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The Reading Process

By Patrick Lashmar November 19, 2015


Reading is not defined as the mastering of small separate skills. Research holds that reading is dynamic: a process by which the reader constructs meaning by interacting with the text. We now know that several interactive factors play dynamic roles influencing the ability to read: prior knowledge of the reader, type of material, application of strategies and purpose for reading.

A teacher may develop assessment strategies based upon three basic developmental stages of readers: Beginning, Developing and Fluent. Any reader may be at any stage given the familiarity of the genre being read.

The classroom program should reflect a three-stage process for the instruction of reading. Characteristics of the last two stages fallow.

The Developing Reader

  • reads for pleasure regularly,
  • reads to other people with ease,
  • has personal purposes for reading,
  • reads silently for an extended period, 
  • reads with enjoyment and discrimination,
  • can state the theme or main ideas of a passage,
  • shows awareness of characterization and theme,
  • shows an interest in different genres,
  • recognizes morals from reading,
  • demonstrates a widening vocabulary,
  • identifies supporting detail,
  • skims and scans,
  • recognizes and classifies information,
  • draws conclusions and predicts outcomes.
The Fluent Reader
  • talks about personal responses,
  • enjoys a wide range of fiction and nonfiction,
  • understands author’s purposes,
  • demonstrates well-developed research skills,
  • synthesizes information from several sources,
  • demonstrates insights in response to reading and viewing experiences,
  • varies reading rate according to purpose,
  • recognizes bias, propaganda, and messages,
  • recognizes the tone of language in a text,
  • forms and defends personal judgements about text,
  • recognizes recurring ideas,
  • understands how the printed word can comment and reflect upon a society,
  • compares points of view in various texts.

Learn more about the reading process in the classroom at a grade specific level below.

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