Mohammad Ali Heidari-Shahreza, It Rings a Bell or Breeds Contempt? Activating Background Knowledge and Reading Recall, ILSHS Volume 59, International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 59)
    The present study examined the possible effects of activating background knowledge on reading recall of 20 Iranian EFL learners by giving the experimental participants a text from Persian literature, a culturally-familiar source, and contrasting their key points recall with those of another group of learners who did not know the text origin. Findings revealed that the participants who did not know the source of the text did significantly better than the experimental group who were given the source and the context. While a small-scale study, this study may suggest that using culture-based reading materials may not always help the learners' reading performance. In addition, the activation of background knowledge may result in overreliance on prior knowledge resources and trigger affective barriers such as lack of interest which may be to the detriment of readers’ recall.
    Background Knowledge, Cultural Familiarity, Persian Literature, Reading Recall, Schema Theory