Factors influencing Comprehension
The article under the sub- heading Understanding Comprehension stated that “comprehension is complex”. It is my belief that teachers whether in the primary or secondary system should see it as such and not just a situation where a passage is just read and the questions answered at the end of it. It has been brought to my attention that comprehension is affected by a variety of factors some of which may be considered internal as well as external. Some of the internal factors may include stressful situations and the external factors would include the reading text assigned and the pages with dense text with few paragraph breaks or illustrations. It is then my belief that if the pre-service and inservice teachers saw this as a critical issue then for those of us who have not been taking it as seriously then we need to. The students who we teach may have been affected by these factors but because of teachers ignorance comprehension lessons where not adequately prepared.
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....
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