THE USE OF PRE-QUESTIONS IN THE TEACHING OF COMPREHENSION

Davidson, Hugh Mackay (1979). THE USE OF PRE-QUESTIONS IN THE TEACHING OF COMPREHENSION. The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fcc8

Abstract

My dissertation is concerned with the problems of pupils in understanding passages they read. Many readers are able to interpret a passage only at the level of literal recall without relating the passage to their own experience of without seeing the authors’ intention. This dissertation consequently is concerned with the extent to which pre-questions (about the ideas of the passage) are beneficial in these aspects of reading comprehension. I decided on this because it is generally considered that realisation of context is an aid to fluency and comprehension. (Please see chapters on ‘Review of Relevant Literature’ and ‘What Does It Mean to Understand a Text’).

My main hypothesis was that in any test situation these readers (pupils) who had taken the pre-questions would perform better on interpretation questions (questions set on a passage) than those who had not.

Several sets of tests were administered and in several cases the pre-questions proved helpful and in the last set of tests these results were significant.

This led me to conclude that context, comprehension and fluency were linked, that pre-questions could be a help to the teacher both in the reading and study of extracts and also in encouraging and developing reading. Since the tests results indicate a connection between comprehension and context, I would later like to consider pupil motivation and choice of fiction.

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