforzado profesor intentaba hacernos entender qué era eso del arjé (ἀρχή) o principio general de todas las cosas. La filosofía y el humor no son, sin embargo, incompatibles, y el libro de Cathcart y Klein, lo demuestra de forma manifiesta. Pero igual que ocurre con la filosofía, sucede con cualquier otro campo de la ciencia, sean las matemáticas, el arte o la enseñanza de una lengua extranjera (LE). ¿Es posible dar una clase de español como lengua extranjera (ELE) con humor? La respuesta, obviamente, es sí. Pero la pregunta quizás esté mal formulada, en realidad deberíamos preguntarnos lo siguiente: ¿es posible dar una clase de ELE sin humor? Seguramente no. Cualquiera que se haya enfrentado a un grupo de alumnos, que asisten por primera vez a una clase de ELE, estará de acuerdo en esto. El humor es una herramienta, un recurso y hasta una necesidad para conseguir que la cosa funcione, es decir, para que esos ojos abiertos como platos dejen de mirarte fijamente y comiencen a hablar. Pero un profesor divertido no es un payaso, sino un profesional que traslada el humor al aula y que cree en la efectividad de utilizar ciertos recursos para lograr fines didácticos muy claros. No se trata de convertir la clase en una fiesta, sino en conseguir que el humor me ayude a enseñar. En las próximas páginas vamos a intentar esbozar de manera muy general cómo las viñetas cómicas periodísticas, esas que encontramos diariamente en periódicos y revistas, pueden servir para obtener resultados en el aula, especialmente, a la hora de desarrollar la destreza lectora y todos los aspectos relacionados con la competencia intercultural. 2. ¿Por qué y para qué usar el humor en el aula de ELE? No es inventar nada nuevo decir que todo lo que aprendemos en un contexto agradable, y en concreto, humorístico, lo aprendemos mejor o, al menos, de forma menos penosa. Como afirmaban los clásicos: delectando pariterque docendo. Pero lo que sí es relativamente nuevo es
... These findings seem to diverge from the common view that low linguistic proficiency is associated with a bottom-up model which obstructs automatic processing and effects a controlled approach and focus on narrow segments of the text. The non significance of high linguistic proficiency in any cluster also diverges from the belief that foreign readers' language ability results in a topdown, or knowledge-based processing model (Czico, 1980 ;Carrell, 1983 ;Clarke, 1988 ;Eskey, 1988 ;Devine, 1988b ;Carrell, 1989 ;Davis & Bistodeau, 1993). ...
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ABSTRACT The first purpose of this study is to identify, categorize and analyse the EFL reading strategies utilized by Moroccan students in institutions of higher education. The second purpose is to explore the interaction of strategies' use and the readers' factors, viz. field of studies, linguistic proficiency, reading achievement, motivation, beliefs, and reading comprehension evaluation ability. Drawing implications for EFL reading instruction is an aftermath of the two first purposes. To meet these objectives, the present study is placed within an interactive cognitive schema theory, reading and EFL/ESL learning strategies research. The methodology followed utilizes a questionnaire, a cloze test, the think-aloud method, an error detection test, linguistic and reading comprehension tests to collect data. Statistical and interpretative analyses are applied to these data. The findings of the research indicate that the subjects employ a vast repertoire of strategies. These strategies are grouped in six dichotomous categories : avoidance / in depth reading, non-use of linguistic and content schemata/ activating linguistic and content schemata, decoding/ skimming and reading for gist. Nevertheless, the use of these strategies is obstructed by an over-reliance on textual cues and the limited use of background knowledge. The second set of findings demonstrates the complexity and the interdependence of strategy use and the readers' factors investigated. Beliefs, motivation and field of studies are significant in strategy use. Reading achievement, however, is not revealed to be significant, and lower linguistic proficiency is associated with avoidance rather than decoding strategies. Finally, the subjects are disclosed to lack the ability to evaluate their EFL reading comprehension. The implications of these findings are that EFL reading instruction should aim at increasing the students' awareness and self- control of strategy use, raising their motivation, self- confidence, and guiding them to think over their beliefs and attitudes towards their own learning.
... Whereas Alderson & Urquhart (1988) conclude that familiarity with subject-matter facilitates comprehension but high linguistic proficiency is consequential as well. Carrell (1983) in her investigation into -what she calls-the three components of background knowledge: familiarity, context and text transparency, found that non-native speakers do not realize the extent of difficulty a text presents and fail to utilize contextual and lexical cues of the text to activate background knowledge even when this knowledge is available. Only advanced ESL readers are affected by the content area familiarity. ...
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Ecole des Sciences de l'Information 1 This article reviews the prevailing reading theories, notably the bottom-up, psycholinguistic and the interactive models of the reading process, and evaluates their suitability of accounting for the EFL reading process. Emphasis, however, is placed on schema theory which seems to provide an appropriate theoretical framework for understanding the nature of the EFL reading process. The article then moves to consider the influence of background knowledge, notably content schemata, formal schemata and textual factors on EFL reading comprehension. For most higher education students effective reading in general, and in English in particular, is critical to have access to up-to-date information and subsequently to any real success in their studies. Understanding the complex nature of the reading process could help learners improve their reading skills.
