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Title:The Culture of the Reader, the Origin of the Text, and How Children Predict as They Read
Author(s):Fritz, Mary Clark
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Education, Reading
Abstract:The impact of culture on reading comprehension is recognized by practitioners in the field of teaching English as a Second Language. Culture is an important part of what the reader brings to the page in terms of previous experiences which are stored and structured as knowledge. Cross-cultural studies, particularly of children, are few, and generally focus on the subject's recall of text. This is a study in which four groups of children, Americans in the United States, Americans who lived in India, Indians in India, and Indians living in the United States, read stories from both cultures. Each subject read one story about a birthday celebration and one about a wedding, one from India and one from the United States, making predictions at given points in the story about the word or phrase which might be expected to follow. At the end of the reading, the subject responded to oral questions which probed for interpretations.
Significant differences were found to be related consistently to the origin but not the location of the subject. The author concluded that the knowledge base which the reader brings to the comprehension of text is strongly linked to the native culture in which the reader develops.
The findings of this study have importance to educators of any student outside the cultural mainstream, since they point up the dependence of reading comprehension on cultural background. The study concludes that teachers of culturally different students need to supply background information needed for comprehension of a particular text and to remain flexible in interpreting students' comments and responses.
Issue Date:1987
Description:154 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8803043
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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