Previous studies have used cross-cultural comparisons to demonstrate the effect of background knowledge on reading comprehension. The present study used a similar approach to study the relations between background knowledge, reading skill and level of use of reading comprehension strategies. Eighty-eight sixth-grade participants in elementary school were equally divided according to reading skill (skilled and less skilled) and country (Bahamas or Canada). Subjects thought aloud while reading culturally familiar and unfamiliar informative texts. Protocols were scored according to the level of strategic action exhibited and according to the condition triggering the action.
The results, while confirming the role of knowledge in the construction of meaning, indicated significant country differences in subjects' use of knowledge and in correlations of strategy level with other measures. Results from the Canadian sample confirmed other North American findings: level of strategy use was positively correlated with both reading skill and with comprehension of familiar and unfamiliar texts. However, the Bahamian skilled and less skilled students demonstrated consistently higher levels of strategy and knowledge use on both familiar and unfamiliar stories than did the Canadian students. Furthermore, in the Bahamian sample, level of strategy use was not correlated with reading skill or comprehension. These results raise questions about the generality of relationship between reading strategies and comprehension.
Eighty-eight sixth-grade participants in elementary school were equally divided according to reading skill (skilled and less skilled) and country (Bahamas or Canada).
Tinker Sachs, Gertrude, "Levels of Cultural Familiarity and Strategy Use in Reading Comprehension" (1989). Middle and Secondary Education Faculty Publications. 23.