... Because the video game was embedded within a complete learning unit plan, the students were able to build on prior knowledge in the focal content area in engaging in the video game. The students participated in various background building activities prior to playing the video game, including engaging in both print text and multimedia about bullying, to become familiar with the anti-bullying email campaign that they then read, thereby supporting reading comprehension (Carrell, 1983). While playing the game, students had opportunities to discuss strategies and various questions with a partner. ...
... Schemata are employed in the process of interpreting sensory data (both linguistic and non-linguistic), in retrieving information from memory, in organising actions, in determining goals and sub-goals, in allocating reasons, and generally, in guiding the flow of processing in the system' Anderson & Pearson (1984:255). Carrell (1983) distinguishes different types of schemata into formal schemata and content schemata. By the former, she means knowledge of language and linguistic conventions, including knowledge of how texts are organised, and what the main features of particular genres are. ...
Thesis
p>This experimental research investigates the effects of strategy instruction on the English reading proficiency and strategy use of Thai students. The subjects were 74 first year science students at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology North Bangkok (KMITNB), Thailand from June to September 1999. A programme of strategy instruction was introduced to an experimental class of 37 students, while the same number of students were taught as a control group through traditional English reading instruction. A mixed research approach using both quantitative and qualitative techniques was adopted to investigate the impact of the introduced programme on students'reading achievement and strategy use. A test of reading achievement and a strategy questionnaire were administered to all subjects before and after the course. Six students from each group were also selected for a think-aloud and diary study. These twelve subjects were asked to verbalise their thoughts while reading English texts, and to keep diaries about their reading activities at home for ten weeks. The results indicated that while both groups improved their reading test scores and strategy use in the course of the study, the experimental group showed a significantly higher gain in reading ability and reported more frequent strategy use than the control group. The findings also indicated a significant correlation between strategy use and reading proficiency. The results of this study lead to a better understanding of the impact of activating metacognitive awareness, and suggest that explicit instruction in reading strategy use can override the effect of language proficiency limitations on readers' use of effective reading strategies.</p
... The specificity of the argumentative essay in terms of field, mode, and tenor might be a new genre for L2 learners, which would enable them to recognize the language features and patterns. As Carrell (1983Carrell ( , 1987 has pointed out, background knowledge of the content is likely to be more important than the textual organization or rhetorical structure in different genres. ...
... Introduction. Rationale, scope, and structure Contextual or background knowledge performs an important function in second language learning and reading comprehension, as a number of theoretical and empirical studies have shown (see, for instance, P. L. Carrell, 1983Carrell, , 1982. 1 To the extent that Ancient Greek and Latin are verbal codes too, they constitute no exception to the aforementioned principle. Indeed, contextual knowledge is particularly relevant to reading comprehension in Classical Languages, given the time, material, and cultural gap between their original context of use during antiquity, on the one hand, and the context of the contemporary learners of these languages, on the other. ...
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Contextual or background knowledge performs an important function in second language learning and reading comprehension, as a number of theoretical and empirical studies have shown (see, for instance, P. L. Carrell, 1983, 1982). To the extent that Ancient Greek and Latin are verbal codes too, they constitute no exception to the aforementioned principle. Indeed, contextual knowledge is particularly relevant to reading comprehension in Classical Languages, given the time, material, and cultural gap between their original context of use during antiquity, on the one hand, and the context of the contemporary learners of these languages, on the other. Addressing and integrating this type of knowledge into Classical Latin courses is, therefore, expected to aid student comprehension of both original and adapted classical texts.
... Findings from O'Reilly and colleagues demonstrated that low levels of background knowledge were insufficient to support comprehension, as deep background knowledge was related to stronger reading comprehension. Additional research demonstrates the importance of background knowledge for reading comprehension, which includes both vocabulary and content knowledge (Ahmed et al., 2016;Carrell, 1983;Hattan, 2019;Hirsch, 2006;Talwar et al., 2018). ...
Article
Informed by theories of reading comprehension and prior reviews of reading comprehension intervention, this meta-analysis uniquely contributes to the literature because it describes the relative effects of various approaches to comprehension intervention for struggling readers in Grades 3 through 12. Findings from 64 studies demonstrate significant positive effects of reading comprehension intervention on comprehension outcomes (g = .59, p < .001, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.47, 0.74], τ 2 = .31). A metaregression model indicated significantly higher effects associated with researcher-developed measures, background knowledge instruction, and strategy instruction, and significantly lower effects associated with instructional enhancements. Grade level, metacognitive approaches, and study quality did not moderate effects. Findings support the use of background knowledge instruction and strategy instruction to support comprehension of struggling readers in upper elementary and beyond.
... Interactive models can be divided into two types. The first type is based on the interaction of componential cognitive processes of reading, while in the second the interaction focus is on the product of the interaction of readers' background knowledge (schema) with the text information in the process of comprehension (Stanovich, 1995;Carrell, 1983;Grabe, 1991, as cited in Hudson, 1998. Schema theory, 28 as it will be defined below, is based on the process of combining textual information with the background information that readers bring to the text (Stott, 2001). ...
