Reading Assessment Essay

21931 Words88 Pages
Theories of reading Submitted by TE Editor on 23 March, 2006 - 12:00 This article is in two parts. The first part will look at some of the shifts and trends in theories relating to reading. The second part will examine tips and guidelines for implementing a theory of reading which will help to develop our learners' abilities. • The traditional view • The cognitive view • The metacognitive view • Conclusion Just like teaching methodology, reading theories have had their shifts and transitions. Starting from the traditional view which focused on the printed form of a text and moving to the cognitive view that enhanced the role of background knowledge in addition to what appeared on the printed page, they ultimately culminated in the metacognitive view which is now in vogue. It is based on the control and manipulation that a reader can have on the act of comprehending a text. The traditional view According to Dole et al. (1991), in the traditional view of reading, novice readers acquire a set of hierarchically ordered sub-skills that sequentially build toward comprehension ability. Having mastered these skills, readers are viewed as experts who comprehend what they read. • Readers are passive recipients of information in the text. Meaning resides in the text and the reader has to reproduce meaning. • According to Nunan (1991), reading in this view is basically a matter of decoding a series of written symbols into their aural equivalents in the quest for making sense of the text. He referred to this process as the 'bottom-up' view of reading. • McCarthy (1999) has called this view 'outside-in' processing, referring to the idea that meaning exists in the printed page and is interpreted by the reader then taken in. • This model of reading has almost always been under attack as being insufficient and defective for the main
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