EFFECTS OF THEMATIC PREPASSAGES AND LEARNING GOALS ON THE READING COMPREHENSION OF UNSKILLED COLLEGE READERS

DONNA HATCHETTE, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether two prereading cues--thematic prepassages and learning goals--would differentially affect the reading comprehension of unskilled college readers. Learning goals stated the specific goals or reasons for reading an expository selection and the thematic prepassages stated the theme or gist of the selection. The reading comprehension of unskilled college readers was measured by two types of questions, concept and rote learning. The concept question related to the superordinate statement of the paragraph and the rote learning question related to the details of the subordinate sentences.^ The hypotheses of the study were to determine whether there would be significant differences in the mean scores and total group scores of concept questions and rote learning questions respectively, for readers given learning goals or thematic prepassages.^ The study was conducted with 40 unskilled college readers from an urban community college. These subjects were selected by utilizing a model similar to Cromer's (1970) difference model of poor readers. They manifested on-level vocabulary ability but below grade level reading comprehension ability. The experimental test contained prereading cues (thematic prepassages and learning goals) which were theorized to provide organizational cues needed by these unskilled readers.^ The research design was classified as a post-test only contrast group. A t-test was performed to compare the mean scores of the two groups in order to distinguish the overall effectiveness of each treatment.^ The results indicated a significant difference in the mean scores of concept questions of subjects given thematic prepassages and those given learning goals. However, there was no significant difference found for the mean scores of rote learning questions nor total comprehension scores for either of the two groups.^ The findings of this study can assist educators in actual instruction and in the preparation of teaching materials for unskilled readers. ^

Subject Area

Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

HATCHETTE, DONNA, "EFFECTS OF THEMATIC PREPASSAGES AND LEARNING GOALS ON THE READING COMPREHENSION OF UNSKILLED COLLEGE READERS" (1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8600087.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8600087

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