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This study investigated the effects of reading comprehension strategy awareness and use on main idea comprehension and recall in first and second languages for Arabic-speaking Libyan university students. The research examined the effects of general reading proficiency, text difficulty and topic interest and familiarity on main idea comprehension. The study also examined whether there is a facilitatory relationship between awareness of reading comprehension strategies and their effective use. Participants were all university students majoring in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). There were 112 participants from Libya and 16 English speaking control participants from Canada. Reading comprehension strategy awareness was assessed via Mokhtari and Sheorey's (2002) Survey of Reading Strategy. The CanTEST was used to assess the English as a second language reading proficiency of the Arabic-speaking group, while the Nelson-Denny Reading Test served to assess L1 reading proficiency for the English-speaking group. An English reading text was administered to both groups and an Arabic reading text to the Arabic group only. The texts served as the basis for examining the English group's L1 and the Arabic group's L1 and L2 reading comprehension strategy use through their recall of the main ideas of these texts. A reader assessment questionnaire was employed to assess text difficulty, topic interest and familiarity. In addition, semi-structured reading strategy interviews were conducted individually with participants from the control and the experimental groups. The interviewees were randomly selected from within different reading proficiency groupings. Results revealed that reading comprehension strategy awareness had no effect on main idea comprehension in both L1 and L2 for the native Arabic group. The native English group had higher awareness of the three categories of reading strategies (Support, Global and Problem-solving) than the native Arabic group. The Problem solving strategy category was the most familiar to the native Arabic group. Results indicated that general reading proficiency did not affect the recall performance of main ideas for either group. Text difficulty and topic interest did not contribute to the comprehension and recall of main ideas, while topic familiarity was a factor in the recall performance of the native Arabic group. Qualitative analysis of the results indicated that the native English group effectively used more reading strategies than the native Arabic group, and that the native Arabic group did not actually use the strategies which they claimed the highest awareness of. Futhermore, they tended to misapply the strategies that they did use. These findings indicated that simply knowing about reading strategies does not necessarily result in being able to use them appropriately. We concluded that reading strategy awareness alone is not sufficient for the comprehension and recall of main ideas and that awareness needs to be accompanied by effective strategy use in order to have a positive impact on main idea comprehension and recall.
... In ELT it is often said that there are two types of schema: formal and content. Formal schemata [5] are described as abstract, encoded, internalized, coherent patterns of metalinguistic, discoursal, and textual organization (e.g., rhetorical patterns, story grammar, narrative scripts) that guide expectations in our attempts to understand a meaningful piece of language. Content schemata are less abstract and must presumably be about the physical world of discernible objects and actions. ...
... Words in continuous speech are reduced and assimilated both within and across word boundaries and, therefore, noticing the beginning and ending of a given word is not an easy job for a listener. Lack of prior knowledge is another factor affecting comprehension; if the presumptions made in the text do not match the listeners' prior knowledge, the listeners may face difficulty in comprehending the text (Carrell, 1983;Chiang & Dunkel, 1992;Connor, 1984). Personal factors such as high levels of anxiety may also lead to difficulties in listening comprehension (Aneiro, 1989;Chang, 2010Chang, , 2016Elkhafaifi, 2005;Kimura, 2011;S. ...
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Listening has long been recognized as a challenging skill for teachers, students and researchers working within the ESL/EFL contexts. Moreover, up until the recent past, it was the least researched of the four language skills in second language acquisition studies. One of the issues regarding the skill that has not been sufficiently investigated is EFL teachers’ views on listening difficulties their students face. This study, therefore, investigates 208 teachers’ views on listening difficulties among Iranian EFL learners. A mixed methods approach, integrating a questionnaire and an interview, was employed. Results from the questionnaire suggested that the top ten identified difficulties ranged from practical issues such as poor quality audio materials to content-based impediments such as unfamiliar topics. Furthermore, ANOVA tests revealed that there was no significant relationship between either the teachers’ educational or professional background and the gravity of the difficulties they reported. Among different components of the questionnaire, the input and process components were highly correlated, indicating that learners’ problems with input perception could lead to problems in listening comprehension. Moreover, based on the results of the interviews, it was concluded that the teachers believed that the learners’ listening difficulties belonged to three categories, namely pronunciation-based, individual-characteristics-based and content-based difficulties. This study suggests that overcoming listening difficulties without listening strategies, though not impossible, seems to be much more time-consuming. Therefore, there are many benefits to both students and teachers if some class time is dedicated to acquaint learners with the strategies.
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This demonstrates the approach of Linguistic-Stylistics in the analysis of political speeches by examining post-appeal court victory speeches of selected Governors in Nigeria with the objectives of identifying and analysing prominent linguistic features; relating the identified linguistic features to the message of the speeches; and determining the way the linguistic features mark out the victory speeches as a unique stylistic genre. The data for the study were drawn from the victory speeches of the governors delivered between 2003 and 2009. These were the governors that challenged the outcome of the elections in their states and had their victory restored in the appellate courts without a rerun before 2010. The data were collected from the national dailies, such as Daily Independent, The Guardian and The Hope. The speeches were carefully studied, with close and cautious attention paid to the syntactic features. The identified predominant syntactic features are the pronominal references and structural parallelism, which the governors used to convey their messages and foreground the theme of their speeches. The study concluded that the identified features were basically used by the governors to convey their messages and intentions. The features were also used to achieve cohesion in their respective addresses. Again, with various sentential repetitions in the speeches, the governors reinforced their thematic focus as they sought to legitimize their administrations. These features thus marked out the speeches as a unique political genre.
