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their aural equivalents, blend these together to form words, and derives meaning. Arriving at the meaning of a word is therefore the final step in the process” (p.252).
According to Treiman (2001) bottom-up models “are those that take in stimuli from the outside world- letters and words, for reading- and deal with that information with little recourse to higher-level knowledge” (p.664).
Treiman (2001) continues that “Theories that stress bottom-up processing (Gough, 1972) focus on how readers extract information from the printed page, claiming that readers deal with letters and words in a relatively complete and systematic fashion” (p.665).
2.2.1.2. Top-down Models
According to top-down or psycholinguistic model to reading, a reader begins with a set of hypotheses or predictions about the meaning of the text he/she is reading, and then reads the text to determine whether or not one’s predictions are correct (Nunan, 1999).
Treiman (2001) asserts that the uptake of information is guided by an individual’s prior knowledge and expectations. “Theories that stress top-down processing (Goodman, 1967; Smith, 1971) hold that readers form hypotheses about which words the will encounter and take in only just enough visual information to test their hypotheses” (p.665).
2.2.1.3. Interactive Models
Based on this model, “The reader constantly shuttles between bottom-up and top-down processes” (Nunan, 1999, p.254). Treiman (2001) says that, in most situations, these two processes work together to ensure the accurate and rapid processing of information.
Tolistefle (2007) believes that the obvious advantage of interactive model is that “The reader employs both analytical decoding and prediction about forthcoming items based upon visual, orthographic, lexical, semantic, syntactic and schematic information” (p.2).
2.2.2. Types of Reading
2.2.2.1. Extensive Reading
Hedge (2003) mentions that “There is a lack of consensus among writers on the definition of the term extensive reading” (p.202). Some use it to refer to describe skimming and scanning activities, others relate it to quantity of material. Hedge (2003) continues that extensive reading varies according to students’ motivation and institutional resources. In the view of Harmer (2007) in extensive reading “a teacher encourages students to choose for themselves what they read and to do so for pleasure and general language improvement” (p.283).
Hedge (2003) states that since extensive reading help in developing reading ability, it should be built into an EFL/ESL program provided the selected texts are “authentic (not written for language learners and published in the original language” (p.218) and graded. For teachers working with ESL learners in an English language environment, there may well be authentic material to hand. However, for EFL teachers with learners at lower levels of language proficiency, the choice seems limited to “pedagogic” or “adapted” materials (Hedge, 2003, p.218).
It should be mentioned that “Extensive reading certainly has the benefit of greatly increasing of a student’s exposure to English and can be particularly important where class contact time is limited” (Hedge, 2003, p.204).
2.2.2.2. Intensive Reading
Harmer (2007, p.283) asserts that intensive reading “is often (but not exclusively) teacher-chosen and directed”. He continues that it is designed to enable students to develop specific receptive skills such as reading for gist, reading for specific information, reading for detailed comprehension or reading for inference and attitude.
Similarly, Hedge (2003) says that “intensive reading activities in the classroom, on texts which are usually not more than a page or so in length, are intended to train students in the strategies needed for successful reading, such as using connectives for predicting context” (p.202). Alyousef (2005) also mentions that “in intensive (or creative) reading, students usually read a page to explore the meaning and to be acquainted with writing mechanisms” (p.146).
Hedge (2003) argues that it is “only through more extensive reading that learners can gain substantial practice in operating these strategies more independently on a range of materials” (p.202). “These strategies can be either text-related or reader-related: the former includes an awareness of text organization, while the latter includes strategies like linguistic, schematic, and metacognitive strategies” (Alyousef, 2005, p.146).
2.2.2.3. Silent Reading
There are different terminologies and acronyms for this type of reading. Some people call it Sustained Silent Reading (SSR). Some others call it recreational reading or independent reading. Others use DIRT (Daily Independent Reading Time) or DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) to refer to it (Hopkins, 2007). The other term, according to Chow and Chou (2000), is Uninterrupted Sustained Silent Reading (USSR) which was introduced as early as 1960. Though terminologies vary, basic rules are the same. The most used term is SSR (Sustained Silent Reading).
Chow and Chou (2000) believe that “The aim of the SSR is to help students develop a good habit of reading and improve their English proficiency in the long run. In SSR, students read silently in a designated time period every day in school. They select their own reading material and are not asked to answer comprehension questions or write book reports” (p.1).
Hopkins (2007) holds the view that for some teachers, SSR is private reading time for students. Students can read anything and they don’t have to report on what they have read. Many other teachers provide follow-up activities. They have students keep logs of their silent reading or bring together the class once a week to talk about what they’ve been reading. Some other teachers divide their classes into small groups, so students can share their thoughts about the books they’re reading.
