Reading as a Process Reading is a process that includes three phases: before-reading, during-reading , and after-reading.In the before-reading phase, the reader establishes in his mind a purpose and a plan for reading. He activates any prior knowledge or personal experiences he has that relate to the topic of the text. To activate this prior knowledge, the reader may, among other things, think to himself about what he knows, talk to a friend, participate in a brainstorming and/or mapping activity, which includes discussion, and make predictions about what will happen in the reading.
Now the reader begins to read the written text — the during-reading phase. While she reads, she will think about her purpose for reading and about her prior knowledge. This may occur during short pauses she takes. Throughout the actual reading of the text, the reader will be asking herself questions such as “Is it making sense?” and “Am I understanding what I’m reading?” This questioning is monitoring of comprehension. Not only must the reader monitor her comprehension to ensure success, but she must also have strategies to use when she does not understand. Strategies include simple ones such as rereading a sentence or paragraph or reading past an unknown word to use context clues to unlock the meaning.
The after-reading phase of the process occurs when the reader finishes reading the written text.The reader takes time to think about what he knew before the reading and what he learned or what connections he made during the reading, and then he links this information together to build new knowledge. At this point the reader may talk to a friend, teacher, or parent or write about the material he read. He may deepen his understanding of the material even further by this interaction and, hopefully, will see that various new meanings or nuances of meanings can be discovered in this way.Readers construct meaning. It is the successful construction of meaning that is the goal of all reading comprehension.