|What Every Teacher Needs to Know|
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1- Approaches to Teaching ReadingA- The Top Down Approach
B- The Bottom Up Approach
C- The Interactive Approach
2- The ReaderA- How do we, teachers, help the reader to build his schema or background knowledge?1- Content: How to improve knowledge of content? How to activate appropriate background knowledge?B- How do we, teachers, help the reader to develop a positive self-concept as a reader?a- The Language Experience Approach (LEA)2- Text structure: How to improve knowledge of text structure?
b- Extending Concepts Through Language Activities (ECOLA)
c- Directed Reading-Thinking Activity (DRTA)
d- Experience-Text-Relationship method (ETR)
e- PreReading Plan (PReP)
f- Survey-Question-Read-Recite-Review method (SQ3R)2.1. Strategies to use in expository texts:a- Networking (Dansereau et al., 1979)2.1. Strategies to use in narrative texts:
b- Mapping (Anderson, 1978)
c- Flowcharting (Geva, 1980, 1983)
d- Top-Level Rhetorical Structures (Meyer 1975; Bartlett 1978)In narrative texts, students should focus on the elements of story grammar (Mandler, 1984) or the story map. In expository texts they should focus on the identification of main ideas (Baumann, 1986).
http://www.eduplace.com/rdg/res/literacy/st_read2.html1- InterestsC- How do we, teachers, help the reader to acquire good Reading Strategies?
3- Learning styles
4- Self image as a reader
5- Sustained Silent Reading1- Characteristics of good readers
2- Test taking strategies
3- Improving retention
5- Graphic Aids & KWL Chart
6- Organizational techniquesa- Note taking7- Comprehension
d- Locating info
e- Retrieving infoa- Comprehension strategies
b- Levels of comprehension
c- Questioning strategies
d- Promoting comprehension skills
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3- The TextA- Word Recognition Strategies4- Related Links (Very comprehensive)1- Sight wordsB- Techniques of Vocabulary Instruction
3- Content clues
4- Structural analysis
7- Applying various forms of word recognition strategies to text materials
C- Text structure knowledge1- Networking (Dansereau et al., 1979)
2- Mapping (Anderson, 1978)
3- Flowcharting (Geva, 1980, 1983)
4- Top-Level Rhetorical Structures (Meyer 1975; Bartlett 1978)
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Definition of Reading
"Reading is a receptive language process.
It is a psycholinguistic guessing game (1967).
There is an essential interaction between language and thought in reading.
The writer encodes thought as language and the reader decodes language as thought."
Kenneth Goodman (1988).
Based on "Interactive Approaches to Second Language Reading"
Edited by Carrell, Devine, & Eskey (1988)
(All the pages referred to are in this book)"The ability to read the written language at a reasonable rate with good comprehension has long been recognized to be as important as oral skills, if not more important." (Eskey 1970) (p. 1)
Reading research is just a little more than a hundred years old. Serious attempts at building explicit models of the reading process have a history of a little more than forty years. (Samuels & Kamil, p. 22)
That reading is not a passive, but rather an active, and in fact an interactive, process has been recognized for some time in native language reading but it is only recently that second/foreign language reading has been viewed as an active rather than a passive process.
Early working second language reading assumed a rather passive, bottom-up, view of second language reading. It was viewed primarily as a decoding process of reconstructing the author's intended meaning via recognizing the printed letters and words, and building up a meaning for a text from the smallest textual units at the bottom (letters and words) to larger units at the top (phrases, clauses, links). Problems of SL reading and reading comprehension were viewed as being essentially decoding problems, deriving meaning from print.
In the early seventies, Goodman's psycholinguistic model of reading (later named the top-down or concept-driven model) began to have an impact on views of second language reading. In this model the reader is active, makes predictions, processes information, and reconstruct a message encoded by a writer.
The top-down processing perspective into SL reading had a profound impact on the field, to an extent that it was viewed as a substitute for the bottom-up perspective, rather than its complement.
However, as schema theory research has attempted to make clear, efficient and effective reading (in L1 and L2) requires both top-down and bottom-up strategies operating interactively => Interactive model (Rumelhart 1977). Both top-down and bottom-up processes, functioning interactively, are necessary to an adequate understanding of second language reading and reading comprehension. (Carrell, 1988- pp. 1-4)
A- The Top Down (Concept-Driven) Approach (Knowledge/background/schemata-based)- (Goodman, Smith)
(Overreliance on top-down or knowledge-based processing => schema interference)
The "top down" approach emphasizes readers bringing meaning to text based on their experiential background and interpreting text based on their prior knowledge (whole language).
Top = higher order mental concepts such as the knowledge and expectations of the reader.
Bottom = the physical text on the page.
<=> The top-down model of reading focuses on what the readers bring to the process (Goodman, 1967; Smith, 1971,1982). The readers sample the text for information and contrast it with their world knowledge, helping to make sense of what is written. The focus here is on the readers as they interact with the text.
** This model starts with the hypotheses and predictions then attempts to verify them by working down to the printed stimuli. This view of reading was called the psycholinguistic guessing game.
