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LCD790 – 02/02/09. Models of reading. Types of models of reading. Non-stage models E.g., Gibson 1965, K. S. Goodman and Y. M. Goodman 1976, 1979; Smith 1971, 1973; Ehri 1978 Stage models E.g., Chall 1979, 1983, 1996; Ehri 1985, 1987, 2005. Reading Strategies. Knowledge Base. “Schema”.

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Lcd790 02 02 09

LCD790 – 02/02/09

Models of reading

Types of models of reading
Types of models of reading

  • Non-stage models

    • E.g., Gibson 1965, K. S. Goodman and Y. M. Goodman 1976, 1979; Smith 1971, 1973; Ehri 1978

  • Stage models

    • E.g., Chall 1979, 1983, 1996; Ehri 1985, 1987, 2005

Lcd790 02 02 09

Reading Strategies

Knowledge Base


World Knowledge





Cognitive Processing Strategies Inferencing



Constructing meaning


Language Knowledge






Language Processing Strategies

Chunking into phrases

Accessing word meaning

Word identification

Letter recognition

(Birch 2002: 3)

Types of processing
Types of processing

  • Top-down processing

    • Using world knowledge and cognitive processing strategies to understand the text

    • Cf. “whole language” instruction

  • Bottom-up processing

    • Using language knowledge and language processing strategies to understand the text; e.g., decoding, sight words

    • Cf. phonics instruction

  • Top-down and bottom-up processing may proceed in parallel

Lcd790 02 02 09

What is the following text about?

The procedure is actually quite simple. First, you arrange the items into different groups. Of course one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities that is the next step; otherwise, you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo things. That is, it is better to do too few things at once than too many. In the short run this may not seem important but complications can easily arise. A mistake can be expensive as well. …

Lcd790 02 02 09

What is the following text about?

… At first, the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon, however, it will become just another fact of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then, one never can tell. After the procedure is completed one arranges the materials into different groups again. Then they can be put into their appropriate places. Eventually they will be used once more and the whole cycle will then have to be repeated. However, that is part of life.

Lcd790 02 02 09

What is this text about?

John was hungry and decided to order a large meal. He was pleased that the waitress was attentive and prompt. After he finished the meal, he paid his bill and left an extra five dollars under his plate.

Where does this take place? What schema did you need to utilize? How does it differ from the first text?

What is reading
What is reading?

  • 1970s (e.g., Goodman, Smith):

    • Reading is a “psycholinguistic guessing game”:

      • Readers make predictions, and “sample the text” (= use some orthographic information) to confirm those predictions

      • Mostly top-down processing

    • Words are read as a whole (cf. Chinese characters)

    • Skilled reading:

      • Better first guesses; better sampling strategies

    • Strong influence on teaching of reading

What is reading1
What is reading

  • Current opinions

    • Readers use both top-down and bottom-up processing in parallel

Example of a stage model
Example of a stage model

Ehri’s four-phase model of reading development

  • Pre-alphabetic

  • Partial alphabetic

  • Full alphabetic

  • Consolidated alphabetic

    Ehri, L.C. (2005). Development of sight word reading: Phases and findings. In: The science of reading: A handbook, Snowling, M.J. & Hulme, C. (Eds.). Blackwell, pp. 135-187.

1 pre alphabetic phase
1. Pre-alphabetic phase

  • Visual and contextual cues

    • Names of brands like candy or restaurants

    • Readers recognize the words by certain features. If one letter is changed, they might not notice.

    • They might not read letters, but use other cues or see the word as they see a picture.

    • Children may recognize their own name or their friend’s names. They focus on initial letters. Most of the letters they know are letters in their own name.

1 pre alphabetic phase1
1. Pre-alphabetic phase

  • Two types of cues

    • Contextual (top-down)

      • Cues outside of the word itself; e.g., name on sticker on personal locker

    • Visuographic (bottom-up)

      • Non-phonetic graphic features of the word itself, e.g., two “sticks” in William

  • Memory for words is limited

  • Print-meaning correspondences rather than print-sound correspondences

    • Semantic errors when reading familiar words

Transition from pre alphabetic to partial alphabetic
Transition from pre-alphabetic to partial alphabetic

  • Children begin to acquire letter knowledge, and use it to read words

  • Personal name writing stronger predictor of future reading success than personal name reading

    • Writing draws attention to the sequence of sounds and their connection to letters

2 partial alphabetic phase
2. Partial alphabetic phase

  • Children use the sound value of some letters to remember how to read (sight) words

    • E.g., read jail by remembering jay and el, ignoring ai

    • Use only part of the word to read it

    • They use letter names, or sounds from the letter name

  • No decoding skill yet

  • Study (Ehri & Wilce, 1985):

    • Teach pre-alphabetic and partial alphabetic readers to read giraffe as wBc or JRF

      • Visual cue (wBc): learned better by pre-alphabetic learners

      • Phonetic cue (JRF): learned better by partial alphabetic learners

Transition from partial alphabetic to full alphabetic
Transition from partial alphabeticto full alphabetic

  • Children begin to acquire decoding skill and grapho-phonemic knowledge

  • Bond spellings fully to their pronunciations in memory; influenced by:

    • Phonemic awareness and letter-sound correspondences

    • Exposure to print

    • Cipher knowledge

    • Sight word knowledge

Transition from partial alphabetic to full alphabetic1
Transition from partial alphabetic to full alphabetic

  • Beginning readers without/with phonemic segmentation and letter-sound knowledge make different types of errors (Stuart & Coltheart, 1988):

    • Without: Errors have some resemblance to written words, e.g., misread look as baby; milk as like

    • With: Preserve beginning or beginning + ending letters, e.g., misread cat as car; bird as bad

  • Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge change the word reading process

3 full alphabetic phase
3. Full alphabetic phase

  • Beginners become able to form connections between all graphemes and phonemes to remember how to read words

  • To learn sight words, readers need:

    • More complete knowledge of grapheme-phoneme relations, esp. vowels

    • Ability to use these relations to decode words

    • Phonemic segmentation skill

  • Reading words just a few times can convert unfamiliar words to familiar sight words

    • Decoding facilitates memory for sight words

  • Full phase readers remember entire sight words, whereas partial phase readers remember boundary letters

3 full alphabetic phase1
3. Full alphabetic phase

  • Children need to learn decoding and sight word reading

    • Teaching only one strategy is not as efficient as teaching both

    • Sight word reading is necessary for irregularly spelled words

    • Decoding is necessary for unfamiliar words

4 consolidated alphabetic phase
4. Consolidated alphabetic phase

  • Letter sequences for blends of graphophonemic units, incl.:

    • Morphemes, onsets, rimes

    • Also: sight words, and frequent syllables

      • E.g., ing in bring, king, thing, sing

  • Students who practiced reading syllables in multisyllabic words outperformed students who practiced whole-word reading in:

    • remembering sight words spellings

    • decoding new words

    • decoding pseudowords

      (Adolescent readers at 3rd-grade level; Bhattacharya & Ehri, 2004)

Automaticity and speed
Automaticity and speed

  • Speed may be part of reading fluency

  • Mature readers recognize sight words automatically

    • and are facile or automatic in decoding unfamiliar words

  • Recognizing words automatically:

    • Immediate

    • Without attention for decoding

    • Stroop effect: What color are these words?


  • Sight word reading (and automaticity) also occurs in transparent writing systems