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Factors Influencing Comprehension
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Secondly, the fact that background knowledge was so important on the side of the pupil just did not occur to me. I thought that what I gave initially at the beginning of the lesson if they had no experience it would be enough. Students being taught the comprehension lesson should have some experiential background to the text being used or the teacher could run into problems. “Schema theory tells us that readers must have adequate back-ground knowledge to understand what they read; it also tells us that readers must activate their prior knowledge” (Langer, 1984).
Preparations for students doing comprehension lessons must therefore be more in-depth not only on the teachers part but in light of the students as well as one needs to investigate if the students has any prior knowledge. Thirdly and quite interestingly the Transactional theory brought home the fact that different students read for different reasons, the efferent stance or the aesthetic stance. The fact is a student’s stance can influence his or her comprehension. In teaching we need to know just how important the material is to our students or rather how important we make it for them.
The fact that they may be quizzed at the end of a reading may generate more interest. The students who read just for sheer experience may just not comprehend as well as the one who does it for a purpose that could be considered more important. Fourthly, comprehension as a process is very stimulating to a student or students for that matter. The fact that this process begins before actual reading and end long after the reading is finished emphasises the activities that are used to grab and keep the students involved in the whole teaching and learning experience. Dividing instruction into prereading, during reading and post reading helps teachers design activities for each stage that will improve students’ comprehension (Carlton, 1982) and provides opportunities for teachers to demonstrate strategies that readers can use at this stage”
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