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A Study on the Process of Reading Comprehension from Psycholinguistic Perspectives

作者:未知

  According to the research of psycholinguistics (Rumelhart 1977, 1980), the process of reading comprehension is the interaction between the prototypes or stimulus of reader’s previously acquired knowledge and text. This “previously acquired knowledge” is defined as “background knowledge”, and the “previously acquired knowledge’s” prototype or stimulus is described as “schemata” (Rumelhart, 1980). Therefore, it can be concluded that the procedure of reading comprehension is the communication between the schemata of reader and text. The process of reading comprehension will be achieved if the text information compatible with the schemata of the reader. However, the reading process will be failed if the text information can not match with the schemata of reader.
  Base on the schemata theory, the studies on the modes of reading process can be categorized into three types (Carrell, Devine & Eskey, 1988), “bottom-up”, “top-down” and the role of schemata for readers. The process bottom-up and process top-down occur simultaneously to complete the reading procedure. I. Bottom-up
  Bottom-up is a kind of communication process in which the readers identify and coordinate the specific linguistics clues into their assumptions about the content and structure (schemata) of the text. II. Top-down
  In contrast, in the top-down process, the reader must predict the information of text through their prior background knowledge ( “background knowledge on content and schema (Carrell, Devine & Eskey, 1988). Top-down processing is also defined as “conceptually driven” (Carrell, Devine & Eskey, 1988).
  According to Rumelhart (1980), these two processes must work together to make reading comprehension accomplished. III. Schemata
  According to Carrell (1983b), the schemata can be classified into two parts: content schemata and formal schemata.
  1.Content schemata
  Content schemata means “background knowledge of content area of the text, such as a text about washing clothes, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Hawaii or Halloween in Carbondale, or about the economy of Mexico, the history of Canada, problems of nuclear breeder reactors, and so forth.(Carrell, 1983b)” The researches (Johnson, 1981; Carrell, 1981) on studying content schemata have indicated that people read the text with the culture they familiar with is more easier than read the same “syntactically and rhetorically equivalent (Carrell, Devine & Eskey, 1988: 80) ” text with the culture they are not acquainted with. Other researches (Johnson, 1982) on content schemata which focused on ESL reading inferred that students could better understand the text with the topic they familiar with than the similar text with unfamiliar topic.
  2.Formal schemata
  Formal schemata refer to “background knowledge of the formal, rhetorical organizational structures of different types of texts. (Carrell, 1983b). The studies on formal schemata are primarily addressed on the influence of genre on reading comprehension.
  References:
  [1]Rumelhart,D.E.1977.Toward an Interactive Model of Reading[A].Dormics.Attention and Performance IV[C].Academic Press.
  [2]Rumelhart,D.E.1980.Schemata:The Building Blocks of Cognition.Theoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension.Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  [3]Carrell,P.Devine,J.Eskey,D.1988.Interactive Approaches to Second Language Reading[M].New York:Cam-bridge University Press.
  [4]Carrell,P.L.1983b.Three componets of background knowledge in reading comprehension[J].Language Learning.
  【作者�介】潘春,鲁迅美术学院大连校区。


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