The Role of Background Knowledge in Enhancing Reading Comprehension

Ibrahim Mohamed Al-Faki, Ahmed Gumaa Siddiek


Reading comprehension is attained through successful interaction between the reader and the text. This interaction isthe major factor that plays the most important role in comprehension. Accordingly, background knowledge will be ofprimary importance for EFL readers. So schema-based, pre-reading activities should be used for activating suchbackground knowledge. It is assumed that prior knowledge activation requires pre-reading activities. The presentstudy, aims at investigating the role of activating background knowledge in reading comprehension through textpreviewing. In this study a previewing strategy called THIEVES is used to verify this hypothesis. The researchershypothesize that if students preview a text before reading it, they are likely to understand its content better. In orderto investigate this, we conducted an experimental study using a t-test as a statistical measure of the data. We arrivedat the conclusion that previewing a text through THIEVES as a prior knowledge activator - facilitates bettercomprehension. We found a positive correlation between previewing a text through THIEVES as a pre-readingactivity (that aims to activate prior knowledge) and better reading comprehension.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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