ERIC Number: ED220838
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May-6
Reference Count: 0
Response to Literature: Student Questions.
Asher, Deborah L.
Reading comprehension involves making connections between prior knowledge and the visual information on the page. To reduce uncertainty, the reader makes orthographic, syntactic, or semantic predictions. Thus, comprehension is relative, dependent on the answers to different readers' different kinds of questions. The reader does not record a ready-made message when reading, but rather builds a singular poem based on personal response to the text. Many of the questions asked after a literature reading selection assume an intrinsic lack of motivation on the students' part. Where the discussion is regularly shaped by the teacher's or textbook editor's questions, students may stop asking or even forming their own questions. They reserve making meaning pending the discovery in class of the right answers to the right questions. A number of teachers and researchers have looked at student questions in the belief that the relation between engagement and questions is dynamic: if questioning is an outcome of engaged reading, might not also engagement be an outcome of questioning? How much better it is to generate their own questions the moment they find something obscure than to read until the end, not having the slightest notion of what they have read. Having students ask questions of themselves and of each other seems to ensure that the questions discussed are those the students really want to know about, rather than those the teacher might think they want/ought to know. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reader Response
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the New Jersey Council of Teachers of English Conference (Lawrenceville, NJ, May 6, 1982).