ERIC Number: ED174025
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Prior Knowledge and Bilingual Literacy. Lektos: Interdisciplinary Working Papers in Language Sciences, Vol. 3, No. 2.
St. Clair, Robert N.
In this analysis of prior knowledge and bilingual literacy, it is suggested that the basis upon which cognitive decisions are made and nonvisual inferences are drawn comes from the background knowledge that the reader possesses as tacit or prior knowledge. It is claimed that the only model that can account for the pluralistic nature of language is the symbolic interactionism model. Reading is basically an interpretive process in which the reader is obligated to try to infer just what the author's message might be. In the case of a native speaker of a language reading materials in his native language, it can be assumed that comprehension is complete when the perspectives of the author and the reader are the same. Variations in reading comprehension may rest in part in incongruencies in socialization, the cognitive saliency of certain events from one's bibliographical history, or different strategies in approaching and processing new information. A reader approaches the printed page with preconceived notions, and this process is a kind of social interaction. A bilingual child may read the second language and incorrectly place connotations on the words based on the first language. The base of bilingual literacy and its implications for the inferencing process across cultures needs to be considered. (SW)
Descriptors: Bilingualism, Cultural Background, Essays, Knowledge Level, Language Usage, Reading Comprehension, Reading Processes, Second Language Learning, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics
University of Louisville, Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics, Room 214 Humanities, Louisville, Kentucky 40208
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Louisville Univ., KY. Interdisciplinary Program in Linguistics.