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The idea that genre-specific reading benefits apprenticing writers is a concept that the field of teaching writing values as an underlying constant. Following this, writing center directors select rhetorics (anthologies of writing exemplars) for their self-access library shelves from the over 200 rhetorics presently in print. To choose these texts, quantitative readability formulae (e.g., the Lexile Readability Formula) are often employed. However, such formulae only measure two (i.e., semantic, syntactic) of the many features that impact readability. Other important features that require qualitative exploration are not considered (e.g., interest). To address this, this article reports the findings of a sequential, mixed-methods study conducted in a Taiwanese university writing center setting. The study found that interest influences the readability of rhetorics both as (a) a primary (i.e., an isolated feature) and (b) a conjoined feature (i.e., consisting of two or more associated entities where the second impacts the first). The article also makes a recommendation for teachers, writing center staff, and the publishing industry that interest be considered when considering the difficulty of exemplars in rhetorics.
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College students are expected to comprehend, analyze, and respond to texts that are often challenging, complex, and specialized. While the importance and value of reading in higher education is hardly disputed, postsecondary literacy frequently revolves around the reinforcement of rudimentary skills. Furthermore, the demands of writing instruction often push reading instruction to the side, leaving students to navigate texts on their own. Challenging texts necessitate a degree of background knowledge, without which active and robust engagement cannot be expected. By scaffolding texts in a way that progressively builds background knowledge, instructors can prepare students for complex texts and subsequently, academic discourse. The authors propose a four‐tiered approach to reading instruction for adult learners that consists of four text types: foundational, expansion, opposing point‐of‐view, and expert’s point‐of‐view. While designed for integrated reading and writing courses, the proposed model has implications for faculty across the disciplines.
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Academic reading courses for students and scholars of the humanities are based on the assumption that comprehension may be facilitated by background knowledge. The article introduces theoretic models and empirical research in this field, but gives also a look at the role of text genre knowledge and different skills in reading comprehension. On these grounds, the second part presents crucial features of a beginners academic reading course in German, regarding both the training and the testing of comprehension.
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Dans une recherche précédente nous avons montré que la présentation d'illustrations conjointement à la diffusion d'un dialogue Anglais à comprendre semble rendre plus difficile l'activité de décodage des différentes unités linguistiques sonores par des apprenants de niveau intermédiaire dans la langue cible (davantage de pauses et de réécoutes en cours d'écoute notamment). De plus, la représentation élaborée par les sujets (estimée par le nombre et la nature des informations rappelées) comporte davantage d'incompréhensions et d'incertitudes comparativement à celle élaborée par les sujets ne disposant pas des illustrations. L'expérience présentée ici vise à étudier l'effet de deux types d'aide préalable sur la réalisation de l'activité de compréhension et sur son produit par ces mêmes apprenants de niveau intermédiaire (étudiants de Deug de langues). Il s'agit d'une part de la présentation préalable des mots et des structures les plus complexes du dialogue accompagnés de leur traduction française (aide linguistique) et d'autre part de la présentation préalable des 15 illustrations du dialogue accompagnées d'un résumé très général de celui-ci en français (aide sémantique). Les résultats obtenus montrent que les deux types d'aide induisent des modifications aussi bien au niveau des indicateurs on-line que des indicateurs offline. Mais alors que l'aide de type linguistique induit une facilitation au niveau du décodage des différentes unités linguistiques (moins de pauses et de réécoutes) mais n'a quasiment pas d'effet sur la représentation élaborée par les sujets, c'est l'inverse qu'on observe avec l'aide sémantique (pas d'effet sur le nombre de pauses et de réécoutes - élaboration d'une représentation linguistique de meilleure qualité). D'un point de vue pédagogique, il semble donc qu'une aide de nature sémantique soit plus efficace qu'une aide de nature linguistique pour faciliter et surtout améliorer l'activité de compréhension orale dans une langue étrangère.
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As the literature strikes interest and arouses the curiosity of learners, it is widely acknowledged that it has an undeniable impact on language education. In this sense, a lesson plan was developed focusing on the reading skill and vocabulary, and aimed at getting learners to discuss and make a critical analysis of a story. Accordingly, Virginia Woolf's one of the well-known short stories, ‘The Mark on the Wall’ was incorporated into the plan as an intensive reading resource. In light of constructivism theory and eclectic method, this plan was designed for the instructors teaching English to learners enrolled in the English philology department and taking one-year compulsory preparatory education at schools of foreign languages. As it is grounded upon synchronization, orchestration and symbiotic existence of the language teaching techniques, this short course plan would stimulate students’ self-discovery, creativity, learner-centeredness, and reading analyses via pair-work and group activities.
