The reasons to look for reliable evidence in support of instructional practices are to minimize some of the negative consequences of informal practitioner lore and be more effective in helping students develop as readers. This paper presents a synthesis of research on the nature of reading. In so doing, it suggests a number of ways in which our understanding of reading can be progressed and tries to highlight some important ways to test instructional practices and search for more effective outcomes. It has also examined unique aspects of processing for second language reading. From this foundation of research, the paper then explores issues that concern second language reading assessment.
There is lack of agreement among the specialist for definitions of reading. Some of available definitions for reading are development of set of habits and mastery of mechanics, ability to get fact from printed page and ability to carry on the varied and complex processes which we commonly associate with thinking (Traxler, 1944).
Many specialist prefer last view of reading because it covers not only testing of reading habits and skill in obtaining facts from printed matter but also includes the appraisal of ability to comprehend all types of reading material to form judgments, to appreciate literary quality, to apply generalization and to perform various kind of mental activity characteristic of all fields (Traxler, 1944).
Difficulties of learning
Becoming informed about difficulties for different for L2 students can assist all of us in interpreting reading research and the many assertions made about effective reading instruction, recognizing the particular demands of L2 reading and investigating pertinent concerns in our own classrooms (Grabe & stoller, 2002).
An investigation was carried out of the level of agreement on the identification of selected reading sub skills, relationship between these sub skills in terms of perceived difficulty. A summary of uniqueness estimates from within-day and across-day matrixes that result from cross validation by items in the entire sample of 988 examinees is done. It seems reasonable to prefer cross validation by items only. Sampling variation in sets of items drawn from the eight populations of comprehension skills was of chief concern in this study (Davis, 1968).
Different Skills considered were recalling word meanings (35), drawing inferences about the meaning of a word from context (-1), finding answers to questions answered explicitly or in paraphrase (13), weaving together ideas in the content (5), drawing inferences from the content (23), recognizing a writer's purpose, attitude, tone and mood (14), identifying a writer's techniques (8) and following structure of passage (15). It was noted that drawing inferences about the meaning of a word from context percentages is slightly negative (-1); presumably this is a chance deviation from a true percentage close to zero. The largest percentages of unique variance occur in the case of memory for word meanings (35). The data indicate that about 32 per cent of the non-error variance of this