Prior Knowledge in EFL Reading Comprehension: Omani Teachers’ Perspectives & Classroom Strategies
KeywordsPrior knowledge, schema, classroom strategies, reading comprehension
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AbstractThe study investigated three main aspects related to prior knowledge in EFL reading comprehension in Oman: teachers' view of the role of prior knowledge, the instructional strategies they use for activating students' prior knowledge, and the difficulties they face when activating students' prior knowledge. To this end, three instruments were used: a questionnaire, an observation checklist, and a semi-structured interview. The findings of the study showed a strong agreement of the role of prior knowledge in text comprehension, a heavy reliance on a limited number of techniques and a clear attribution of the difficulties to sources such as students’ limited linguistic competence and lack of adequate teacher training on schema theory and its instructional techniques. In light of the findings, some implications for EFL teachers, in-service teachers training, and for curriculum development are given.