How do you think we read? -memorizing words on the page-extracting just the meanings of the words-playing a mental movie in our heads of what the text describes-some combination of these???
An answer? • Evidence suggests that we can use all of these “codes” or levels of representation. However, some are more important that others.
In the Beginning: Reading Development • Stage 0 (prior to 1st grade) • Discriminate letters (i.e., Pepsi vs. Coke) • Stage 1 (first year formal instruction) Phonological recoding skills are learned • Stage 2 (2nd & 3rd grades) • Children are reading fluently but it is effortful and they don’t comprehend much • Stage 3 (grades 4-8) • Reading as a tool to gather knowledge, switch to reading individual words rather than sounding everything out.
How could we study Reading • Four levels of analysis: • Phonology: Study of production and perception of language sounds. • Syntax: The study of the structure of sentences, and of rules determining the order of words and phrases in those sentences. • Semantics: The study of the meaning of words • Pragmatics: Context and social interaction coupled with semantics
PHONOLOGY • Morpheme: The smallest language unit that carries meaning. Morphemes are conveyed by sounds called phonemes. English has 46 different phonemes. There are only 200 across all languages. Languages vary they may have as few as 20 or more than 80.
Hooked on Phonics, DIBELS, Reading First • Sound-letter correspondence is critical to decoding words and retrieving their meaning. • Direct instruction targets teaching children how to sound out words. • There are diagnostic tools used to test student progress (i.e., DIBELS)
Levels of Representation • Surface level: Memory for veridical wording, typeface, color. • Textbase: Memory for the meaning of words used in the text and their explicit relations • Macrostructure/Situation level: Memory for the “gist” can include information that wasn’t even in the text.
Word Identification • Direct access: Use visual representation to identify. See word go directly to “meaning dictionary” lexicon. • E.g., DOG- access without sounding it out
Word Identification • Direct access: Use visual representation to identify. See word go directly to “meaning dictionary” lexicon. • E.g., DOG- access without sounding it out • Problem with this view: SLOM can not be accessed because this letter string is not in our lexicon.
Word Identification • Indirect access: use a words sound to identify it. • See word and sound it out using grapheme-to-phoneme correspondence (GPC) rules. • Slom can be said using this method. • Dual access: We use both direct and indirect methods. • Familiar words use direct access. • Unknown/uncommon words (Slom) use indirect access. • Horse race model (Rayner and Pollatsek, 1989) we use both at the same time. One gets there faster.
Beyond the Word (Discourse) • Propositional representations: A collection of conceptual nodes labeled by pathways, where the entire structure represents the meaning of the sentence. • Strength of this type of representation: Reflects the meanings of sentences but is not sensitive to changes in surface features (e.g., paraphrases). Evidence: Kintsch (1974) The crowded passengers squirmed uncomfortably. (2 propositions) The horse stumbled and broke a leg. (3 propositions)
Discourse Structures • Kintsch and van dijk’s Model: Posits a distinction between Microstructure and Macrostructure. • Microstructure: The level of discourse in which propositions (smallest unit of meaning that can have a truth-value) are linked together. • Propositions have two elements: • Argument (concept) usually a noun or some object • Predicate (focus) usually a verb or some relational term
Discourse Structures • Macrostructure: The gist of the text (what we walk away from the text remembering). • Primary goal of this model is to explain the coherence of a text (i.e., how well a text makes sense). Coherence is achieved by an overlap of arguments in propositions. • This model also accounts for the “bottle neck” of STM. We process in cycles where the most recent and most important propositions are kept active.
Kintsch’s CI Theory Construction Integration Model • Readers break down text into propositions • Understanding the text is the process of linking propositions together into a coherence graph (this is the microstructure) • The macrostructure is then built, which consists of prior real-world knowledge (schema) and an edited version of the microstructure.
Kintsch’s CI Theory continued Problems w/ the model: • Too many details of the processes (forming propositions) are not well worked out • Understanding a text (coherence) is more than simply linking a series of propositions.
An Alternative View to Propositions: Perceptual Symbols (Barsalou, Glenberg, Zwaan) • The amodal argument • Readers understand the text as if they are in the story world (embodiment). Propositional theories don’t capture this. • In this case understanding text is the process (re)activating parts of the brain associated with experiences.