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Best Practices in Teaching Comprehension - Essay Example

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Successful literacy is schemata building blocks of cognition which are the fundamental elements upon which all information processing depends. This schema is basically a theory about knowledge,a theory about how knowledge is represented and how that representation facilitates the use of knowledge in particular ways…
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Best Practices in Teaching Comprehension
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Download file to see previous pages The underlying mechanisms by which comprehension and knowledge acquisition occur are 'top-bottom' and 'bottom-up' technologies. Bottom-up or data driven activation of schema occurs when information on the page activates a certain low level schemata or feature detectors which in turn activate or instantiate a higher up sub schema or other higher up structure. In that processing manner,information enters into the perceptual system from the most specific feature at the bottom and travels upward to the most general structure in the system.
On the other hand,conceptual driven activation occurs when the highest and most abstract structure at the top of the system sends down information through the hierarchy of structures till it reaches the lowest structure or the feature detector. This processing flow of information in a top-down manner is brought to account for incoming data and to comprehend it as a correct interpretation of the input. Both types of mechanisms work in both directions.
The process of understanding discourse is the process of finding a configuration that offers an adequate account of the passage in question. Clues from the passage suggest possible interpretations (instantiation of schemata) that are then evaluated against the successive sentences of the passage until finally a consistent interpretation is discovered.

The scenario of the passage is an information network called from the long-term memory by a particular linguistic input which is a basic principle of enabling the knowledge of the reader to be used in such a way as to allow for direct interpretation of entities or events predicted by his knowledge. To the extent that any text conforms to the predictions it is readily interpreted,if not,it will be more difficult to understand.

Reading is a far more creative activity than most think with information in the text better regarded as evidence or even building blocks from which readers construct their own meanings and often their entire experiences. There are four theories for the failure of a reader to understand correctly a written passage:

1-The reader may not have the appropriate schemata,i.e,cannot understand the concept being communicated.

2-The reader may have the appropriate schemata but the clues provided by the author may be insufficient to suggest them.

3-The reader may find a consistent interpretation of the text but may not find the one intended by the author. In such case,the reader will 'understand' the text but will misunderstand the author.

4-The reader may have the appropriate schemata and that the writer may have provided sufficient clues in the text but the reader has not learned how to decode clues in a text.

The ways to decode such difficulties is by understanding the following:

a-Rationale of the mode:

In seeking to study the role of background knowledge or schema, Carrel and Eisterhold draw the useful distinction between two types of schemata:content schemata represent background knowledge about the content area or the topic of a text whereas formal schemata represent background expectations about the rhetorical structure of a text. Carrell(1983) found out that the role of either content or formal schemata or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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