ypes of Comprehension-Based Schemata
There are several schemata types associated with comprehension, which will be discussed in the next paragraphs: Content schema, textual, intertextual, and linguistic content [. . .] are based on world knowledge. When learners have prior knowledge of a subject, they bring schemata of that given topic to new information. Learners’ schema, or their organized knowledge of the world, provides much of the basis for comprehending, learning, and remembering the ideas in stories and texts (Anderson, 1994). This schema represents a wide range of experiences and understandings that have been acquired both in and out of school. Content schema also includes systems of factual knowledge, values, and cultural conventions. Life experiences can also impact interpretation. As Ruddell and Unran (1994) point out, “Meaning that is understood from text is not in the text itself, but in the learner, in his or her . . . schematic knowledge” (p. 1056).
In textual schemata (the rhetorical structure of different modes of text), learners have prior knowledge of the structural characteristics of written language. This schema of prior knowledge of the structural characteristics of text helps students to anticipate, follow, and organize information and enables learners to find important information in a new text. For example, once learners activate schemata, they can anticipate ideas and information and make inferences about content. Learners can understand a text, based on past schematic understandings of that type of text. Once learners have experience with poetry, they have developed a mental schema of poetry and can apply this understanding when experiencing new poetry (Roe et al., 2007). Narrative text structure is called story grammar, and relates to setting, characters, plot structure, climax, and resolution.
Intertextual schemata occur when there appear to be links between ideas discovered in one text that can be applied to another. Comprehension occurs when knowledge of ideas in one text aids in students’ understanding of ideas in another. Linguistic schemata are schemata by which we produce and comprehend language rules. Innate language capacity must be stimulated and supported by new knowledge about language that learners acquire over time. These linguistic schemata include sentence structure, grammatical inflections, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and cohesive structures. See Table 4.2 for a summary of these comprehension-associated schema types.