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The complete posting can be seen on my other blog.

I found a good slide about reading after I read Christopher Dawson‘s article. This slide tell us that you need a prior knowledge to understand what you read. This slide explains why reading strategies (in language courses) cannot help you in reading comprehension test like in school exams, TOEFL, IELTS, FCE, CAE, Test DaF, Zertifikat Deutsch, DSH and many other language test. Reading comprehension requires prior knowledge.

Knowledge matters to reading. That sentence is mentioned in the slide. I have a friend, called Rudolf Surya Bonay, who has done DSH test (a German language test for entering university). He did the test well because he had a feeling that World War II would be in the exam. He searched information about the war in the internet. The language test had indeed a lot of question about the war because there was 60 years celebration of the end of World War II at that time. Another sentence in the video is “Knowing the subject makes you good reader“.

After watching the slide, I realised that reading religious text (like Bible, Quran, and so on) could have the same problem. People have different prior knowledge so they interpret religious text differently. For example, I have no experience of being a shepherd, planting figgs, killing people from another religion and so on. The people (or society) who “teach” me religion (and/or theory about religion) give me some experience or knowledge which make me different from other people on other part of the world. My religious believe is not the same as other. It is a pity that there is a group of religious people forcing others to believe what they believe.

Back to the slide, at the end there is a sentence “Teaching content is teaching reading“. Enjoy it!


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