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in the following sentences:

A better way is to practice "elaborate rehearsal". This involves assigning semantic meaning to a piece of information so that it can be filed along with other pre-existing long term memories. For example, a reader engages in elaborate rehearsal when he brings prior knowledge of a subject to a text.

the sentence *a reader engages in elaborate rehearsal * seem ambiguous to me. Which interpretation of when he brings prior knowledge of a subject to a text is right?

1)when he writes what he knows like an essay.

or

2)When he writes some points he thinks is of importance in the margins of a passage he is reading.

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    This question is best answered when we have more context provided. The most important additional clue is probably who this "he" is. Is there anything in previous paragraphs that indicates that this "he" is a writer as you suggested? (According to the sentence, without any additional text, I'd think that "he" refers to "a reader".) – Damkerng T. Apr 19 '14 at 12:30
  • @DamkerngT. For the complete essay please go to this:englishclub.com/esl-exams/ets-toefl-practice-reading.htm – Juya Apr 21 '14 at 9:12
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The essay is about two approaches we use to memorize things.

  • "rote rehearsal" - repeating something over and over again.
  • "elaborate rehearsal" - trying to relate a new piece of information to the experience you already have.

From the sentence,

For example, a reader engages in elaborate rehearsal when he brings prior knowledge of a subject to a text.

The essay is about memorizing the stuff you read. And the clause "when he brings prior knowledge of a subject to a text" means "the reader" recalls and relates his "prior knowledge" (or the knowledge he already has; in other words his own experience) that is relevant to the text he is reading.

By relating what he is reading to what he already knows, he has better chances to pass information from the short term to long term memory. By doing so, we can say that he (the reader) is engaging in "elaborate rehearsal".

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