READING COMPREHENSION IN LSP CLASSES: CONTENT FAMILIARITY, LITERAL READING AND INFERENTIAL COMPREHENSION (Published)
The aim of this article is to determine the relationship between learners’ familiarity with domain knowledge and their comprehension of specialized texts. In fact learner production capacity may be affected by their difficulties in understanding the words, and also the content, when the students are not familiar with the subject dealt with in a text. With a French written-text on the stock exchange and open English-written questions to be answered in English, a large number of my students were unable to show much comprehension of the content of the text although the latter provided very clear explanations in their official language, i.e. French. With no stock exchange in Benin, and only one stock exchange for the whole of West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) of which Benin is a member-country, the students who have no stock exchange culture could not display much understanding of the concepts relating to the specific domain of the stock-exchange, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and many of them failed in their inferential comprehension, even though they may easily have a literal comprehension of the text. In conclusion, literal understanding is not enough to ensure the inferential comprehension of a text no matter the language it is written in.