Proficient Readers

Ineffective Readers

Before Reading

  • Understand that reading is a process to make meaning.
  • Build up their background knowledge on the subject before they begin to read.
  • Use their background knowledge as they read.
  • Know their purpose for reading.
  • Strive for fluency (conversational-like reading).
  • Think of reading only as decoding--one word at a time.
  • Do not expect reading to make sense.
  • Start reading without thinking about the topic, the language, or the structure of the text.
  • Do not know why they are reading.

During Reading

  • Give their complete attention to the reading task.
  • Keep a constant check on their own understanding.
  • Adjust their reading rate to match purpose and reading material.
  • Monitor their reading comprehension and do it so often it becomes automatic.
  • Can match their reading strategies to a variety of reading materials.
  • Stop only to use a fix-up strategy when they do not understand.
  • Do not know whether they understand or do not understand.
  • Do not understand the concept of varying reading rates.
  • Do not monitor their own comprehension.
  • Lose their place often.
  • Seldom use any of the fix-up strategies.
  • They do not self-monitor: Asking does what I just read make sense, sound right, and look right?

After Reading

  • Decide if they have achieved their goal for reading.
  • Respond personally and critically to what they read by making connections text/self; text/text; or text/real world.
  • Evaluate their own comprehension of what they read.
  • Summarize the major ideas.
  • Seek additional information from outside sources.
  • Ask questions.
  • Do not know what they have read.
  • Are unable to respond critically to what they have read, although they may have a limited personal response.
  • Do not follow reading with comprehension self-check.

(Adapted from Irvin, 1990, p. 29)