The top-down model looks at the
reader’s knowledge base and his or her
ability to make predictions using this
base. The reader has the use of the
printed text only to confirm and/or
generate new hypotheses.
(Lipson & Wixson, 1991).
reading process is a reverse of the bottom-up
reading is conceptually driven
Readers use their background knowledge to make
predictions as they read the text
MODEL OF TEXT PROCESSING
aspects of print
that the model emphasises the reconstruction of meaning
rather than the decoding of form.
The interaction of the text is central to the process and
the reader brings to this interaction his/her knowledge of
the subject at hand, his/her knowledge and expectations
about how language works, interest, motivation and
attitude towards the subject or content of the text
top-down model also employs a linear text processing
This model is also known as inside-out model, concept-
driven model and whole-to- part model.
PURPOSES OF TOP-DOWN
encourages students to focus more on
understanding the main ideas of a passage than
understanding every word
if students do not understand each word, they are
likely to grasp the meaning of a text as a whole
encourages students to rely on their own
knowledge and use context clues to understand
new concepts or words
help pupil determine what pronunciation was
correct in a particular text.
allows students choose books to read based on their own
New readers will begin to understand new vocabulary
and increase reading fluency as they read engaging and
Teachers will encourage readers to develop speaking
and listening skills by reading aloud to the class or to a
smaller group of students
TOP-DOWN THEORIES IN THE
During reading and learning to read, language is
processed from the whole to the parts, as in taking
a completed jigsaw puzzle apart.
Learning how to read stories, sentences, or
phrases is assumed to lead to a perception of the
parts and their relationship to the whole text and
Repeated readings of authentic books of interest
with help or independently are assumed to lead to
an ability to read fluently with comprehension.
Having a large oral language base gives
students access to printed language.
Comprehending texts provides access to new
vocabulary words and increased insights into
how the sound-symbol system works for
decoding unknown words.
READERS’ APPROACH TOWARDS READING
They could be compared to an eagle with a good
eye’s view that can see everything better from the
top like in a top-down model
Figure 2. Top-down processing Source: Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign Language
Readers as meticulous scientists who examine the
text carefully from the bottom like
Figure 3. Bottom-up processing Source: Teaching Reading Skills in a Foreign
Language (Nuttall. Ch. 1996)
FEATURES OF TOP-DOWN APPROACH
Readers can comprehend a selection even though they do not
recognize each word.
Readers should use meaning and grammatical cues to identify
Reading for meaning is the primary objective of reading, rather than
mastery of letters, letters/sound relationships and words.
Reading requires the use of meaning activities than the mastery of
series of word- recognition skills.
The primary focus of instruction should be the reading of sentences
, paragraphs, and whole selections
The most important aspect about reading is the amount and kind of
information gained through reading.
Schema Activation - by building background
knowledge, we can increase students'
understanding of texts.
Cultural and experiential knowledge gaps can
create the impression of a language barrier, when it
is simply that the student lacks the appropriate
realia in the classroom
bit-by-bit exposure to text
comparisons with previous knowledge
all ways to create understanding of the concept
before the language.