page banner page banner page banner   page banner
page banner diagnosing
page banner recommending
and designing
a reading
l resources l course details l discussion l help      
 teaching conditions
 content to be taught
 teaching reading
what to teach
how to teach
 teaching literacy
 teaching oral

Teaching readers how to manipulate the text: While-reading strategies

The aim of teaching the while-reading actions is to improve readers' use of comprehending actions while they are reading the text in depth. Readers use these actions to comprehend or process text units and to self-monitor, checking and cross-referencing what they have just read with what they already know.

Actions to use while reading aloud

The types of actions readers use at each level of the text while reading aloud are shown in the following diagram. When first 'while reading' a text, readers read the text aloud as independently as possible.

Level of text Reading action
sentence level strategies
  • Organise the print to be read
  • Listen to themselves as they read
  • Talk to one's self when reading, paraphrase
  • Visualise or 'make a mental picture'
  • Put your self into the context
  • Re-read and monitor sentences for meaning
  • Question
conceptual level strategies
  • Think ahead, predict what might happen next
  • Ask "Why did that happen?" and inferring
  • Read between the lines
word level strategies
  • use the context of the word in the sentence and its initial few sounds.
  • Read to the end of the sentence and then re-read word
  • Say the sentence containing the word in own words
  • Match a non-word read with a word in the student's oral language.
topic level strategies
  • What are main ideas so far? How have ideas changed?
  • How do I skim, scan?
  • Linking up ideas as I read. Readers use semantic mapping procedures.
  • Using paragraph reading strategies.

Actions to use while reading silently

Before or after readers read a sentence or a paragraph, you can remind them to

  • paraphrase (that is, 'retell') or summarise the text. When readers pause after reading a sentence or paragraph silently, they can be asked: "What has the text been about? What do I know now?"
  • ask questions while reading about what is said, for example, "Why did that happen?" or "Why am I told that? What might happen next?"
  • use reading actions selectively.
  • identify and record important information in the text. As the readers read, they can note key words, draw pictures, underline, use highlighter, add ideas to a concept map. Alternatively they can use the following framework for recording information about the text as they read.
  Pre-reading ideas While reading ideas Post-reading ideas
1. Where does the story take place?      
2. When does the story take place?      
3. Who are the main characters?      
4. Who are other important characters?      
5. What was the problem in the story?      
6. How did _____ try to solve the problem? Explain      
7. Was it hard to solve the problem? Explain      
8. Was the problem solved? Explain      
9. What did you learn by reading the story?      
10. Can you think of a different ending?      

By using this sequence of questions, readers can gradually learn to use them as self instruction strategies.