** According to Goodman, readers employ 5 processes in reading: (p. 16)
Insights that are foundational to this top-down model: (pp. 12-14)
1- Language, reading included, must be seen in its social context.
2- Competence must be separated from Performance:
Competence = what readers are capable of doing. It results in the reader's control of and flexibility in using the reading process
Performance = what we observe them to do. It is the observable result of the competence.
=> Researchers would be committing a serious error if they equated what readers do with what they are capable of doing.
3- Language must be studied in process.
4- Language must be studied in its human context.
Impact of Goodman's model: (pp. 3, 23, 240)
This model which has recently been characterized as a concept-driven, top-down pattern had the greatest impact on conceptions about native and second language reading instruction: it made the reader an active participant in the reading process => From earlier views of SL reading as a passive linguistic decoding process to more contemporary views of SL reading as an active predictive process.
Problems: (Stanovich, 1980)
1- For many texts, the reader has little knowledge of the topic and cannot generate predictions.
2- Even if a skilled reader can generate predictions, this would take much longer than it would to recognize the words.
Limitations of top-down models: (Eskey, 1988)
They tend to emphasize higher level skills as the prediction of meaning by means of context clues or background knowledge at the expense of lower skills like the rapid and accurate identification of lexical and grammatical forms.
In making the perfectly valid point that fluent reading is primarily a cognitive process, they tend to deemphasize the perceptual and decoding dimensions of that process.
This model is good for the skillful, fluent reader for whom perception and decoding have become automatic, not for the less proficient, developing reader.
Good reading is a more language-structured affair than the guessing-game metaphor seems to imply.
According to Weber (1984), a top-down model of reading is essentially a model of the fluent reader and does not account for all the needs of students who are acquiring reading skills.
Top-Down Applications: (Eskey & Grabe, pp. 229-231)
The content and quantity of texts that second language students are asked to read may be the most important determinants of whether, and to what degree, such students develop top-down reading skills.
The materials should be interesting for the students; it should be assigned in substantial amounts over considerable periods of time.
- The reading lab approach: students make their own choices of reading material from among a wide selection of appropriate texts. This approach allows each student to progress at his own rate, to develop schemata in some area of interest, and to compile a personal record of reading. Disadvantage: it limits group work and isolates reading from other parts of the curriculum.
- The content-centered approach: the teacher provides for interesting reading in sufficient quantity; a lot of information on a subject for the class as a whole to explore at some depth.
- pre- and postreading work (introductory lectures, films, discussions, oral/written presentations.
- student interest is stimulated
- natural blending of skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing)
- the students collectively pursue a common goal
- reading is no longer isolated
- reading is no longer taught as an end in itself but as a means to an end
Disadvantage: loss of individual choice.
These 2 approaches may be combined within a single program.
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B- The Bottom Up (Serial) Approach
(Text-based) (LaBerge & Samuels, MacWorth)
(Overreliance on bottom-up or text-based processing => text-boundedness)
The "bottom up" approach stipulates that the meaning of any text must be "decoded" by the reader and that students are "reading" when they can "sound out" words on a page. (Phonics)
<=> It emphasizes the ability to de-code or put into sound what is seen in a text. It ignores helping emerging readers to recognize what they, as readers, bring to the information on the page.
** This model starts with the printed stimuli and works its way up to the higher level stages. The sequence of processing proceeds from the incoming data to higher level encodings.
Problems: (Stanovich, 1980)
- This model has a tendency to depict the information flow in a series of discrete stages, with each stage transforming the input and then passing the recorded information on to the next higher stage.
- An important shortcoming of this model is the fact that it is difficult to account for sentence-context effects and the role of prior knowledge of text topic as facilitating variables in word recognition and comprehension (because of lack of feedback).
- According to Eskey (1973), the decoding model is inadequate because it underestimates the contribution of the reader who makes predictions and processes information. It fails to recognize that students utilize their expectations about the text, based on their knowledge of language and how it works. (p. 3)
Bottom-Up Applications: (Eskey & Grabe, pp. 231-236)
Teaching key vocabulary items and, in the area of grammar, teaching various cohesive devices.
Two areas of concern:
- Simply knowing the meanings of some set number of words does not ensure that a reader will be able, while reading, to process those words both rapidly and accurately. => teachers must help students develop identification skills (exercises for rapid recognition: word recognition and phrase identification + extensive reading over time).
- Rate building: good readers read fast; they do not, like many SL readers, try to read word by word, which destroys their chances of comprehending very much of the text. => The major bottom-up skill that readers of second language must acquire is the skill of reading fast. (paced and timed reading exercises: formal rate-building work should be limited to a few minutes per class). Major increases in reading rate can only follow from extensive reading in the language over time.
Footnote: If a text contains too many difficult words, no strategy (top down or bottom up) can make such a text accessible to the reader. However, second language readers do of course encounter some unknown words in most texts. This is the best means of increasing their control of English vocabulary. SL readers, however, are frequently panicked by unknown words, so they stop reading to look them up in dictionaries, thereby interrupting the normal reading process. In response to this problem, many SL texts recommend various strategies for guessing the meaning of unknown words from context, by using semantic and syntactic clues or even morphological analysis.
