The Factors That Contribute to the Comprehension of Text.

Topics: Reading comprehension, Understanding, Comprehension Pages: 4 (1219 words) Published: April 24, 2006
The factors that contribute to the comprehension of text.

Text comprehension is a complex task that involves many different cognitive skills and processes. Understanding and comprehending information from text is a process that is impacted by the reader and the text. The reader must have the ability to understand the meaning of individual words and phrases, or constructing meaning from the text as a whole. This interacts with the prior knowledge, interest, and motivations that the reader brings to the task of reading. The organization of the text or the organization of ideas in a text also affects comprehensions. The text should possess attributes that can assist with reading comprehension. Reading comprehension is an interactive process that involves the reader, and text.

Prior knowledge is one of the most important factors on text comprehension. The reader makes inferences based on prior knowledge when explicit information is not provided. Some readers may draw wrong conclusions or have conflicting interpretations; the person might draw a best plausible concept to put in the active schema structure. The influence of prior knowledge on the comprehension and recall of ideas was illustrated in study by Bransford and Johnson (1973). They asked people to listen to a paragraph and try to comprehend and remember it. Then subjects tried to recall as many ideas as they could. The paragraph was design to consist of abstract, unfamiliar statements.

The results shown that, the participants could only recall 3.6 ideas from a maximum of 14. The ideas from the paragraph made less abstract by showing people an appropriate context, or the visual representations of the paragraph. The context before group showed a picture or visual representation of the paragraph before reading paragraph; the participants shown improvement by recalling 8.0 ideas. While the context after group, shown picture immediately after reading the paragraph, recalled only 3.6 ideas....
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