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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Prior Knowledge and L1 and L2 grade three readers’ interacting with texts and answering questions on texts Faria-Neves, Marina de


This case study explored how ten English as a First Language (Li) and ten English as a Second Language (L2) average Grade Three readers used Prior Knowledge and Non Prior Knowledge strategies to understand two Science texts and to answer three types of questions on the texts. The questions were classified according to the Pearson and Johnson taxonomy (1978). Answers to Textually Explicit questions could be found in the text; answers to Textually Implicit questions invited inferences from the text and answers to Scriptally Implicit questions required readers to use their own resources. Readers thought out loud or verbalized their thoughts after reading each sentence of the text, rated reading strategy statements, orally answered the three types of questions and then rated question-answering strategy statements. Patterns of strategies emerged from the Text and Questions protocols. Frequency counts of strategies were tallied and percentages were calculated. Analyses of the bar graphs showed that there were apparent differences between Li and L2 students in their use of Prior Knowledge and Non Prior Knowledge strategies when they read texts and answered questions on texts. It was felt that these differences indicated that Li readers seemed to be less “text-bound” or focussed on the text than L2 readers were. There were also apparent differences between the three types of questions and Li and L2 readers’ use of Prior Knowledge and Non Prior Knowledge strategies, providing evidence that the three types of questions elicited use of different types of strategies, and lending support to Wixson’s comment (1983) that the types of questions asked influenced the kinds of strategies used.

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