In order to develop good reading habits, the best strategy for dealing with an unknown word may well be to keep reading until the meaning of that word begins to make itself plain in relation to the larger context provided.
Central to all these bottom-up concerns is the concept of automaticity (LaBerge & Samuels 1974). Good readers process language in the written form of written text without thinking consciously about it, and good SL readers must learn to do so. It is only this kind of automatic processing which allows the good reader to think instead about the larger meaning of the discourse, which allows for global reading with true comprehension.
Bottom-Up Implications for the SL Classroom: (Carrell p. 240-244)
- Grammatical skills: cohesive devices are very important.
- Vocabulary development:
Vocabulary development and word recognition have long been recognized as crucial to successful bottom-up decoding skills. However, schema theory has shed new light on the complex nature of the interrelationship of schemata, context, and vocabulary knowledge. UNLIKE traditional views of vocabulary, current thinking converges on the notion that a given word does not have a fixed meaning, but rather a variety of meanings that interact with context and background knowledge.
Knowledge of individual word meanings is strongly associated with conceptual knowledge -- that is, learning vocabulary is also learning the conceptual knowledge associated with the word. On the one hand, an important part of teaching background knowledge is teaching the vocabulary related to it and, conversely, teaching vocabulary may mean teaching new concepts, new knowledge. Knowledge of vocabulary entails knowledge of the schemata in which a concept participates, knowledge of the networks in which that word participates, as well as any associated words and concepts (=> structural analysis).
Teachers must become aware of the cross-cultural differences in vocabulary and how meaning may be represented differently in the lexicons of various languages.
Several characteristics seem to distinguish effective from ineffective teaching programs. Preteaching vocabulary in order to increase learning from text will be more successful
- if the words to be taught are key words in the target passages
- if the words are taught in semantically and topically related sets so that word meanings and background knowledge improve concurrently
- if the words are taught and learned thoroughly
- if both definitional and contextual information are involved
- if students engage in deeper processing of word meanings
- if only a few words are taught per lesson and per week.
Research specific to SL reading has shown that merely presenting a list of new or unfamiliar vocabulary items to be encountered in a text, even with definitions appropriate to their use in that text, does not guarantee the learning of the word or the concept behind the word, or of improved reading comprehension on the text passage (Hudson 1982).
To be effective, an extensive and long-term vocabulary development program accompanying a parallel schemata or background-knowledge-development program is probably called for. Instead of preteaching vocabulary for single reading passages, teachers should teach vocabulary and background knowledge concurrently for sets of passages to be read at some later time.
Every SL curriculum should have a general program of parallel concept/background knowledge development and vocabulary development.
For those reading theorists who recognized the importance of both the text and the reader in the reading process, an amalgamation of the two emerged the interactive approach. Reading here is the process of combining textual information with the information the reader brings to a text.
The interactive model (Rumelhart 1977; Stanovich 1980) stresses both what is on the written page and what a reader brings to it using both top-down and bottom-up skills. It views reading is the interaction between reader and text.
The overreliance on either mode of processing to the neglect of the other mode has been found to cause reading difficulties for SL learners (Carrell 1988, p. 239)
The interactive models of reading assume that skills at all levels are interactively available to process and interpret the text (Grabe 1988).
In this model, good readers are both good decoders and good interpreters of text, their decoding skills becoming more automatic but no less important as their reading skill develops (Eskey 1988).
According to Rumelhart's interactive model:
1- linear models which pass information only in one direction and which do not permit the information contained in a higher stage to influence the processing of a lower stage contain a serious deficiency. Hence the need for an interactive model which permits the information contained in a higher stage of processing to influence the analysis that occurs at a lower stage.
2- when an error in word recognition is made, the word substitution will maintain the same part of speech as the word for which it was substituted, which will make it difficult for the reader to understand. (orthographic knowledge)
3- semantic knowledge influences word perception. (semantic knowledge)
4- perception of syntax for a given word depends upon the context in which the word is embedded. (syntactic knowledge)
5- our interpretation of what we read depends upon the context in which a text segment is embedded. (lexical knowledge)
All the aforementioned knowledge sources provide input simultaneously. These sources need to communicate and interact with each other, and the higher-order stages should be able to influence the processing of lower-order stages.
According to Stanovich's interactive-compensatory model:
* Top-down processing may be easier for the poor reader who may be slow at word recognition but has knowledge of the text topic.
* Bottom-up processing may be easier for the reader who is skilled at word recognition but does not know much about the text topic.
=> Stanovich's model states, then, that any stage may communicate with any other and any reader may rely on better developed knowledge sources when other sources are temporarily weak.
To properly achieve fluency and accuracy, developing readers must work at perfecting both their bottom-up recognition skills and their top-down interpretation strategies. Good reading (that is fluent and accurate reading) can result only from a constant interaction between these processes.
=> Fluent reading entails both skillful decoding and relating information to prior knowledge (Eskey, 1988).
<=> Reading is a bi-directional process that concerns both
the Reader & the Text.
The level of reader comprehension of the text is determined by how well the reader variables (interest level in the text, purpose for reading the text, knowledge of the topic, foreign language abilities, awareness of the reading process, and level of
willingness to take risks) interact with the text variables (text type, structure, syntax, and vocabulary) (Hosenfeld, 1979).
