Colin Harrison's Views On The Reading Pro Essay

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Colin Harrison’s views on Reading standards and the reading process What are the key issues? Clearly that of reading standards is one. However, I share the consensus view of colleagues in the reading research community in the UK and USA, that researchers are not able to make reliable judgements on changes in reading standards over time. Definitions of literacy are neither agreed nor stable, and statistical techniques are not available to provide us with reliable data on reading standards. Martin Turner’s leaking of local authority test data in England and Wales to the press (The Daily Telegraph, 30 June 1990) helped to start the current debate on reading and the teaching of reading. He singled out two theorists, Frank Smith and Kenneth Goodman, as particularly responsible for progressive methods and a resulting decline in standards. In some respects, Turner’s critical article (1990) may have turned attention away from something much more significant – that Smith’s and Goodman’s views were already under regular attack. Both Smith and Goodman had much to say about the teaching of reading, but Goodman was the more influential in proposing a distinctive model of the reading process. New research into the reading process Goodman’s widely quoted model of reading as a psycholinguistic guessing game (1976) has many critics. Stanovich (1986) and Adams (1990) are amongst the most authoritative and convincing of these. Their criticisms may be summarised as follows: Goodman’s model of the reading process is weak on detail, and it leads him to some mistaken conclusions – that good readers depend on context for word recognition, and that they make less use of letter information than poor readers as they read. Challenges to Goodman Current views of the reading process turn Goodman’s model on its

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