Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Language teaching > Teaching method

The Application of Schema Theory in Reading of English Short Novels

Author SuXiaoPing
Tutor HaoMei
School Taiyuan University of Technology
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords schema theory applications short novel reading
CLC H319.3
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
Downloads 16
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Reading is growing increasingly important for the students, especially for the English majors, along with the development of the theories of second language acquisition and information channels nowadays. As we know, reading still plays an essential role in today’s college English teaching. Through reading extensively, particularly English short novels, students can accumulate plenty of vocabulary, sentence structure and information for their communication purposes. However, the traditional teaching method has dominated the English teaching class for so long a time that there is a great gap between students’ English reading ability and new requirements in the College English Syllabus. Therefore, it is significant to implore new theories or further current researches so as to explore new ways to be efficient in English reading. Consequently, improving students’ English reading ability, in particularly, the ability to comprehend English novels, becomes the focus of English teachers in China. Currently, one of the prevailing perspectives toward the analysis of reading process is the schema theory. This paper aims to apply schema theory to the analysis and appreciation of the short novels and then offer suggestions on applying schema theory in EFL reading.Schema is usually explained as the general knowledge structure in readers’ mind. Schema theory proposes that readers possess different conceptual frameworks which they bring to the reading of a text and which they use to make sense of what they read. In other words, schema theory is an explanation of how readers use prior knowledge to comprehend and learn from reading materials. The theory claims that the nature of reading comprehension is regarded as an active process, in which the reader starts from the visual stimuli in the text through activation of prior schemata in his mind and obtains a proper interpretation of the text, which is consistent with the intended intention of the author and has an impact on the reader. Efficient comprehension requires the ability to relate the textual material to the reader’s own prior knowledge.The first chapter of this paper provides a general introduction of the whole paper: the definition of schema theory, the purpose and the structure of the dissertation. The second chapter reviews the historical and existing views on schema theory and reading. The nature and the definition of reading are also discussed in this chapter. The third chapter analyzes the relationship between schema theory and its function in reading, as well as the models and classification of schema theory. The fourth chapter illustrates the application of the theory in reading of English novels by taking My Oedipus Complex as an example. The fifth chapter gives some possible suggestions on application of schema theory in novel reading. In the last chapter, it’s concluded that the author has found that the schema-theory-based reading teaching has better and scientific effect than the traditional teaching method. According to the findings of the study and schema teaching experiences at home and abroad, the author puts forwards the following suggestions: the first is still to enrich students’ linguistic ability; the second is to enhance students’ command of language; the third is to make students have cultural awareness. Meanwhile, the significance of reading extensively, reading with strategies and social-cultural knowledge required for better reading is also highlighted because students’ difficulties in comprehension may be related not only to linguistic or lexical problems but also to problems caused by lack of reading skills, cultural background knowledge and extensive reading.

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