According to Joanne Devine (1988), one thing needs to be taken into consideration: readers' internalized models of the reading process are extremely important. There is convincing evidence that readers do indeed have internalized models of the reading process that they bring to bear when they read.
Sound- or word-centered readers, those who equated good reading with sound identification or good pronunciation focused their attention on the graphic information in the text and failed to understand or recall what they had read.
Meaning-centered readers demonstrated good to excellent recall and comprehension of text.
=> a reader's theoretical orientations toward reading may determine the degree to which low proficiency in the language restricts second language reading ability.
=> the models that readers hold may be of critical importance in allowing them to strike a successful balance between bottom-up and top-down processing necessary for the interpretation of a text.
ESL researchers should be interested in interactive models for several reasons: (p. 59)
1- several studies note that linguistic deficiencies are inhibiting factors in reading (Clarke, 1979; Singer, 1981; Carrell, 1988).
2- there is a need for extensive vocabulary for reading (Alderson and Urquhart, 1984; Singer, 1981)
3- there is a need to account for poor readers who do guess extensively.
4- good readers are not good simply because they are better predictors, or make better use of context.
Implications of interactive models for ESL reading: (Grabe p. 63)
1- Higher level processing abilities play a significant role in reading.
2- Many lower-level processing skills are basic to good reading. => methods of instruction for rapid visual recognition, for extensive vocabulary development, and for syntactic pattern recognition should become major pedagogical concerns.
Suggestions for recognition and vocabulary instruction can be found in Stoller (1984, 1986), McKeown et al. (1985), and Nagy, Herman, and Anderson (1985).
3- There is a need for a massive receptive vocabulary that is rapidly, accurately, and automatically accessed -- a fact that may be the greatest single impediment to fluent reading by ESL students.
4- Students may overcompensate (overrely on text or on context) for a lack of relevant schemata; Simple analyses of student difficulties which explain all problems as word-boundedness, or as unwillingness to guess or take chances, are not justified by the range of empirical studies in the literature.
5- The development of reading abilities may be viewed more profitably if seen in terms of stages of skills development.
Some implications of the interactive model of reading for ESL: (Eskey & Grabe, p. 225)
- contextual interpretation of lexical items is only a part of the vocabulary skills needed for fluent reading, and may actually interfere if a student overrelies on this strategy (Stanovich 1980).
- certain kinds of "phonics" exercises may be helpful to students (Beck 1981).
- basic recognition exercises to improve speed and accuracy of perception may constitute an important component of an effective second language reading program (Stoller 1984).
Some general implications for the teaching of second language reading: (Eskey & Grabe, p. 227)
1- Some time must be devoted in the reading class to bottom-up concerns such as the rapid and accurate identification of lexical and grammatical forms. Even students who have developed strong top-down skills in their native languages may not be able to transfer these higher-level skills to a SL context until they have developed a stronger bottom-up foundation of basic identification skills.
2- Some time must also be devoted in the reading class to top-down concerns such as
- reading for global meaning (as opposed to mere decoding),
- developing a willingness to take chances
- developing appropriate schemata for the proper interpretation of texts.
Reading of any kind of text must be treated as real reading, that is, reading for meaning. No student should ever be forced or encouraged to limit him/herself to decoding skills.
In short, for second language readers, especially, both top-down and bottom-up skills and strategies must be developed conjointly since both contribute directly to the successful comprehension of text.
Short Circuit Hypothesis:
Goodman, p. 16:
Any reading that does not end with meaning is a short circuit. In general, readers short circuit when
- they cannot get meaning or lose the structure;
- they use non-productive reading strategies;
- they are not permitted to terminate non-productive reading.
List of short circuits:
- letter naming
- syntactic nonsense
- partial structures
Clarke p. 120:
The results of some studies conducted suggest that the role of language proficiency may be greater than has previously been assumed: limited control over the language "short circuits" the good reader's system causing him/her to revert to poor reader strategies when confronted with a difficult task in the second language. => This suggests that it may be inaccurate to speak of "good readers" and "poor readers," but of good or poor reading behaviors which characterize most readers at different times. When one is confronted with difficult reading, one is likely to revert to poor reading behaviors.
Some of the implications of the "short circuit hypothesis" for ESL reading teachers:
1- It would seem justifiable to develop reading programs that are characteristic of good readers.
Among the behaviors that seem to be most productive are:
- concentrating on passage-level semantic cues
- formulating hypotheses about the text before reading, then reading to confirm,
refine or reject those hypotheses
- deemphasizing graphophonic and syntactic accuracy => developing a tolerance for inexactness,
a willingness to take chances and make mistakes.
2- The results of these studies stress the importance of language skills for effective reading. This finding supports the activities of "traditional" teachers (Lado, 1964; Finochiaro, 1974) whose approach to teaching reading emphasized grammar lessons and vocabulary instruction; it also supports the recent attempts to integrate reading skills and language development (Eskey, 1973; Baudoin et al, 1977; Silberstein, 1977).
