A Sociocultural Approach to Formal Schemata Teaching in Reading Comprehension for Chinese ESL Students

Hua GUO, Lei MA


Reading comprehension is an interactive process between schematic knowledge and new information, and inadequacy of schematic knowledge or failure to activate it constitutes reading barrier. Chinese ESL students tend to be more concerned with content schemata rather than formal schemata. Building on theoretical and empirical studies regarding the effect of formal schemata on ESL reading, this paper adopts a sociocultural approach, compares structural differences between Chinese and English texts, and proposes three teaching strategies, namely explicit instruction, structural mediation and internalization, so as to increase students’ awareness of sociocultural formal schemata in English reading comprehension.


Teaching reading; Sociocultural approach; Formal schemata; Chinese ESL students

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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