Reading Comprehension: From Research to Classroom Essay

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Language plays a central role in almost all aspects of our lives. This paper will focus on examining the cognitive processes that are involved in using and understanding written language. Because language almost always involves units of language larger than an individual word or a single sentence, it is important to emphasize how people understand connected discourse, such as stories. Understanding these central cognitive processes will help school psychologists understand how to facilitate reading comprehension in the classroom setting. Although most of these psychological studies do not deal with specific methods on how to how to comprehend a story, these studies do indicate some of the more powerful factors that influence whether…show more content…
Bartlett found that story recall depends on how memory is reconstructed, and that there would be selective omissions of information, rationalization, a dominant theme, and transformation of information and sequence, and general blending of information. Bartlett constructed a new framework for memory and explained the importance of prior experience in one’s memory for narrative information, which was different than the theories of the time that assumed memory was more like an exact replica of incoming information (Solso, 2008). Bartlett felt that readers used their prior experience to construct expectations about what should occur in a story. These expectations would influence how a text was remembered because the reader would interpret incoming information using what he or she already knew and expected. These prior experiences were labeled “schemata”. Knowing something about a subject makes it easier to learn more about that subject. Thorndike et al. explains that our prior knowledge serves as a framework which makes the new information more meaningful and easier to absorb. At Bartlett explained, comprehension depends only in part on the information provided by the text. To show how the reader also uses his/her knowledge of the topic, Anderson and Pichert (1978) directed an experiment where participants were asked to read a story about the home of a wealthy family from either the viewpoint of a homebuyer or a
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