dieS Summer School 2015

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Prof. Dr. Andreas Gold (University of Frakfurt/M.)

Strategic and self-regulated reading.
From constructive reader-text interactions to mental representations.

From the perspective of cognitive psychology, which initially focused on information reading from nonfiction texts, understanding a text corresponds to a coherent mental representation of what is read, which is formed text- and prior knowledge-driven, as well as influenced by subjective reading intentions and expectations. Through processes of local and global coherence formation, meaning is constructed in this way (Kintsch 1998). The fact that text comprehension and thus reading competence can be improved through the use or promotion of cognitive reading strategies and through strategies of self-regulation has been shown on various occasions. Philipp and Schilcher (2012) provide an overview of German-language approaches to support. What most school-based remedial programs have in common is that cognitive and metacognitive strategies are explicitly modeled, taught, and practiced-occasionally, reading motivation is additionally addressed. From the point of view of the effectiveness tests, the mental representations that are formed at the different levels during the text reception that follows a training program were of particular interest. How did the use of reading strategies influence the cognitive representation of a text content? Were the texts now 'better' understood and retained?

Less in view were the variety and specific character of the constructivist parts that characterize a reading process. It is true that the constructive linking activities between the individual prior knowledge and the elaborated reading strategies formed a substantial point of reference in the description and dimensioning of the reading strategies. The text content as well as the text-related prior knowledge of a reader were thus profiled elements of the research and training concept. But the reference categories remained the text to be read in each case and the text comprehension determined in the text reader following the reading process. Less in view were follow-up activities that can result from a reading: For example, when a text is read out of a certain interest - for example, with the intention of subsequently writing one's own text. Thus, it is questionable to what extent the model of constructive text-reader interaction needs to be extended to include possibilities of later text use. Hardly any (non-fiction) text is read just to understand it. Mostly one wants to do something with it.

With the Text Detectives (Gold et al. 2004), a demonstrably effective strategy-oriented remedial program was established for the first time more than ten years ago, and other remedial programs of a comparable kind followed. In the meantime, such support programs have been positively evaluated in a number of studies. In the meantime, the Text Detectives have grown old. In the lecture, a balance of experiences will be drawn and further perspectives of strategy-oriented reading promotion will be pointed out. Reading and text comprehension will be additionally embedded in an exploitation context: reading and understanding texts in order to be able to speak and write about them.