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THE EFFECTS OF RECIPROCAL TEACHING ON ENGLISH READING - page 31 / 233

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reading reaches the final meaning. In this model, the reader reads all of the words in a

phrase, or a sentence before being able to understand.

According to Carrell (1989), the bottom-up reading process begins with decoding

the smallest linguistic units, especially phonemes, graphemes, and words, and ultimately

constructs meaning from the smallest to the largest units. While doing this, the readers

apply their background knowledge to the information they find in the texts. This bottom-

up method is also called data-driven and text-based reading.

However, the disadvantage of this model is that the readers will only be successful

in reading if they accurately decode the linguistic units and recognize the relationship

between words. However, it is impossible for the readers to store in their memory the

meaning of every word in a passage. Moreover, it is difficult to relate one word to the

other words.

From the above information, it could be said that there are some arguments

against the bottom-up model. In the reading process, the readers understand that what

they have read is the result of their own constructions, not the result of the transmission of

graphic symbols to their understanding, and that without their background knowledge,

they cannot comprehend the texts.

The Top–down Model

The top-down model was first introduced by Goodman (1967). He proposed the

idea of reading as a “psycholinguistic guessing game” in which the reader uses his

background (prior) knowledge or textual schemata to connect with a text and to relate

these to new or unexpected information found in the text in order to understand it. This

model focuses on linguistic guesswork rather than graphic textual information. Moreover,

the readers do not need to read every word of a text, but rather, they concentrate on

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