Transactional Theories of the Reading Process

  • During reading and learning to read, readers process language by costructing meaning using the print and their own experiences and knowledge as conditioned by their intentions, purposes, and the situational context.
  • Learning to read is thought to be an event where a reader's response to a text is conditioned by sound-symbol, grammatical, and meaning cues appropriate to the print, the people, the physical environment, the cultural expectations of the situation, and each individual's experience, knowledge, skills and strategies for processing text.
  • Readng materials should include a variety of types of books and levels to meet the needs of all children.
  • Children approximate the demonstrations of fluent reading and writing with significant guidance from a competent, well-prepared teacher.
  • Teachers and children carefully study reading materials to understand text structure, language patterns, challenges, tricky words, and other print features that may influence the ability to successfully process the print.
  • Mistakes are expected in learning to read and are viewed as "risk-taking" and indicators of progress among young children.
  • Teacher demonstrations and modeling of fluent reading and writing are integral for children to learn how to construct meaning from print that is appropriate to the text and the situational context.

Comprehensive Reading Instructional Practices

  • Instruction focuses on teaching children oral language, phonemic awareness, letter recognition and production, concepts about print, phonics, spelling, writing conventions, vocabulary, text comprehension, and fluency using a variey of text types and levels of challenge.
  • Instruction in processing the print uses a whole-to-part-to-whole approach.
  • Because instruction focuses on the end goal of constructing meaning, instructional activities are based on best practices substantiated in scientifically based reading research such as interactive  read-aloud, shared reading, guided reading, independent reading, shared writing, interactive writing, guided writing, and independent writing.
  • A print-rich, active, and well-organized classroom is considered to be an integral part of comprehensive reading instruction.
  • Because oral language is considered the basis of all language learning, talking, discussing, and interacting about texts is integral to comprehensive reading instruction.
  • Reading information trade books in science, social studes, math, art,. etc., is a part of integrating comprehensive reading instruction with other curricular areas of study.
  • Children receive guidance and opportunity on a regualr basis to choose books and write for personal and authentic reasons.
  • Classrooms are busy language-learning workshops filled with literacy tools, books, and print and lively interactions around these resouces in a variety of learning centers and situations.