ERIC Number: ED166636
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Contextual Information and Reading Comprehension.
Teale, William H.
Following a discussion of the differences between oral and written speech, this paper examines the act of reading written speech and the role that contextual information plays in reading comprehension. It notes the interaction that occurs between reader and text, points out the way in which written language makes demands upon readers' extralinguistic information, presents H. P. Grice's Cooperative Principles regarding ways a speaker (writer) is expected to cooperate with a listener (reader), and explains the "Given-New Contract" of Herb Clark and Susan Haviland, which governs the way in which speakers present information that listeners do or do not know. It then demonstrates that textbook content has a Given-New pattern and reports the results of a study that revealed that both IQ and knowledge of concepts assumed by a textbook passage to be Given information correlated significantly with reading comprehension. The paper concludes from the study that reading comprehension is dependent not merely on the text but on the transaction that occurs as a result of reader information meeting author information, and it reports on other research providing evidence for this conclusion. It also notes the differences between "real" reading comprehension (a thinking transaction with a passage) and "unreal" reading comprehension (a literal level translation) and urges secondary teachers to teach reading as a thinking process and to set purposes for reading. (GT)
Descriptors: Cognitive Processes, Communication (Thought Transfer), Comprehension, Content Area Reading, Context Clues, Elementary Secondary Education, Interaction, Knowledge Level, Language Styles, Reading Comprehension, Reading Instruction, Reading Processes, Reading Research, Semantics, Speech Communication, Student Experience, Textbook Content, Writing (Composition)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Australian Reading Conference (3rd, Melbourne, Australia, August 28-31, 1977)