Ilearned that culture of reading is cultivated from the first time aperson is exposed to letters. Furthermore, mastering the cognitiveprocesses that are involved in reading develop as one progresses inschool stages. Reading skills have been hotly debated and researchedby different people interested in the field of linguistics and havecome up with different arguments, but it is evident that all thereading components depend on each other for a better comprehension ofa text. Lower- level components help in developing effective readingthey include word integration and recognition, semantic-prepositionencoding, automaticity and working memory.
Thereforeis clear that you cannot become a great reader without thecombination of some or all the reading components. Teachers should beable to identify every student’s background so as to be effectivein their teaching. Chapter two details a productive way throughwhich the teacher interacts with students as he/she aids them inlearning the process of reading.
Beginnersand those who have not been exposed to alphabets have difficulty inidentifying the sounds of different letters thus they should be givenattention by their teachers so as they can develop phonologicalawareness and recognize letters. This factor enables teachers to beable to know how to deal with such students without demoralizingthem.
Forword recognition and comprehension purposes, readers need to have acontinuous practice. Some of the activities that may help one to bean effective reader include those that create attention to the soundsof letters, rapid word identification, working on fluency by readingwith audiotapes, paired reading, a reader’s theater and rereadingtexts many times. From this information we understand that reading isa continuous process, and that is how it is perfected.
Forone to derive the meaning of different words, the lexical processmust occur. This is a process where a person’s mental lexicon isactivated, which in turn helps to access the word meaning. It hasbeen noted that there are similarities between lexical processes andword recognition, but there are instances where learners canrecognize a word, but do not understand their meaning. When this caseoccurs, it means that there is no lexical entry in their mentallexicon to access the meaning of words.
Fluentreaders have an excellent memory and can recognize wordsautomatically without making guesses. It is said that such readershave large lexicons, and thus they encounter only a few words thatthey don’t understand. Readers who are beginners and those who havedifficulties in comprehension of words and recognition read slowlyand in intense word-to- word approach. This is a stage that everybeginner goes through, and they need to expose themselves to a strongreading culture and frequent practice so as to be fluent. As aresult, we have children or students who struggle with reading whileothers do not due to lexicon difference and working memory.
Furthermore,a reader’s working memory determines how their abilities aredifferent from those of others. Working memory accounts for a biggerpart in the reading comprehension more than other reading skills. Itis also essential that teachers help students develop excellentmemories as it also helps a reader to store and combine words thathave been activated and it supports the morphological, orthographicaland phonological processing for word recognition.
Grammatical information also forms the basis of text comprehensionand word integration despite that it should not be viewed as anarbitrary rule for those learning reading skills. Sentence structure,use of tenses, clauses, and the use of pronominal forms among otherinformation, helps to understand the messages conveyed in differenttexts. Ambiguity in syntactic structures leads to less effectivereading and understanding. Thus, it is important that a writerdevelops clear syntax for the reader to comprehend the text easily.
Withtime, we develop our reading skills and we can eventually master allthe components and become fluent if we are attentive to each of them.After I read this chapter, it became clear to me that reading processcan be difficult if the components are not well mastered and if thereader is not attentive. I also realized that there are differentabilities in recognizing and understanding the meanings of words dueto variation in individual’s mental lexicon and working memory.