Influence of Prior Knowledge and Interest on Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Passage Comprehension on the Qualitative Reading Inventory—4 Purpose In 2 experiments, we examined the influence of prior knowledge and interest on 4th- and 5th-grade students' passage comprehension scores on the Qualitative Reading Inventory—4 (QRI–4) and 2 experimenter-constructed passages. Method In Experiment 1, 4th- and 5th-grade students were administered 4 Level 4 passages or 4 Level ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2014
Influence of Prior Knowledge and Interest on Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Passage Comprehension on the Qualitative Reading Inventory—4
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Kristen Clark
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Alan G. Kamhi
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Mary Kristen Clark: marykristen@hotmail.com
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Donna Boudreau
    Associate Editor: Donna Boudreau×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2014
Influence of Prior Knowledge and Interest on Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Passage Comprehension on the Qualitative Reading Inventory—4
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2014, Vol. 45, 291-301. doi:10.1044/2014_LSHSS-13-0074
History: Received September 24, 2013 , Revised April 24, 2014 , Accepted July 26, 2014
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2014, Vol. 45, 291-301. doi:10.1044/2014_LSHSS-13-0074
History: Received September 24, 2013; Revised April 24, 2014; Accepted July 26, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose In 2 experiments, we examined the influence of prior knowledge and interest on 4th- and 5th-grade students' passage comprehension scores on the Qualitative Reading Inventory—4 (QRI–4) and 2 experimenter-constructed passages.

Method In Experiment 1, 4th- and 5th-grade students were administered 4 Level 4 passages or 4 Level 5 passages from the QRI–4. Prior knowledge was assessed by key concept questions from the QRI–4. Interest was rated on a 5-point scale. In Experiment 2, 4th- and 5th-grade students were administered 2 passages from the QRI–4 and 2 experimenter-constructed passages. One general question was used to assess prior knowledge, and 3 measures were used to assess interest.

Results Prior knowledge as measured by key concept questions on the QRI–4 or a general question had minimal impact on passage comprehension. More important, only one third of the prior knowledge questions on the QRI–4 were related to a comprehension question. When these question pairs were analyzed, having prior knowledge was still not predictive of comprehension performance. Interest level had minimal impact on comprehension performance.

Conclusions This study's findings raise concerns about the usefulness of prior knowledge assessments on the QRI–4. Interest had little impact on comprehension performance. Educational implications are discussed.

Acknowledgments
We express our appreciation to the teachers, parents, and students who participated. Thanks also go to Patricia Wasco, Ashley Jones, Brandi Carter, Michelle Middleton, and Kelly Shelton for their assistance with the project.
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