Definition of Reading
Reading is like an infectious disease: it is caught not taught. (And you can't catch it from someone who hasn't got it...) - Christine Nuttall (1983)
Aebersold & Field (1997) discuss the 3 elements involved in the reading process: the reader, the text, and the interaction between the reader and the text:
The readers' past experience influence their process of reading:
- The family inlfuence: family members shape children's reading behaviors, habits, and attitudes.
- The community influence: the social events occured in the community shape children's bases of knowledge.
- The school influence: children learn how to read at school. They share different experience or values with other classmates.
- The cultural influence: culture shapes children's way of interpreting the reading and this world.
- Sources of text: authentic materials, such as labels, instructions, advertisements, and notes; artificial materials, such as textbooks.
- Rhetorical structure: description, classfication, comparison, contrast, cause and effect, process, argument, and persuasion.
- Syntax and grammar: cohesion
- Vocabulary: content words and function words
The Interaction between Reader and Text
- Interaction through reading strategies
- Effective word recognition
- Use text features (subheadings, transitions, etc.)
- Analyze unfamiliar words
- Read for meaning, concentrate on constructing meaning
- Interaction through schema: knowledge readers bring to text
- Content schema: a basis for comparison
- Formal schema: organization forms and rhetorical structures of texts
- Linguistic schema: decoding features for word recognition
Models of Reading
Bottom-up theory (decoding)
Constructing the text from small units
Fitting the text into reader's existing knowledge and checking back when new information appears.
Interactive school of theorists
Top-down and bottom up processes occured alternately or simultaneously.