Prior knowledge helps students to understand what they read by allowing them to make connections between what they already know and what is presented in the text. It helps with comprehension and retention of new information.
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Prior knowledge plays a crucial role in a student’s reading comprehension. It refers to the knowledge that a student has acquired from their own experiences, education, and exposure to various media. When the students read a new text, their prior knowledge helps them make connections between what they already know and the information presented in the text.
As Dr. Steve Graham, a literacy expert, explains, “The more you know about a particular topic, the easier it is to understand and remember new information related to that topic.” This statement emphasizes the importance of prior knowledge in reading comprehension.
Prior knowledge helps students in the following ways:
It provides a foundation for reading comprehension by giving context to the new information presented in the text.
It helps students to interpret and make meaning of the text by filling any gaps in their understanding.
It enables students to make predictions about the content in the text, facilitating inference-making and comprehension.
It aids students in connecting new information to their previous knowledge, leading to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the text.
In fact, extensive research supports the positive impact of prior knowledge on reading comprehension. For example, a study conducted by Guthrie and Klauda (2014) found that “students who have a better understanding of the subject matter have more success with reading comprehension than those who do not.”
Moreover, a table representing the relationship between prior knowledge and reading comprehension is provided below:
|Prior knowledge||Reading Comprehension|
In conclusion, prior knowledge is a fundamental aspect of reading comprehension as it helps students to connect new information with their existing knowledge. As stated by French novelist Marcel Proust, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Prior knowledge provides the new eyes needed to make sense of the ever-changing landscapes of knowledge and understanding.
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Students’ comprehension of new information can be improved by activating their prior knowledge, a process that helps students make connections between new information and information they already know.
Using prior knowledge is an important part of reading comprehension. Students relate the written word to their previous experiences to make reading more personal, helping them to both understand and remember what they have read. Linking new facts to prior knowledge increases a student’s inferential comprehension. Reserve at least a full instructional session to introduce this comprehension strategy.
Using prior knowledge is an important part of reading comprehension for children with dyslexia. Students relate the written word to their previous experiences to make reading more personal, helping them to both understand and remember what they have read.
Linking new facts to prior knowledge increases a student’s inferential comprehension (ability to place novel information in a meaningful context by comparing it to already-learned information). Reserve at least a full instructional session to introduce this comprehension strategy.
See a related video
The video explains that activating prior knowledge is essential for improving reading comprehension skills. Prior knowledge is using what one already knows to make sense of new information. By activating prior knowledge, one prepares their brain to focus, review, question, predict, and clarify information. The speaker urges viewers to ask themselves questions such as “What do I already know about this?” or “What does the title tell me?” to train their brains and enhance their reading skills. As one practices this strategy, they can improve their ability to understand new information.