Reading is a complex process; it is not about identifying words but also about understanding them. Reading requires attending to the environment, encoding and interacting with the stimulus in a meaningful manner and linking the meanings of the stimulus with existing knowledge and prior experiences. Thinking Reading is a thinking process; it is not just about calling or recognizing the words on a page but understanding what was read. Therefore the reader must make inferences and think critically to understand the information presented.
Thinking while reading will allow the reader to determine the author’s purpose, evaluate the information and apply the information presented in a meaningful way. This goes to show how important experience is in reading, because with experience the reader will be able to think critically and make sound judgments. How can teachers facilitate the thinking process? •by asking appropriate questions using how and why questions getting students to make predictions while reading •model thinking while reading aloud Questioning can help to involve the reader in the text and the reader will therefore make personal connections with the material.
There must be a balance in questioning, the teacher must use the different levels when asking questions and not just recall questions. If the children are always asked to locate some facts they will not see the main idea or the author’s purpose. Evaluation and application questions are important in getting the reader to think, and so readers will spend more time reading to understand the material than skimming to find answers. Learning Reading is a complex act which must be learned and in order to learn we must read.
We learn to read and read to learn, learning to read is often emphasized in basic and primary schools while reading to learn is the focus in higher grades such as high schools and universities. Primary school students can and do read for information as well. Three important factors to consider when children are learning to read are motivation, practice and reinforcement. Students need to see how important and rewarding it is to be able to read. Rewards of Reading •better performance in school •bestows status •recreation •escape Knowing these rewards can motivate students to read, because they will expect these rewards for reading and receiving these rewards is reinforcement to continue reading.
Learning as an aspect of the reading process is a very important because in reading one must come away from the material with some new information. Through reading and learning, the reader uses his experiences and prior knowledge to gain new information and build on old information. When a person can read he can learn anything. Initiation by Stimulus- Associational Aspect of the Reading Process The stimulus is the graphic symbols, and this aspect of the reading process is talking about what is done when the reader interact with the graphic symbols.
Readers make connections or associations when reading and so when a child encounters an unfamiliar written word paired with a picture of a familiar object the child will make an association between the object and the written word ( without a connection with the spoken word). This is also in connection with experiences for example a child who is from a certain background sees a picture of a tub with the word tub beside it may call it a ‘washing pan’. With practice in the classroom and at home immediate reinforcement of correct answers and correction when wrong answers are given can help to establish stronger connections.
The sooner the reinforcement is presented the more effective it is likely to be. Practice alone is not enough to set up lasting associations, the more meaningful an association is to a child the quicker he will learn it. Preparation for a Response- Affective Aspect of the Reading Process Interest, attitudes and self-concept are the affect aspects of the reading process, these aspects determine or influence how much time children will spend reading and how much children will want to read or not.
Children with a positive attitude towards reading will spend more time and effort on the reading process than those with a negative attitude towards reading. Positive attitudes towards reading are nurtured in the home •children need to see parents reading, not just for work purposes but for pleasure •children need to have access to different reading material •parents need to read to children •parents can listen to their children read Negative Attitudes •parents do not read •teachers do not read •reading is used as punishment.
•no books or other reading materials are provided •reading is seen as a female activity in some homes Teachers also have a part to play in helping children develop a positive attitude to reading; they should enjoy reading and show it. Teachers should also: •provide pleasurable reading experiences for children regularly •allow time for recreational reading during school hours •read aloud on a regular basis to children •model good reading habits Teachers and parents must not use reading as a means of punishment.
Ruddell (1992) talks about internal motivation and identification with a piece of literature which can take different forms that can help to make the reader a part of the story. These factors are: ? seeing self as a problem solver ?viewing self as a person of significance ?understanding self ?evoking an aesthetic sense ?finding an escape from daily life ?piquing intellectual curiosity External motivation includes ?peer pressure ?parent expectations ?teacher expectations
Maudeville (1994) states that if readers make a decision about what interests them or what information was important to them in a selection they have just read, they will understand and retain that information much better. The interest of the students must be taken into consideration when planning lessons and selecting reading materials. Some children will low self-esteem will be afraid to read because they are sure they will fail. How can the teacher help? 1. use the child’s interest in planning reading intervention 2. provide activities that are simple enough 3. avoid comparing a child with others, compare a child with his/her previous work.
Culminating in a Response- Constructive Aspect of the Reading Process This is the final aspect of the reading process where the reader puts together input from the sensory and perceptual knowledge with their experiential background and affective responses to construct a personal meaning from the text. Readers with different background experiences and different affective responses will have a different meaning from the same text. A person reading a ‘duppy’ story alone in the house at night will have a different understanding of the text from a person reading the same story in broad daylight in a room full of family members.