Reading is a selective process. It involves partial use of available minimal language signals selected from perceptual input on the basis of the reader’s expectation. Schemas are mentally presentation of knowledge built through experiences from people, situation or object. Schema is seen as a kind of framework where some information are filled in and others are left blank. Schemas are used to organise our knowledge which would make it easier for us to recall. Schemas help us to understand present situations and also try to predict what is mostly likely to happen next. The concept schema have been used by different scholars to understand the interactions of key factors affecting the comprehension process. It is also a representation of a plan in the form of an outline. It represent knowledge about concepts objects and the relationship they have knowledge with other objects situations, events, sequences of events, actions, and sequence of actions. This essay will describe schema theory and also by giving more on types of it. Therefore it will explain the contribution this has made to our understanding of reading.
Schema theory is an explanation of how readers use prior knowledge to comprehend and learn from text cited in Rumelhart 1980. The term schema was firstly used in psychology by Barlett as an active organisation of past reactions or experiences. Later schema was introduced in reading when discussing the important the important role of background knowledge in reading comprehension (An,2013). Schema theory is a branch of cognitive science concerned with how the brain structures knowledge. Schema is an organised unit of knowledge for a subject or event. It is based on past experience and is accessed to guide current understanding or action Pankin, 2013….. A schema (plural schemata) is a hypothetical mental structure for representing generic concepts stored in memory. It’s a sort of framework, or plan, or script. Schemata are created through experience with people, objects, and events in the world. When we encounter something repeatedly, such as a restaurant, we begin to generalize across our restaurant experiences to develop an abstracted, generic set of expectations about what we will encounter in a restaurant. This is useful, because if someone tells you a story about eating in a restaurant, they don’t have to provide all of the details about being seated, giving their order to the server, leaving a tip at the end, etc., because your schema for the restaurant experience can fill in these missing details. Schemata can be seen as the organized background knowledge, which leads us to expect or predict aspects in our interpretation of discourse. Bartlett (1932) believed that our memory of discourse was not based on straight reproductions, but was constructive. This constructive process uses information from the encountered discourse, together with knowledge from past experience related to the discourse at hand to build a mental representation. The past experience, Bartlett argued, cannot be an accumulation of successive individuated events and experiences, it must be organized and made manageable –”the past operates as an organized mass rather than as a group of elements each of which retains its specific character (1932;p.197). What gives structure to that organized mass is the schema, which Bartlett did not propose as a form of arrangement, but as something which remained 5 active and developing (1932; p.201). It is this active feature of discourse that leads to the constructive processes in memory (p. 249). For Yule (1985) the key to the concept of coherence is not something which exists