An Advanced English Course for Foreign Students by Brian Kelly

By Brian Kelly

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All reading, he wrote, “is interpretation, making sense of print. You don’t worry about specific letters or even words when you read, any more than you care particularly about headlights and tires when you identify a car” (p. 3). Although such perspectives place a premium on developing macro-level literacy skills, “top-down views highlight the potential interaction of all processes (lower- and higher-level processes) . . under the general control of a central monitor” (Grabe & Stoller, 2002, p.

A chief criticism of WL is that research evidence favors bottom-up, phonics-based instruction and that novice readers simply do not “sample and confirm,” as top-down theorists claim (Just & Carpenter, 1987). Some critiques have also invoked ideological, political, and even religious arguments, and it is likely that some condemnations of WL reflect hyperbolic claims, misguided reasoning, and a degree of misunderstanding of WL precepts and practices. Stephen Krashen’s (1999) book Three Arguments Against Whole Language and Why They Are Wrong succinctly challenged key claims against WL theory and practice.

Efficient automatic processing in working memory) “are incompatible with strong top-down controls on reading comprehension” (Grabe & Stoller, 2002, p. 33). 4 suggests, top-down operations are deployed mainly for higher-level processing. To reconcile such contradictions, Grabe and Stoller (2002) proposed modified interactive models, which account for the automatic processes that the reader carries out “primarily in a bottom-up manner with little interference from other processing levels or knowledge resources” (p.

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