=> ESL teachers need to emphasize the need for guessing and taking chances in addition to helping their students acquire fundamental language skills that would facilitate the process of reading. They should emphasize both the psycho and the linguistic.
The Importance of Vocabulary (Eskey & Grabe, p. 226)
All models of reading recognize the importance of vocabulary, but the interactive model goes further. Not only is a large vocabulary important, it is a prerequisite to fluent reading skills.
Since automatic word recognition is more important to fluent processing of text than context clues as a first strategy, large-scale development of recognition vocabulary is crucial (Perfetti 1985).
The importance of vocabulary is not only related to the number of words, but also to the number of times that these words are encountered and retrieved in texts.
Conclusion (Eskey & Grabe, pp. 228-229)
We must make a clear distinction between the building up of particular skills and strategies, or of relevant knowledge, and reading itself. Both top-down and bottom-up skills can, in the long run, only be developed by extensive reading over time. Classroom work can point the way but cannot substitute for the act itself: people learn to read by reading, not by doing exercises.
What is needed is:
- extensive reading
- appropriate materials (relevant to students' needs and interests)
- sound teacher judgment and approach (the teacher will determine how much and what his/her students read; the teacher must create the world of reading in class; the teacher must stimulate interest in reading; the teacher must project his/her enthusiasm for books; the teacher must help students to see that reading can be of real value to them; the teacher must choose, edit, modify or create materials for students; the teacher must introduce, and provide practice in, useful reading strategies for coping with texts in an unfamiliar language; the teacher must provide students with feedback as needed).
Language Competence & L2 Reading Proficiency (Devine 1988, pp. 266-268)
The general findings of research -- that low reading achievement in a SL is significantly related to low general proficiency in that language and that readers with low L2 language proficiency are especially handicapped in their ability to utilize contextual constraints and cohesive devices when reading in the target language -- have led some researchers to suggest that there is a threshold of linguistic competence necessary for successful L2 reading ("linguistic ceiling" according to Clarke 1980). => L2 readers will not be able to read effectively until they develop some proficiency in the target language (TL).
Grabe (1986) contends that successful L2 reading depends upon the procession of a "critical mass of knowledge" : linguistic knowledge (automatic processing of syntactic patterns and vocabulary) + background knowledge + schematic knowledge (relevant formal and content schemata).
Text-Boundedness & Schema Interference (Carrell, 1988- pp.101-113)
Text-Boundedness = overreliance on text-based or bottom-up processing.
Schema Interference = overreliance on knowledge-based or top-down processing.
What causes such unidirectional biases in text processing, especially in reading in a second language?
Some causes can be hypothesized:
1- Schema availability
2- Schema activation
3- Skill deficiencies (reading skill deficiencies as well as linguistic deficiencies)
4- Misconceptions about reading
5- Individual differences in cognitive styles.
A- How do we, teachers, help the reader to build his schema or background knowledge?1- Content: How to improve knowledge of content? How to activate appropriate background knowledge?
Methods & Approaches:a- The Language Experience Approach (LEA)
"The Language Experience Approach (LEA) to teaching reading in English as a second language uses the student's own experiences, vocabulary, and language patterns to create texts for reading instruction and make reading a meaningful process." (Dixon & Nessel, 1983)
"Students dictate stories to the teacher or share orally a common experience. When written down by or in collaboration with the teacher, these experiences and stories become texts for initial reading instruction. The stories are accessible because they reflect the language and experience of the learners. This approach is excellent for creating reading texts for beginning-level ESL students whose command of vocabulary and structures in English is limited, as well as for those
who are learning to read for the first time. (See Dixon & Nessel, 1983; Rabideau, 1991; Taylor, 1992 for descriptions of the LEA.) D'Annunzio (1990) describes a bilingual version of the LEA." (Rabideau, 1993)
The LEA instructional procedures are designed to be applied according to levels of use rather than age or grade level.
b- Extending Concepts Through Language Activities (ECOLA)Setting a communication purpose for reading...c- Directed Reading-Thinking Activity (DRTA)
Developed by Stauffer, the DRTA is a group comprehension activity that features prediction of the story events prior to reading, reading to prove or modify predictions, and the use of divergent thinking.
A. Group DRTA using fiction:
1. Show or read the title, first illustrations, or opening part of the story. Ask questions like "What might this story be about?" or "What might happen in this story?" to elicit first predictions. Accept each one noncommittally and jot it on the board. When you have two or more different ideas, review them and have students read silently read to the first stopping point (selected beforehand) to see if any of the predictions are confirmed.
2. While reading, help students with difficult words. At the stopping point, have the students turn over their books or close them and not read ahead.
3. Ask volunteers to summarize the selection just read and point out predictions that no longer seem probable; erase them or change them on the board as students suggest new ideas. Be noncommittal in your responses using expressions like "possible" or "likely". Elicit predictions about events in the next section and press for justification or predictions. Read the new selection with the new predictions in mind.
4. Predict, read, and prove to the end of the selection.
5. At the end ask volunteers to summarize the whole story, put events in order, discuss the characters' motives and feelings, and review the ways the group used story information to make predictions. Add any additional comprehension questions or follow-up activities.