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KWL is a pre-reading strategy used to improve reading comprehension. This paper aims to discover the effectiveness of the Know-Want-Learn (KWL) strategy in improving year-4 pupils’ reading comprehension is one of the elements assessed in the UPSR Examination in Malaysia. This study reports quasi-experimental research on the use of a KWL chart (graphic organizer) on year 4 pupils’ reading comprehension in an ESL setting. Thirty pupils were chosen using purposive sampling in a primary school at Kuala Lumpur. The test was conducted with 30 ESL pupils of the same age group. A pretest of reading comprehension was then administered to evaluate the participants’ comprehension skills. The Quasi-experimental research design used to carry out this study. Participants were separated into two different groups: an experimental group and a control group. The participants of the experimental group used the KWL Chart to answer comprehension questions; the control group received the conventional method of teaching to answer reading comprehension questions. At last, all the participants answered a post-test on reading comprehension. This innovative strategy can be used to develop pupils’ reading comprehension not only for pupils in year-4 but also for pupils at other levels.
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The paper is aimed at investigation of some aspects of foreign language reading comprehension, which is perceived as the most important skill required by students in a foreign language context. Intensive reading, also known as creative reading, has recently been ignored by researchers. The skill of reading comprehension is an aspect of practical reading experiences which can be developed by teacher’s intervention. One way to help learners to improve the skill is a strategy instruction. In the paper, the effect of various strategies, namely summarizing and students-generated questions are discussed. The participants of the research were upper-intermediate English University students from the Translatology Department. Firstly, overall achievement in a reading comprehension test was analysed; secondly the achievement in the subtests was investigated. Moreover, the research interest was focused on the item difficulty and achievement in comprehension of particular items. The method of a descriptive analysis was applied; frequency tables for categorized data together with quantiles were used to describe distribution of items. The results showed that text comprehension of the subtest 2 affected the other one in the subtest 3. Students comprehension difficulties need to be followed up with separate theory-based assessment tools which can help teachers determine learners’ problems in a more differentiated approach.
Chapter
The paper is aimed at investigation of some aspects of foreign language reading comprehension, which is perceived as the most important skill required by students in a foreign language context. Intensive reading, also known as creative reading, has recently been ignored by researchers. The skill of reading comprehension is an aspect of practical reading experiences which can be developed by teacher’s intervention. One way to help learners to improve the skill is a strategy instruction. In the paper, the effect of various strategies, namely summarizing and students-generated questions are discussed. The participants of the research were upper-intermediate English University students from the Translatology Department. Firstly, overall achievement in a reading comprehension test was analysed; secondly the achievement in the subtests was investigated. Moreover, the research interest was focused on the item difficulty and achievement in comprehension of particular items. The method of a descriptive analysis was applied; frequency tables for categorized data together with quantiles were used to describe distribution of items. The results showed that text comprehension of the subtest 2 affected the other one in the subtest 3. Students comprehension difficulties need to be followed up with separate theory-based assessment tools which can help teachers determine learners’ problems in a more differentiated approach.
Conference Paper
In tertiary education, proof comprehension, that means reading and understanding written proofs, is an important activity in learning processes. However, to our knowledge there are no (empirical) studies analyzing the influence of reading strategies and the students’ individual characteristics on proof comprehension, yet. We developed a proof comprehension test in analysis based on an assessment model of Mejia-Ramos et al. (2012) to test the relation of students’ individual characteristics to proof comprehension. To get a first in-depth look which factors influence proof comprehension we analyzed the data of 64 students in their second semester in university. Additionally, we asked the students about their use of reading strategies. The results show that proof comprehension correlates with prior knowledge and with the use of single reading strategies. Possible consequences for mathematical higher education are discussed.
Article
Using international large-scale datasets, this study investigated the role of science domain knowledge and reading motivation in L1 and L2 reading comprehension of informational and narrative text in fourth-grade students in five countries. The results of multi-group multilevel regression showed that science domain knowledge was the strongest predictor for informational and narrative reading comprehension in students who were second language learners and students who were monolingual across the countries. Overall, the coefficient of science domain knowledge was similar between the two language groups for each genre, indicating that science domain knowledge might play a facilitative role in reading comprehension to a similar extent between L1 and L2. Reading self-efficacy was also a significant predictor for L1 and L2 reading comprehension of the two genres across the countries, whereas reading attitudes were not. The findings are discussed with respect to research and practice.
