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Assessing Reading

Contents
 Reading strategies
 Types of reading tasks
 Perceptive
 Selective

 Interactive

 Extensive

 Summary
 Dictocomp

 Strip story
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Reading Strategies (1)
 Bottom-up processing (decoding)
which employs micro-skills
 Discrimination of graphemes &
orthographic patterns
 Recognition & interpretation of words,
word classes, patterns, rules, etc.
 Cohesive devices
 Making use of formal schema to
decode the written text

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Reading Strategies (2)
 Top-downprocessing which
employs macro-skills
 Recognition of rhetorical forms and
communicative functions
 Using background knowledge to
make inferences
 Scanning and skimming, guessing
meaning of words from context,
activating relevant schemata
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Types of Reading Tasks (1)
 Perceptive:
 Bottom-up processing
 Decoding letters, words, graphemic
symbols, etc.
 Reading aloud, picture-cued word or
sentence identification, etc. (Brown
190-93)

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Types of Reading Tasks (2)
o Selective:
A combo of bottom-up and top-
down processing
 Formal (lexical and grammatical)
aspects of language
 Formats including multiple-choice,
matching, gap-filling

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Types of Reading Tasks (3)
 Interactive:
 Top-down processing (with some
instances of bottom-up)
 More lengthy reading where the reader
must interact with the text
 A process of negotiating meaning
 Both form-focused and meaning-
focused (but more emphasis on
meaning comprehension)
 Cloze, comprehension Qs, editing, short
answers, scanning, ordering, info.
transfer (graphics interpretation)
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Types of Reading Tasks (4)
 Extensive:
 Top-down processing
 Global understanding of a text

 Skimming, summarizing and


responding, note-taking and
outlining

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Summary
 Types of reading by length
(short, medium, long), focus
(form and meaning), and
process (bottom-up vs. top-
down) (see Brown 190)

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Dictocomp
 A variation on the traditional dictation
procedure
 T reads while Ss listen carefully
 Ss write a summary (not word for word
as in dictation)
 Decide scoring criteria (Bailey 151)

 Rationale:
 Meaning-oriented
 Conveying & capturing meaning = key
component of communication

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Communicative Language Teaching
 Around 1980s
 4 principles of communicative lang. test
design:
 Start from somewhere: assessment should be
based on sound theoretical principles
 Concentrate on content
 Appropriate topics and tasks in terms of the age,
proficiency level, interests, and goals of the learners
 Bias for best: to elicit best possible performance
 E.g., can use a dictionary when writing dictocomp
 Work for washback: promote positive washback

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Strip Story
 A speaking/listening activity in which
every student is given a strip of paper
with one sentence (or portion of a
sentence) from a story written on it.
 Procedure:
 Every S memorizes his sentence.
 Each S says his sentence.
 Group sorts out the order.
 Ss negotiate the sentence order to
reconstruct the story.
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