We bring prior knowledge to everything we read, whether we are aware of it or not. Titles of texts, authors' names, and the topic of the piece all trigger prior knowledge in us. Discussing the subject with classmates before you read is also a good idea. The more prior knowledge we have, the better prepared we are to make meaning of the text.
With prior knowledge we make predictions, or guesses about how what we are reading relates to our prior experience. We also make predictions about what meaning the text will convey. It is alright to make wrong guesses about what a text will do – wrong guesses are just as much a part of the meaning-making process of reading as right guesses are.
Task 2. [in pairs]
In Making you think section you tried to bring as much knowledge about perspectives in psychology as you could. Use the chart you completed and make predictions about the information the text ‘MODULE 1: THE EVOLUTION OF PSYCHOLOGY’ will contain about the perspectives in psychology.
Approaching the Text: Skimming I
Skimming means moving very quickly through the whole passage or text to get a general understanding of what it is about. You read as little as you can, while still picking up some idea of what is being discussed.
When your immediate concern is not to read the whole text carefully, but to skim it, one of the techniques that can be employed is focusing on key words and ideas, which the text is likely to contain.
Several textual clues are there to help you. The first is in the printitself. Often important points are highlighted in a text by the use of capital letters or bold print (type). These devices are designed to make certain words stand out from the page.
Task 3. [individually, in pairs]
(a) Read the first two paragraphs of the text. What do capital letters, bold type and “ quotation marks ” mark in this text?
(b) Skim the whole text focusing on key concepts and names. How close were your predictions?
Exploring the Text: Scanning
When you are scanning a text you are looking for some specific information which you know, or suspect, is there.
Task 4. [individually]
Scan the article and fill in the chart below with key concepts and names.
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