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The aim of this paper is to analyse the artist-reader communication in political cartoons. We will define cartoons as a multimodal genre in which meaning is derived from a conceptual integration of image and text. We will present the blending theory as a useful model to illustrate how the reader reaches a new humorous reality by the connection of different mental inputs. We will describe cooperation within the cartoon as a reflection of contextualisation cues, i.e., those elements that the artist uses to create the cartoon and to help the reader interpret his/her work correctly. Finally, we will identify two different components within the political cartoons message: a) the jest and b) the sting (the critique). These two components and their corresponding pragmatic processes (pragmatic presuppositions and implicatures) interact with the different levels of interpretation and understanding of a cartoon. Resumen: El objetivo de este artículo es analizar la comunicación entre humoristas y lectores en las viñetas cómicas políticas. Definiremos las viñetas cómicas como un género multimodal en el que el significado surge de la integración conceptual de la imagen y el texto. En primer lugar, presentaremos la teoría del blending como un modelo útil para mostrar cómo el lector construye una nueva realidad humorística mediante la conexión de diferentes inputs mentales. A continuación, describiremos la cooperación en las viñetas cómicas como un reflejo de los índices de contextualización, es decir, aquellos elementos que el artista utiliza para crear las viñetas y para ayudar al lector a interpretar su trabajo correctamente. Finalmente, identificaremos dos componentes diferentes dentro del mensaje de las viñetas políticas: a) la broma y b) el aguijón (la crítica). Estos dos componentes y sus correspondientes 1 This work was supported by the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO, Spain) under the Grant El habla con significado emocional y procesos pragmáticos (presuposiciones pragmáticas e implicaturas) interactúan con los diferentes niveles de interpretación y comprensión de las viñetas cómicas.
Thesis
Listening comprehension is an important part of language learning, and language learning strategies (LLS) are the behaviors or actions that can contribute to a more successful, self-directed language learning. In the research into language learning strategies, O’Malley and Chamot (1990) focus on language learning processes. Oxford (1990) talks about what teachers should know to help students become more active, self-directed and effective learners. Griffiths (2007) focusses on knowledge of strategies that is important for teachers. However, we know little about the teachers’ role in developing the language learning strategies that help students with their listening comprehension improvement. In this intervention study, the involvement of teachers in the intervention design is central. It is a situated demonstration approach to listening strategy instruction, where the teacher demonstrates strategies rather than tells students what to do. Based on the SILL (Oxford, 1990), the researcher collaborated with the experimental group’s teacher to design a booklet which guided the teacher in demonstrating listening strategies within routine listening tasks. An experimental group of 74 students underwent the programme lasting 3 months. The control group (n=72), taught by a similarly experienced teacher in another university, had a conventional listening comprehension programme. The impact of the situated demonstration approach to listening strategy instruction on English listening comprehension performance was measured by tests, self-reports on strategy use, and self-efficacy questionnaires. All the students were given reference numbers in order to track their progress, and their experience across the data sets. As hypothesized, the experimental group significantly outperformed the control group on the final comprehension measure after controlling for initial variables. In addition, the quantitative results of the questionnaire provide the further details of the most frequently used metacognitive and cognitive strategies that underpinned successful L2 listening. Moreover, the outcome of the innovative strategy instruction was also found to contribute to the development of self-efficacy, and to higher perceived value of the listening comprehension training in the experimental group. This study is one of the first that is embedded in and integrated into the teacher’s work and regular classroom materials. It suggests that it is important to research classroom practices and teachers in developing the potential of our understanding of language learning strategy development and use (not just student awareness and attitudes). Moreover, it emphases the importance of teacher education and development for the LLS in the curriculum. Students may not benefit from LLS training separate from classroom teaching, as much as from an LLS focus as part of the normal teaching activity of teachers.
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Combining reading with auditory input has been shown to be an effective way of supporting reading fluency and reading comprehension in a second language. Previous research has also shown that reading comprehension can be further supported by pictorial information. However, the studies conducted so far have mainly included adults or adolescents and have been based on post-reading tests that, although informative, do not contribute to our understanding of how learners’ processing of the several sources of input in multimodal texts changes with the presence of auditory input and the effect that potential differences could have on comprehension. The present study used eye-tracking to examine how young learners process the pictorial and textual information in a graded reader under reading only and reading-while-listening conditions. Results showed that readers spent more time processing the text in the reading only condition, while more time was spent processing the images in the reading-while-listening mode. Nevertheless, comprehension scores were similar for the readers in the two conditions. Additionally, our results suggested a significant (negative) relationship between the amount of time learners spent processing the text and comprehension scores in both modes.
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Bibliography: leaves 42-44 Supported in part by the National Institute of Education
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Thirty physical education students and 30 music education students read a passage that could be given either a prison break or a wrestling interpretation, and another passage that could be understood in terms of an evening of card playing or a rehearsal session of a woodwind ensemble. Scores on disambiguating multiple choice tests and theme-revealing disambiguations and intrusions in free recall showed striking relationships to the subject’s background. These results indicate that high-level schemata provide the interpretative framework for comprehending discourse. The fact that most subjects gave each passage one distinct interpretation or another and reported being unaware of other perspectives while reading suggest that schemata can cause a person to see a message in a certain way, without even considering alternative interpretations.
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Some characteristics of story schemata and their role in encoding and retrieval of stories are briefly described. Story schemata are described in terms of the story grammar outlined in Mandler and Johnson (1977). Using the rules of the grammar, canonical two‐episode stories were generated as well as versions whose surface structure violated the posited underlying structure by interleaving the events of the two episodes. Predictions were made concerning the quantity, quality, and temporal sequencing of recall for the standard and interleaved versions. Recall by second‐, fourth‐, sixth‐grade, and adult subjects was studied. Quantity of recall was less for the interleaved stories but more marked differences were found in the quality of recall; many more distortions and repetitions occurred in recall of interleaved stories. The most pronounced effects were found in sequencing of recall. Subjects hearing interleaved stories showed a strong tendency to recall stories in their canonical form rather than in the correct input order. This tendency was more pronounced for children. It was suggested that children are more dependent on familiar schemata for retrieval than are adults.
