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
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