ERIC Number: ED220789
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Relationship between Reading Proficiency, Background Knowledge, and Inferencing Strategies.
A study tested a theory of inferencing strategies. Subjects were 40 sixth grade students of average intelligence from a large Western Canadian city who were divided according to reading proficiency and background knowledge. Six passages, three familiar to the students and three unfamiliar to them, were written by the researcher in such a manner that inferences would have to be generated if the students were to comprehend them. Taped half-hour interviews were transcribed and scored for total number of inference strategies, total of each inference strategy, source, elaborations, and location of each inference. Analysis identified 10 inferencing strategies, classified as most productive, productive, and counterproductive. Each strategy performed a distinct function, with different strategies being used by two levels of readers and by both background knowledge groups. Familiarity with the text and reading proficiency significantly influenced the number of extralinguistic elaborations used to support inferences, and the particular strategies used tended to determine whether text or extratextual information was used as a source. Theoretically, these strategies would be a critical factor in an encounter component of a theory of inference, and pedagogically, they differentiate students on the basis of their level of reading proficiency and degree of background knowledge. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Inference; Reading Strategies
Note: Research prepared at the University of Alberta.