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An analysis of the underlying structure of simple stories is presented. It is claimed that this type of representation of stories is used to form schemata which guide encoding and retrieval. A type of tree structure containing basic units and their connections was found to be adequate to describe the structure of both single and multi-episode stories. The representation is outlined in the form of a grammar, consisting of rewrite rules defining the units and their relationships. Some transformational rules mapping underlying and surface structures are discussed. The adequacy of the analysis is first tested against Bartlett's protocols of “The War of the Ghosts.” Then a developmental study of recall is presented. It is concluded that both children and adults are sensitive to the structure of stories, although some differences were found. Finally, it is suggested that the schemata used to guide encoding and recall are related but not identical and that retrieval is dependent on the schemata operative at the time of recall.
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Some of the aspects of the author/reader relationship that make communication possible are discussed in this paper. The paper begins by describing the most important components of that relationship. Next, through an analysis of two readings of one of Aesop's fables, it illustrates the way the author and the reader must depend on these components. It then focuses on three kinds of knowledge that the author and reader must use for successful communication to take place: conceptual knowledge, social knowledge, and story knowledge. Finally, it discusses implications of this work for reading education. (FL)
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Research was supported by the National Institute of Education; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development program project grants to the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development, and Center for Research in Human Learning; and by a grant from the National Science Foundation. US-NIE-C-400-76-0116 NIE-G-77-0018, 5 PO1 HD05027 HD 01136 GB-17590 Includes bibliographical references (p. 23-24) Research was supported by the National Institute of Education; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development program project grants to the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development, and Center for Research in Human Learning; and by a grant from the National Science Foundation. US-NIE-C-400-76-0116 NIE-G-77-0018, 5 PO1 HD05027 HD 01136 GB-17590
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Bibliography: leaves 44-48 The research reported herein was supported in part by the National Institute of Education under Contract No. US-NIE-C-400-76-0116
Article
This chapter discusses some of the contributions made by listeners while comprehending and remembering. The ability to understand linguistic symbols is based not only on the comprehender's knowledge of his language but also on his general knowledge of the world. Much of the extralinguistic knowledge affecting comprehension and memory may come from visually presented information. The chapter presents a number of studies that illustrate some of the interplay between linguistic inputs and extralinguistic knowledge. It highlights various implications of these studies with respect to the problem of characterizing the thought processes involved in comprehending language, and of characterizing the role of comprehension factors in learning and memory. The results of the studies reported do not dictate a detailed model of comprehension, but they suggest a general orientation toward the problem of linguistic comprehension that places it squarely within the domain of cognitive psychology, and that generates questions for future research. The aspects of the comprehension process may involve mental operations on knowledge structures and the realization of the implications of these operations. Information about the consequences of such operations—rather than information only about the input itself—may be necessary for comprehending subsequent inputs and may be an important part of what is available in memory tasks.
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The present study investigated the effects of the complexity of the English language and the cultural origin of prose on the reading comprehension of 46 Iranian intermediate/advanced ESL students at the university level. Half of the subjects read the unadapted English texts of two stories, one from Iranian folklore and one from American folklore; the other half read the same stories in adapted or simplified English. The subjects were tested on reading comprehension through the use of multiple choice questions on explicit and implicit information in the texts. The recall questions on the stories were also given to 19 American subjects for comparison purposes. Multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the cultural origin of the story had more effect on the comprehension of the ESL students than the level of syntactic and semantic complexity, adapted vs. unadapted. For native English readers, however, both the level of syntactic and semantic complexity of the text and the cultural origin of the story affected comprehension. The native language readers were better able to understand un-adapted English and the story based on American folklore. Implications of this study for teaching and for materials selection and design are discussed.
Article
The author presents his discussion of experimental design with emphasis on the understanding of basic principles in the text and in study exercises following each chapter the student can apply the principle to specific experimental situations selected from the literature of psychology and education. The first chapter presents fundamental concepts such as measures of precision, testing hypotheses, and randomization. Chi square, t, and F distributions are discussed in chapter 2. Chapters 3 to 16 deal with simple and complex designs, and methods of analysis of data. The mathematical level does not assume formal training beyond high school algebra. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Recent research in L2 reading has indicated that language proficiency in L2 places a limit on transference of L1 reading skills. The research reported here was developed to provide information on the possible application of L1 “schemata” theory to the nonlinguistic elements of L2 reading. The “schemata” based learning theory indicates that readers process meaning which has been presented through print by using prior knowledge of the world to produce representations of anticipated meaning. Further, this knowledge and representation can either aid or impede comprehension. In the experiment, a repeated measures design was used to present Ss with reading passages using three types of intervention. In the first method, Ss read a passage, took a test, reread the passage, and took the test again. In the second method, Ss were presented with a vocabulary list prior to reading and being tested. In the third method, Ss were shown pictures relating to the general topic of the passage and were asked to make predictions about the passage content. The results of the study indicate that schemata production is involved in the short circuit of L2 reading, that the effectiveness of externally induced schemata is greater at lower levels of proficiency than at higher levels, and that induced schemata can override language proficiency as a factor in comprehension.
