The Psycholinguistic Nature of the Reading Process

The essay argues that attaining higher levels of objective analyses necessarily requires investigation into not only bottom-down or top-down processing, but also the foundational components on which the correlations are based.

Contemporary research into reading processes notes that models that have been introduced have mutated and changed over time. Models in first language reading have served foundationally as models in second-language reading. Stahl and Hayes (1997) have discussed the ways that academic models influence and help shape approaches that teachers adopt in the classroom. Other theorists, such as Barnett (1989), have discussed how models are greatly limited in scope by the time period and contextual constraints in which they emerge. The types of models also change with practitioners’ age and experience. The main concern is that the difference between first language reading models and second language reading models is that the participants have already developed first language reading skills that are influencing the second-language reading process. The different orthographies of the first-language also affect the second-language reading ability and researchers argue that this must be taken into consideration when developing lessons.

Reading process theory dates back to the inception of psychology as a formal discipline with cognitive theorists such as William Wundt. This research focused mainly on investigating perceptual issues. Beginning in the 1880s researchers fore-grounded the foundations of what came to represent the predominant focus of studies for the next century. In 1908 Huey published Psychology and Pedagogy of Reading which shifted focus in a more behaviorist slant until the 1960s. With Syntactic Structures and further attacks on behaviorist processes, academic attention shifted back to perceptual issues, with researchers investigating reading speed and eye focus. Notably, it&nbsp.was around this time that reading comprehension became a major issue for theorists.