Before Reading. Before reading strategic readers:. Set a purpose for reading Preview the text Activate prior knowledge Make predictions (activating prior knowledge, previewing and overviewing). Prior knowledge.
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Harste, 1986, reported that research studies found that readers spend about 70 percent of their time “interpreting the author’s ideas and deciding how those ideas relate to their won prior knowledge of the subject.”
Therefore, it is important to encourage students to use their existing knowledge to facilitate their understanding of new ideas encountered in text (schema theory).
Schema theory demonstrates how a person’s knowledge affects the way new information is comprehended and remembered (Anderson & Pearson, 1984). A reader actually constructs new knowledge by combining textual material with information already processed.
Assimilation: This is the process whereby the reader recognizes and remembers some facts and not others. There is a base upon which new information can be added and comparisons made.
Accommodation: the process whereby schemata are used to interpret and reconstruct information from the text and the reader's mind to form new concepts. This process involves creating new slots in the reader’s storage system and sometimes dissolving old ones. (Kane, 2003)
“prediction activities promoted overall story understanding only if the predictions were explicitly compared to text ideas during further reading suggesting that the verification process in which knowledge and text are compared explicitly, may be as important as making the prediction” (Duke, & Pearson, 2002).
The issue of prior knowledge may differ somewhat between preparing to read narrative text and expository text. The reason for this is that with expository texts, depending on the students’ existing knowledge it may be “riddled with misconceptions about matters of science and prejudices in the realm of human experience” (Duke &Pearson, 2002).