Article
The research discussed here attempted to determine if (a) pycholing-uistics could explain the reading behaviors of adult Spanish speakers reading in Spanish and in English, and (b) if theme readers transferred their skills to English. The results of two studies are presented. In the first study, twenty-one adult Spanish-speaking ESL students took cloze tests in Spanish and in English. In the second study, the Spanish and English reading performances of a good L1 reader and a poor L1 reader were analyzed according to established oral miscue procedures. The results of these studies confirm the psycholinguistic perspective of reading for Spanish speakers reading in Spanish. However, it appears that language competence exerta a powerful effect on the reader, thereby reducing the good reader's advantage over the poor reader when their performances in English are compared. It is concluded that a language competence ceiling effectively prohibits the complete transfer of L1 reading skills to the second language. It is suggested that limited command of the language produces a “short circuit” effect on good readers, forcing them to revert to “poor reader strategies.” Theoretical, pedagogical and methodological implications are discussed.
Article
The effects of structure and content variables on memory and comprehension of prose passages were studied in two experiments. The experimental passages exemplify a class of simple narrative stories that is described by a generative grammar of plot structures. A comprehension model is proposed that assumes a hierarchical organizational framework of stories in memory, determined by the grammar, representing the abstract structural components of the plot. The quality and characteristics of subjects' memory for stories were tested on a variety of experimental tasks in which story organization was manipulated. Comprehensibility and recall were found to be a function of the amount of inherent plot structure in the story, independent of passage content. Recall probability of individual facts from passages depended on the structural centrality of the facts: Subjects tended to recall facts corresponding to high-level organizational story elements rather than lower-level details. In addition, story summarizations from memory tended to emphasize general structural characteristics rather than specific content. For successively presented stories, both structure and content manipulations influenced recall. Furthermore, repeating story structure across two passages produced facilitation in recall of the second passage, while repeating story content produced proactive interference. The implications for a model of memory for narrative discourse are discussed.
Article
The present paper presents a series of studies showing that relevant contextual knowledge is a prerequisite for comprehending prose passages. Four studies are reported, each demonstrating increased comprehension ratings and recall scores when Ss were supplied with appropriate information before they heard test passages. Supplying Ss with the same information subsequent to the passages produced much lower comprehension ratings and recall scores. Various explanations of the results are considered, and the role of topics in activating cognitive contexts is discussed.
Article
Bibliography: leaves 28-30 Supported in part by the National Institute of Education ... and in part by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Frameworks for comprehending discourse Remembering: A Study in Experimental and Social Psychology
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Anderson, R.C.. R.E. Reynolds. D.L. Schallert. and E.T. Goetz. 1977. Frameworks for comprehending discourse. American Educational Research Journal 14:367-38 I. Bartlett. F.C. 1932. Remembering: A Study in Experimental and Social Psychology. Cambridge. England: Cambridge University Press.
Background Knowledge in Second Language Comprehension Reading in Spanish and English: evidence from adult ESL students
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Carrell, P.L. 198 Ic. Background Knowledge in Second Language Comprehension. Paper presented at 6th AlLA World Congress, Lund. Sweden. (Forthcoming in Language Learning and Communication. Vol. 2, 1983.) Clarke. M.A. 1979. Reading in Spanish and English: evidence from adult ESL students. Language Learning 29: I2 I -150.
Culture-specific schemata in L2 comprehension In Selected Papers From the Ninth Illinois TESOLI BE Annual Convention and the First Midwest TESOL Cofl/krence
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Carrell, P.L. I98 la. Culture-specific schemata in L2 comprehension. In Selected Papers From the Ninth Illinois TESOLI BE Annual Convention and the First Midwest TESOL Cofl/krence, eds. R.A. Orem and J.F. Haskell. Chicago: Illinois TESOLIBE.
Remembrance of things parsed: story structure and recall Cognitive Psychology 9: I I 1 -I5 Story structure versus content effects on children-s recall and evaluative inferences Champaign-Urbana: Center for the Study of Reading Notes on a schema for stories Schemata: the building blocks of cognition
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Mandler, J.M.. and N.S. Johnson. 1977. Remembrance of things parsed: story structure and recall. Cognitive Psychology 9: I I 1 -I5 I, Nezworski, T.. N.L. Stein. and T. Trabasso. 1979. Story structure versus content effects on children-s recall and evaluative inferences. Technical Report No. 129. Champaign-Urbana: Center for the Study of Reading, University of Illinois. Rumelhart. D.E. 1975. Notes on a schema for stories. In Represenration and Understanding: Srudies in Cognitive Sc,ience. eds. D.G. Bobrow and A.M. Collins. New York: Academic Press. Rumelhart. D.E. 1980. Schemata: the building blocks of cognition. In Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension, eds. R.J. Spiro, B.C. Bruce. and W.F. Brewer. Hillsdale. N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
The Role of Schemata in L2 Comprehension
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Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension
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