Strategies for Reading Comprehension
Identify the purpose in reading
Use graphemic rules and patterns to aid in bottom-up decoding
Use efficient silent reading techniques for improving fluency
--> no need to pronounce each word to yourself
--> try to visually perceive more than on word at a time, preferably phrases
-->unless a word is absolutely crucial to global understanding, skip over it and try to infer its meaning from its context
Skim the text for main ideas
Skimming consists of quickly running one's eyes across a whole text for its gist.
--> predict the purpose of the passage, the main topic, or message, and possibly some of the developing or supporting ideas.
e.g., give students 30 seconds to look through a few pages of material, close their books and then tell you what they learned.
Scan the text for specific information
quickly searching for some particular piece or pieces of information in a text; extract specific information without reading through the whole text.
Ask students to look for names or dates, to find a definition of a key concept, or to list a certain number of supporting details.
Use semantic mapping or clustering:
semantic mapping or grouping ideas into meaningful clusters helps the reader to provide some order to the chaos
Guess when you aren't certain
guess the meaning of a word
guess a grammatical relationship (e.g., a pronoun reference)
guess a discourse relationship
infer implied meaning (between the lines)
guess about a cultural reference
guess content messages
accurate guessers: use effective compensation strategies in which they gill gaps in their competence by intelligent attempts to use what ever clues are available to them
analyze a word they don't know in terms of what they know about it.
a. look for prefixes
b. look for suffixes (tion, tive, ally, etc) that may indicate what part of speech it is.
c. look for roots that are familiar e.g., interven - ven means to come in Latin
d. look for grammtical contexts that may signal information
e. look at the semantic context for clues
Distinguish between literal and implied meanings
Implied meaning usually has to be derived from processing pragmatic information
Capitalize on discourse markers to process relationships
Many discourse markers in English signal relationships among ideas as expressed through phrases, clauses, and sentences
Discourse markers are words or phrases like anyway, right, okay, as I say, to begin with. We use them to connect, organise and manage what we say or write or to express attitude: p370
1. Bottom-up and top-down processing
Bottom-up: start from linguistic signals (letters, morphemes, syllables, words, phrases, grammatical cues, discourse markers. (like a magnifying glass or microscope examing all the minute of details of some phenomenon)
Top-down or conceptually driven processing: puzzle-solving, inferring meanings, deciding what to retain and not to retain.
interactive reading is a combination of top-down an bottom-up processing is almost always a primary ingredient in successful teaching methodology because both process are important.
2. Schema theory and background knowledge:
schema theory is related to the questions:
how do readers construct meaning? How do they decide what to hold on to, and having made that decision, how do they infer a writer's message?
The readers brings information, knowledge, emotion, experience, and culture-- that is schemata.
key words: Skills in reading depends on the efficient interaction between linguistic knowledge and knowledge of the world.
Two categories of schemata: content and formal schemata
content schemata: people, the world, culture, and the universe
formal schemata: knowledge about language and discourse structure
Teaching strategic reading
(learn to read)
strategy-based instruction includes metacognitive strategies of self-planning, monitoring and evaluating one's own reading processes.
key words: pre-reading, while reading, postreading, and follow-up strategies for reading
Extensive Reading(FVR free voluntary reading)
Reading for pleasure and reading without looking up all the unknown words were highly correlated with overall language proficiency.
key words: reading programs, the teaching of extensive reading, focused reading instruction
5. Fluency and Reading Rate:
How to increase reading rate: use skimming, scanning, predicting, and identifying main ideas
Focus on vocabulary:
the role of vocabulary knowledge on the acquisition of reading skills
vocabulary knowledge and later reading ability
The role of affect and culture:
Affective factors play major roles in ultimate success. The love of reading has propelled many a leaner to successful a acquisition of reading skills.
cognitive factors, affective factors
Adult literacy training
Skills-based (bottom-up) and strategies-based (top-down) approaches
are both used in adult literary training.
Other topics which are grist to current researchers' mills
the role of
the role of
in word recognition
effective techniques for activating schemata**
relationships of reading to writing**
Characteristics of Written Language
key words: spoken language fleeting, a tape recorder, having an opportunity to return again and again
read at their own rate
Fast readers do not necessarily have an advantage over slow readers.
Interpret language that was written in some other place at some other time with only the written words themselves as contextual clues.
Decontextualized nature of writing is one of the things that makes reading difficult.
graphemes; readers must do their best to infer, to interpret, and to
"read between the lines."
Spoken language: shorter clauses
Writing language: longer clauses
To be precise in writing and simply because of the formal conventions of writing, lower-frequency words often appear.
--> predict a good many unknown words from their context
sometimes the overall meaning of a sentence paragraph is still clear
--> Learners should refrain from the frequent use of a bilingual dictionary
Formality refers to prescribed forms that certain written messages must adhere to.
What should be involved in a menu?
Rhetorical and organizational formality in essay writing, a writer's conformity to conventions like paragraph topics, logical order, comparing and contrasting, a preference for nonredundancy and subordination of clauses.
Readers need to be familiar with the formal features of a written text
Genres of Written Language
nonfiction: reports, editorials, essays, articles, reference, dictionaries, etc.
fiction: novels, short stories, jokes, drama, poetry