Motivating Readers

Essay by bjornyesterdayUniversity, Master'sA+, January 2005

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There is massive amounts of research literature available discussing the different reading strategies which suggests that reading comprehension is strengthened when students work methodically and systematically to improve their reading skills. This paper will address strategies that students can be taught apply during reading activities. It will be argued that it is impossible to read without actively thinking about it. In order to become good readers students must have the ability to apply different strategies in order to build meaning for themselves and as teachers, we need to teach students how to think about these strategies as they read. Thus, reading will be viewed as an activity where we construct meaning for ourselves, " It is an active, cognitive and affective process that involves complex thinking." (Reading 44, pp.210)

In this paper six key strategies have been identified. Once these categories are defined the importance of teaching each of the strategies directly to students will be discussed.

Finally, we will look at a few of teaching the activities that have been suggested to be effective for use in the classroom in order to help students become more independent and effective readers. (Brownlie, Close and Wingren, 1990; Cunningham and Allington, 1994; Mazzoni and Gambrell, 1996; Tierney and Readance, 2000; Tarasoff, 1993;).

To begin with it might be helpful to define what a reading strategy is. Weinstein and Mayer (1986) defined these as behaviours and thoughts that a learner engages in during learning that are intended to influence the learners encoding process. (pp.315)

Further, Alexander, et al. (1985) defined a strategy as a procedural, purposeful, effortful, willful, essential and facilitative. They asserted that strategies are mandatory for academic development (pp. 131).

It can be argued that skilled readers are aware that strategies for reading are altered with different purposes. For example,