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Reading activities for effective top-down processing

Liliane, Sabrina e Sue
by

Sue Cons

on 11 September 2010

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Transcript of Reading activities for effective top-down processing

Creating Semantic Maps is considered a suitable activity to activate students' appropriate background knowledge of a specific topic. Processing text From this perspective, there are two simultaneous and complementary ways of processing a text: *** Top-down ***


Readers use their previous knowledge to make predictions about the text. *** Bottom-up ***



Readers rely on their knowledge of language to recognize linguistic elements for the construction of meaning.
It is logical to suppose that readers must understand the individual parts of the text before understanding all the meaning, but in practice, effective readers continually adopt a top-down approach to predict the probable theme and then move to the bottom-up approach to check their assumptions by reading for detail. Many teaching techniques have been developed to activate student’s prior knowledge for effective top-down processing in order to facilitate reading comprehension. According to Johnson, vocabulary study may result in a word-by-word, bottom-up approach which could be detrimental to comprehension, but there are several other activities that help meeting that goal. This presentation introduces three of these techniques, along with some problems that the English teachers may face when making use of them in class as well as possible solutions for them. Reading is an interaction between a reader’s prior knowledge and the information encoded in the text. Schema theory: the reader is an active participant in the construction of meaning. QUESTIONING

• Questions: teachers > students;
• Should be done before reading;
• Comprehension questions from textbooks as pre-reading questions;

•“What is the main idea of the second paragraph?”
-doesn’t provide any clue to the content
-doesn’t stimulate prior knowledge

•Williams’s three-phase approach (1987):
-pre-reading phase
-reading phase
-post-reading phase CONCLUSION
* Alternative reading techniques for effective top-down processing
* Teachers may adapt reading techniques to their own instructional setting Semantic mapping is a visual strategy for vocabulary expansion and extension of knowledge by displaying words related to one another in categories. The maps are an organized visual arrangement of vocabulary concepts which reveal what students already know about the topic and provide them with a base upon which they can construct the new information learned after reading the text. 1 - Write down whatever words students think of when they hear the topic.
2 - Group the associated words into categories.
3 - Revise the map after reading.

The resulting map is an integration of students' background knowledge and their knowledge acquired from the text. Previewing
The aim of this technique is to help readers predict about what's in the text and, as a consequence, to activate effective top-down processing for reading comprehension. 1 - Ask the sts to read the title of the article.
2 - Have the sts read the first few paragraphs.
3 - Ask sts to read the first sentence of each paragraph.
4 - Read the last paragraph.
Finally, have sts read the entire article for more detailed information.
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