There are some factors that determine whether or not SSR is successful. Hopkins (2007) asserts that whatever the case, whether SSR is a private time activity or a discussion or writing motivator, it is crucial that teachers participate in the process as role models. They can do this by talking about the book they are reading. They also can model the thought processes that accompany reading by talking about how the main character changes through the course of the book, about the author’s use of language, and surprises and disappointments they encounter as they read.
Campbell (1989) says that what the teacher does during and after the reading time is crucial. Teachers have the opportunity to demonstrate their interest in and enjoyment of reading by providing a role model of silent reading. Students will become eager to do the same (cf Chow & Chou, 2000).
Another factor refers to communities of readers. “Siblings, parents and teachers may join the community of readers. The group will talk about books they have read and get recommendation for future reading. Sharing and conferencing of reading experience will help to create a classroom environment where reading is valued” (Chow & Chou, 2000, p.4).
Success of SSR may depend on the support of the principal, teachers and other staff members in the school. Wiesendanger and Birlem (1984) support the view that the attitude of the teacher toward SSR may be very significant. Teachers’ enthusiasm or lack of interest in reading is easily communicated to students (cf.Chow & Chou, 2000).
2.2.3. Reasons for Reading
There are a number of reasons why we read and this will often influence what we read and how we read it.
Harmer (2007) states that “there are many reasons why getting students to read English texts is an important part of the teacher’ job. In the first place, many students want to be able to read texts in English either for their careers, for study purposes or simply for pleasure” (p.99).
Harmer (2007) continues that “reading is usefu
l for language acquisition. Reading also has a positive effect on students’ vocabulary knowledge, on their spelling and on their writing. Reading texts also provide good models for English writing” (p.99).
Chastain (1988) holds that “The reading goal is to read for meaning or to recreate the writer’s meaning. Reading to improve pronunciation, practice grammatical forms, and study vocabulary do not constitute reading at all because, by definition, reading involves comprehension. When readers are not comprehending, they are not reading” (p.217).
Chastain (1988) also mentions that “Language students have to learn to deal with linguistic material over which they have no control. They must learn to interact with the reading in a productive fashion so as to determine meaning even when some of the words, endings and patterns are not immediately meaningful” (pp.217-218).
2.2.4. Importance of Reading
Chastain (1988) believes that “As it is true for the other three language skills, reading is a process involving the activation of relevant knowledge and related language skills to accomplish an exchange of information from one person to another. Reading requires that the reader focus attention on the reading materials and integrate previously acquired knowledge and skills to comprehend what someone else has written” (p.216).
Reading can serve as a basis for individual learning about the country and its people. It can also be a vehicle for entering into the country’s present and past civilization. People who are interested in that civilization cannot expect to know it well without having a basic knowledge of what its authors have produced (Chastain, 1988).
Sofsian (2006) mentions some points about why reading is important:
* Reading helps in developing vocabulary.
* Reading helps in mental development.
* Reading helps readers to decipher new words and phrases that they come across in everyday conversations.
* Children and teenagers who love reading are more creative and do better in school and college.
* Children who read a lot have good language skills and grasp the variances in phonics much better (p.1).
2.2.5. Importance of Teaching Reading
Hedge (2003) states that any reading component of an English language course may include a set of learning goals for:
* The ability to read a wide range of texts in English.
* Building knowledge of language which will facilitate reading ability.
* Building schematic knowledge.
* The ability to adapt the reading style according to reading purpose (i.e. skimming, scanning).
* Developing an awareness of the structure of written texts in English.
* Taking a critical stance to the contents of the text (p.205).
2.2.6. Process vs. Product of Reading
Reading has been viewed both as a product and as a process. The product of reading is what the reader has “got out” of the text and the information that gets stored in memory; it is what gets comprehended during reading (Rayner & Pollatsek, 1989). ”The product view of reading is generally associated with static information produced by testing techniques. A major difficulty with this view seems to be that reading is treated as though it is stopped in time, captured in the static scores of tests” (Page, 1972).
In page’s (1972), point of view the process view of reading is concerned with the total process of reading from beginning to end. Two important aspects of the process view are the author and the reader. The author’s graphic output is the reader’s graphic input. It is at this point in the reading process that a great many research studies concerned with reading have focused. The explanation is simply that the reading process produces observable conditions at this stage. What is crucial here is that the reader sees the printed material and can begin his part in the reading process.
It is possible that readers use similar process for getting

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