B. Nonfiction Material:
1. Prepare your prereading questions beforehand by determining what types of information the passage contains and how it is organized. Develop a set of general questions that will help children determine what they already know (or think they know) about the topic. If you were going to read about the building of the first transcontinental railroad, you might begin by asking:· What do you think was special about the Union Pacific railway?2. Have the class quickly scan the material or look at illustrations and headings, your choice. Pose your prereading questions, encouraging the students to disagree with one another and provide as much specific detail as they can. Jot their guesses on the board, accepting all non-committally. Read silently watching for information they had predicted.
· Where did it begin? Where did it end?
· How long do you think it was?
· How long do you think it took to complete?
· What might the Golden Spike be? Why do you think it was important?
· What problems do you think the railway builders encountered?
· In what ways might the railway have changed the area in which it was built?
3. After reading have volunteers point out confirmed predictions, modify those that were not confirmed and add new information not predicted. Ask more comprehension questions or follow-up activities.
· Students themselves set reading purposes by making predictions and reading to prove or refute them.
· They generally read more actively and enthusiastically because they are more interested in finding out what happened.
· They often remember more information, even after much time has passed. One reason for this accomplishment may be their increased curiosity.
(Adapted from Taffy Raphael, The Reading Teacher, Volume 36, no 2, November 1982.) http://members.home.net/sweetent/q&rs.html
Strategies for Improved Reading Comprehension:
Directed Reading-Thinking Activity
d- Experience-Text-Relationship method (ETR)A teaching procedure of advance speculative organization on the teacher's part, who selects texts in relation to what he thinks may interest his group of learners.e- PreReading Plan (PReP)
The basic element of the ETR method is discussion of a text and topics related to the text, especially students' own experiences.
Teachers conduct discussion of stories in three phases:
First, they guide students to activate what they know that will help them understand what they read, make predictions, and set purposes. This is the Experience phase.
Next, they read the story with the students, stopping at appropriate points to discuss the story, determine whether their predictions were confirmed, and so on. This is the Text phase.
After they have finished the story, teachers guide students to relate ideas from a text to their own experiences. This is the Relationship phase.
Teachers facilitate comprehension, model processes, and may coach students as they engage in reading and comprehension activities.Purpose: To diagnose students' prior knowledge and provide necessary background knowledge so they will be prepared to understand what they will be reading.
Rationale: A diagnostic and instructional procedure used when students read informational books and content area textbooks.
1. Introduce key concept to students using a word, phrase, or picture to initiate a discussion.
2. Have students brainstorm words about the topic, and record their ideas on a chart. Help make connections among brainstormed ideas.
3. Present additional vocabulary and clarify any misconceptions.
4. Have students draw pictures and/or write a quickwrite about topic using words from the brainstormed list.
5. Have students share quickwrites and ask questions to help clarify and elaborate quickwrites.
Strengths: To help the students learn about a subject before starting a lesson.
Weaknesses: Classroom management.
f- Survey-Question-Read-Recite-Review method (SQ3R)How does the SQ3R method work?
Survey means to scan the main parts of the text you are going to read. This includes looking at the title, headings of paragraphs, introduction and conclusion, first lines of each paragraph, and any extra information that may be presented in boxes on the page. Doing this gives you some basic understanding of what the text is about and helps you know what to expect when you read in more detail.
Questions are very helpful when you read a text. Most of the time, people read first, and then look at questions at the end of the text. However, this is not the best way to read. If possible, read the questions provided for you FIRST. This will help you know what specific information to look for. Questions (those that are provided with text and those provided by your teacher) are designed to focus on the main points. Therefore, if you read to answer these questions, you will be focusing on the main points in the text. This helps you read with a goal in mind - answering specific questions.
Once you have some idea of what the text is about and what the main points might be, start reading. Do not be afraid if the text has many words you cannot understand. Just read!
Follow these suggestions:
Do not use your dictionary the first time through the text.
Try to understand as much as you can from the context.
Take notes as you go.
Make a note of places that you do not understand, or
words that are unclear.
Go through the text a second time.
Try to answer the questions.
Studies have suggested that students remember 80% of what they learn, if they repeat the information verbally. If they do not repeat verbally, they often forget 80%. Writing down the answers to questions from the text and saying these answers will help you remember the information. One good way to do this is to discuss the information with a friend or classmate, or with the professor. Try to summarize the main points you have learned from the reading and add to your knowledge from the comments and responses of the person you are talking with.
Review means to go over something again. In order to remember information, you cannot simply memorize it one day and then put it aside. After you have read and discussed and studied your information, it is important to review your notes again a few days or weeks later.
This will help you keep the information fresh in your mind.
(SQ3R was developed in 1941 by Francis Robinson)
Other Sites that Explain this Method:
2- Text structure: How to improve knowledge of text structure?Early Fluent and Fluent Readers can use their increased awareness of the structure of words (word parts) to help figure out new words. They can be helped to notice roots and endings (play, played, playing; fast, faster, fastest) and suffixes and prefixes (un / help / ful). They also can learn about "compound words" (some / thing, every / body).
Text mapping strategies are used nowadays to increase the reader's awareness of rhetorical structure of texts. These strategies are based on research on text analysis of both expository/informational & narrative texts.
