ERIC Number: ED223980
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
"You Get Lost When You Gotta Blimmin Watch the Damn Words." Another Look at Reading in the Junior Secondary School.
A New Zealand study revealed that many secondary school reading tasks are both complex and potentially confusing for pupils. Researchers joined two classes at the junior high and high school levels, and followed the students to their major content area classes--English, math, science, and social studies--for two terms. Conversations with the 60 pupils were tape recorded through 300 lessons. The results highlighted some important areas of confusion as well as some of the complex strategies used by pupils to cope with difficulties. The results indicated "possible worlds" confusion, related to schemata, in which pupils interpret a particular word according to their knowledge of it (i.e., alarm as fire alarm instead of fear). Text materials were frequently too difficult for those pupils who did not really understand the content area, and pictures and diagrams were often of no help. The data also indicated that strategies used by students would change depending on the difficulty of the text or task, such as scanning a text for several answers to a question hoping that at least some of them will be correct, or looking for plausible key words without trying to understand the text at all. Low progress readers often misread unfamiliar words, but the major difficulty was that they read too slowly to keep up with classmates, and read much less frequently. These results call for further research in the areas of "possible worlds" interpretations that do not fit the text, instructional activities to increase reading "mileage," and interviewing techniques to evoke and enhance students' prior knowledge and understanding in content areas. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: New Zealand; Reading Strategies
Note: Revised version of a paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the United Kingdom Reading Association (19th, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, July 19-23, 1982).