ERIC Number: ED265510
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Prose Comprehension and Text Search as a Function of Reading Volume. Reading Competencies and Practices. Technical Report #3.
Kirsch, Irwin; Guthrie, John
Psychometric and ethnographic frameworks were used to explore the relationships among adults' uses for reading and their demonstrated competencies with related domains of tasks. Information regarding frequently occurring reading tasks was gathered from 42 adults in both work and leisure settings by means of questionnaires, interviews, and observations. Based on these data, two types of reading--text search and prose comprehension--were proposed. A two-stage information processing model for text search was developed and contrasted with a general model of reading. The subjects then undertook 38 reading tasks corresponding to prose comprehension and text search and completed measures of reading performance and reading volume. Results showed that text search and prose comprehension were uncorrelated, and that the amount of time adults spent engaged in each type of reading significantly predicted their performance in these domains. The findings support the view that people can and do acquire competencies to meet their occupational and personal reading needs. As such, the findings are consistent with other ethnographic research, which emphasizes the importance of studying reading and literacy as a system of culturally organized skills and values that are acquired in particular contexts to satisfy specific needs. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Army Research Inst. for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, VA.
Authoring Institution: International Reading Association, Newark, DE.