"In general, text mapping involves selecting key content from an expository passage and representing it in some sort of visual display (boxes, circles, connecting lines, tree diagrams...) in which the relationships among the key ideas are made explicit." (Carrell, 1988)
2.1. Strategies to use in expository texts:
a- Networking (Dansereau et al., 1979)"In networking Dansereau suggests that learners be trained to recognize six types of links between nodes of information. These are: Part links, Type links, Leads-to links, Analogy links, Characteristic links, and Evidence links.b- Mapping (Anderson, 1978)
Learners read a passage of text, then create a "node-link map" on paper. They can then relate or link information nodes on the map by classifying them as one of these link types. Links represent the way the ideas represented by the nodes are interrelated. Clearly this strategy relates closely to the link types identified in this study. It may be that experts in a content domain or in working in hypermedia environments would exhibit link types more closely related to those suggested by Dansereau. Although McKeachie (1984) suggests that this networking strategy is difficult and time-consuming to learn and employ, it would be well worthwhile to examine how well it works in hypermedia environments."
Description of the networking"Mapping is a process of reorganizing and rearranging (moving) the most important ideas and information from your reading or textbook and converting it into a diagram with your own words to help you understand and remember what you read."c- Flowcharting (Geva, 1980, 1983)
Text Mapping Strategies
Concept Mapping and Curriculum Design
http://www.utc.edu/Teaching-Resource-Center/concepts.htmlA flowchart is a diagram that shows step-by-step progression through a procedure or system especially using connecting lines and a set of conventional symbols.d- Top-Level Rhetorical Structures (Meyer 1975, 1985; Bartlett 1978)
http://www.bmm.icnet.uk/people/rob/CCP11BBS/flowchart2.htmlMeyer (1985) proposes a set of five 'top-level' rhetorical structures in order to systematize the structure of the major expository text genres: collection or list, description, causal, comparative, problem/solution.2.1. Strategies to use in narrative texts:
http://www.info.kochi-tech.ac.jp/lawrie/signal23.htmEven though narrative text structure may be taught using any number of models (e.g., story grammars, causal networks, conceptual graph structures, scripts and plans), story grammars are the oldest and most studiedAdditional Link:
(Graesser et al., 1991). Moreover, they have been validated as benefiting reading comprehension (e.g., Gurney et al., 1990; Newby et al., 1989; Pearson & Fielding, 1991) and predicting readers' performance (Graesser et al., 1991). Additionally, they have been viewed as unifying several research trends in narrative text structure into one theory (Graesser et al., 1991).
Story grammar instruction usually includes a simplified version of story grammar components as well as practice in identifying category-relevant information (Pearson & Fielding, 1991). Pearson and Fielding (1991) found strong support that instruction in a story grammar resulted in improved reading comprehension of stories beyond those used in the studies' interventions and "real" stories (i.e., stories not adapted to fit narrative text structure).
In Gurney et al. (1990), students were taught four major story grammar components: (a) main character and main problem/conflict; (b) character clues (e.g., characters' actions, dialogue, thoughts, physical attributes, and reactions to other characters and events); (c) resolution; and (d) theme. In the Newby et al. (1989) study, students were taught the following story grammar components
(a) main character, (b) problem encountered by the main character, (c) setting, (d) events or attempts by main character to solve the problem, and (e) solution or resolution of the problem.
We should not forget to focus on the goals,
motives, thoughts, and feelings of the characters in stories.
Text Mapping Reading Strategies:
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B- How do we, teachers, help the reader to develop a positive self-concept as a reader?Arouse Student Interest & MotivateC- How do we, teachers, help the reader to acquire good Reading Strategies?In the reading classroom, the teacher is a motivator/stimulator. The teacher should foster student expectations about the reading and arouse their interest to read. This can be done by asking them warmup questions or giving them a purpose for reading. In this way, students will enjoy learning language and develop a positive attitude towards reading.Respect Student's Learning Style
http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1989/3/89.03.05.x.htmlLearning StylesRespect Student's Self Image as a Reader
Personal Learning Style Inventory
Personality: Character and Temperament
http://www.keirsey.comhttp://www.ascd.org/readingroom/cupdate/2000/1sum00.htmlUse Sustained Silent ReadingWhat is Sustained Silent Reading?Tips for students
Sustained silent reading (SSR) is a time set aside in the class-room for students to read on their own. Even 15 minutes of SSR is worthwhile.
Students select something suitable and interesting to read, preferably a whole book. Teachers may or may not have students keep dialogue journals on what they read. Teachers’ responses to the journals afford individual attention.
Research has suggested that SSR is valuable in helping students progress in reading and in helping second language students
acquire language proficiency.
Having students read on their own allows brief periods for teachers to work on portfolio assessments or to have individual
conferences with students.
Good ReadersGood readers are active readers. From the outset they have
clear goals in mind for their reading. They constantly evaluate
whether the text, and their reading of it, is meeting their goals.
