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Schema theory: how is it activated in iranianl1readers?

Author: 
Ardeshir, Jahani
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Reading comprehension research within the framework of schema theoretical view has shown that the ability to understand texts is based not only on the reader's linguistic knowledge, but also on his/her general knowledge of the world (schemeta) and the extent to which that knowledge is activated during the actual process of reading (Carrell, 1983a; 1983b; Carrell and Wallace 1983; Carrell and Eisterhold, 1983). But few empirical data are available about the processes by which schemata are evoked (Carrell, 1987). This study is an attempt to see how much of the schema is activated. An experiment was designed to investigate to see the 'how' of schema activation, to see whether the relevant part of the schema or the whole schema is activated. Sixty first semester students (30 males and 30 females) majoring English in Isfahan Teacher Training Centers(Teachers’University), participated in the experiment. The subjects were first asked to read a list of ten sentences(Read list) about the kitchen in their native language (Farsi).To forget what they had already read, they were given some math problems. Then, they were asked to search in the 'Test list' and check the ten sentences of the 'Read list' in it. The 'Test list' consisted of the ten sentences in the 'Read list' and other sentences not existing in the 'Read list ' concerning both the kitchen or the other parts of the house. The mistakes the subjects made in checking the ten sentences were of two kinds: Relevant (about the kitchen but not existing in the Read list) and irrelevant (about the other parts of the house). The results of t-value computation indicate that most subjects activated the relevant part of the schema (the kitchen). No significant difference was found between males and females in this regard, though the male subjects had proportionally more relevant mistakes.

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