Volume 59, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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The results of the pilot study reported on in this article indicate that the combination of children's books supplementary to the biology lessons does not diminish reading-achieve-ment test scores, and that there seems to be an advantage in domain-specific word knowledge. For 14 weeks, the time normally spent on unsustained silent reading in class was filled in by reading on particular subjects that were being discussed in biology lessons. The basic research assumption was that reading various texts on the same subject would not only positively affect the children's knowledge about this subject but would also improve their reading skills and their attitudes towards reading. The experimental group scored significandy better than their peer group on a domain-specific vocabulary test. This indicates that the books were used as stepping stones for building mental knowledge structures. Tests with respect to the other variables such as reading skills yielded no significant differences between the groups. However, post-hoc analysis showed an advantage for pupils from the lower social groups. Their attitude towards reading impro-ved considerably, in which respect they differed significandy from their peers. The results seem to confirm the ideas expressed in the international literature about content area reading and in aspects of schema theory. By reading the books in combination with the biology lessons, certain schemata could be activated which enable the pupils better to understand the new information and store it firmly in their memory. The redundancy of important words appearing in various contexts is a determinant of word knowledge.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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