Good readers typically look over the text before they read,
noting such things as the structure of the text and text sections
that might be most relevant to their reading goals. As they read,
good readers frequently make predictions about what is to
come. They read selectively, continually making decisions about
their reading -- what to read carefully, what to read quickly,
what not to read, what to re-read, and so on. Good readers
construct, revise, and question the meanings they make as they
read. They draw upon, compare, and integrate their prior
knowledge with material in the text. They think about the
authors of the text, their style, beliefs, intentions, historical
milieu, and so on. They monitor their understanding of the text,
making adjustments in their reading as necessary. Good readers
try to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words and concepts
in the text, and deal with inconsistencies or gaps as needed.
They evaluate the text’s quality and value, and react to the text
in a range of ways, both intellectual and emotional. Good
readers read different kinds of text differently. For example,
when reading narrative, good readers attend closely to the
setting and characters; when reading expository text these
readers frequently construct and revise summaries of what they
have read. For good readers, text processing occurs not only
during ‘reading’ as we have traditionally defined it, but also
during short breaks taken during reading, and even after the
‘reading’ itself has commenced. Comprehension is a consuming
and complex activity, but one that, for good readers, is typically
both satisfying and productive.
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a. Brainstorm: What do we already know about the topic?
b. Predict: What do we think we will learn about the topic when we
read the passage?
R E A D (the first passage or section)
2. Click and Clunk
a. Were there any parts that were hard to understand (clunks)?
b. How can we fix the clunks? Use fix-up strategies.
(1) Reread the sentence and look for key ideas to help
you understand the word.
(2) Reread the sentence with the clunk and the sentences
before or after the clunk looking for clues
(3) Look for a prefix or suffix in the word.
(4) Break the word apart and look for smaller words.
3. Get the Gist
a. What is the most important person, place, or thing?
b. What is the most important idea about the person, place or thing?
R E A D (Do Steps 2 and 3 again, with all the paragraphs or sections in
4. Wrap Up
a. Ask Questions: What questions would show we understand the
most important information? What are the answers to those questions?
b. Review: What did we learn?
Sample Reading Strategies
(based on Auerbach and Paxton,1997)Pre-Reading Strategies1- Characteristics of good, proficient readers
Accessing prior knowledge
Writing your way into reading (Writing about your experiences related to the topic)
Asking questions based on the title
Making predictions based on previewing
Identifying text structure
Skimming for the general idea
Reading the introduction and conclusion first
During Reading Strategies
Skipping unknown words; guessing from context
Predicting the main idea of each paragraph
Drawing pictures to show what you see in your mind’s eye
After Reading Strategies
Revising prereading expectations
Making an outline, chart, map, or diagram of the organization of the text
Retelling what you think the author is saying
Relating the text to your own experience
They are Effective in constructing meaning throughout the reading process, and this meaning bears some level of agreement with the original meaning of the author.
They are Efficient in using the least amount of effort to achieve effectiveness. To accomplish this they maintain constant focus on constructing the meaning throughout the process:
Skilled Readers:2- Test taking strategies (& Study Skills)
Reflect on their reading processes:
Why are we reading this particular text?
What information do we need to glean from it?
How closely do we need to read?
Skilled readers practice, develop, and refine their reading over their lifetime.
3- Improving retention
4- SQRQCQSurvey: quickly for a general idea or understanding of the problem5- Graphic Aids (tables, headings, bold print, graphs, charts, cartoons and pictures)
Question: What is the problem asking for?
Reread: to identify facts, relevant information, and details
Question: What mathematical operation(s) do I apply?
Compute: solve the problem
Question: Is the answer correct? Does the answer make sense?
& KWLChartK • W • L6- Organizational techniques
K What I KNOW
W What I WANT to learn
L What I LEARNED
It Begins with students‘ knowledge and ideas
It Provides reasons for learning
It Adds new information to knowledge base
It Involves students in learning
It Empowers students to create their own knowledgea- Note taking7- Comprehension
d- Locating information
e- Retrieving informationa- Comprehension strategies
b- Levels of comprehension
Grade Levels of Reading Books- How Can You Tell?
c- Questioning strategies
d- Promoting comprehension skills
A- Word Recognition Strategies1- Sight wordsB- Techniques of Vocabulary Instruction
3- Context clues: Students learn to quickly find the main idea by skimming and surveying the text for headings, graphic materials, and terms in boldface that can provide context clues.
4- Structural analysis
5- Configuration/ Visual clues
It pays to be patient. Don't reach for the dictionary as soon as you see an unfamiliar word. Read the whole sentence. The meaning of the unfamiliar word may become obvious from context or you may conclude that you have comprehended enough not to have to bother with looking it up. There is always a good chance that clues to a word's meaning may appear later in the paragraph because writers often try to help their readers understand by giving additional explanations, definitions, and clarifications.
7- Applying various forms of word recognition strategies to text materials
http://www.ldonline.org/ld_indepth/reading/ldrp_chard_guidelines.htmlhttp://www.readingrockets.org/article.php?ID=192C- Text structure knowledge
http://www.indiana.edu/~reading/ieo/digests/d126.html1- Networking (Dansereau et al., 1979)
2- Mapping (Anderson, 1978)
3- Flowcharting (Geva, 1980, 1983)
4- Top-Level Rhetorical Structures (Meyer 1975; Bartlett 1978)
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