2.5.3) Readability………………………………………………………..…..………..26
2.5.4) Authenticity ………………………………………………….……………..….26
2.6) Some Sources of Syntactic Complexity………………………..……………………..27
2.6.1) Surface complexity …………………………………………………………………..28
2.6.1.1) Amount ………………………………………………..……..………………..28
2.6.1.2) Density ………………………………………………….………..……..…….29
2.6.1.3) Ambiguity ……………………………………………….……………..……..29
2.6.2) Interpretive Complexity…………………………………………………………………………..29
2.6.3) Systematic Complexity …………………………………..………………………….29
2.6.3.1) Sentence Length ………………………………….……………………..……31
2.6.3.2) Preposed Clause……………………………………………………………………….31
2.6.3.3) Passive Sentences ……………………………………………………….…….32
2.6.3.4) Relative clause and Embedding ………………………………………………….…33
2.6.3.5) A Proposition-based Measure of Comprehensibility.………………………..34
2.7) Syntactic Complexity and Reading…………………………………..……..…….35
2.8) Simplification of Reading Materials ……………………………………..….…..38
2.8.1) Splitting the sentence………………………………………..…………………40
2.8.2) Changing discourse marker………………………………….………..…………41
2.8.3) Transformation to active voice …………………………….……..………….…41
2.8.4) Inversion of clause ordering ………………………………………..…………..42
2.8.5) Subject-Verb-Object ordering ………………………………..…………….….42
2.8.6) Topicalization and Detopicalization……………………….……………………42
2.9) Simplification and Authenticity…………………………………..…..………….45
2.10) Summary ………………………………………………………..………………47
Chapter 3: Methodology
3.0)Introduction……………………………………………………………………..…48

3.1) Design of the study ………………………………………………..…………..…48
3.2) Participants of the Study……………………………………..…….……………..49
3.3) Materials of the Study …………………………………………………………..……..49
3.4) Procedures of the Study………………………………………………………………..49
3.5) Statistical Collection………………………………………..………….………….50
3.7) Summary……………………………………….…………………..….…………50

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Chapter 4: Results
4.0) Data Analysis and Findings …………………….……………………..…………51
4.1) Results of Hypothesis Testing ……………………………………………..….…53
4. 2) Summary …………………………………………………………………………54
Chapter 5: Discussion and Implication
5.0) Discussion ……………………………………………………………….……….55
5.1) Pedagogical Implication ……………………………………………………..…..56
5.3) Implication for teaching …………………………………………..……………..57
5.4) limitations of The Study ……………………………………….……………..…..57
5.5) Suggestions for Further Research …………………………………………………57
References ………………………..……………………………………..…..……..……..59
Appendices
Appendix A: MELAB Test ………………………………………………….………..…..66
Appendix B: Pre-test (A test from Nelson-Denny Reading Comprehension Tests)…………82
Appendix C: Treatment procedure for experimental group (syntactically simplified text) …84
Appendix D: Post-test ……………………………………………………………..….87
List of Tables
Title Page
Table 2.1 Survey of Simplification Studies and Results……………………….……….14
Table 4.1.Group Statistics……………………………………………………………………51
Table 4.2. Independent Samples Test…………………………………………………………51
Table 4.3. Descriptive statistics and independent t-test for the comparison of pre-test results………52
Table 4.4. Independent Samples Test……………………………………………….………..53
Table 4.5. Paired Samples Test……………………………………………………….………53
Chapter One
Introduction
1.0) Introduction
Textual modification can be defined as any process that reduces the syntactic or lexical complexity of a text while attempting to preserve its meaning and information content.
The aim of Textual modification is to make text easier to comprehend for a human user or process by a program.
A common method for assessing whether a text is suitable for a particular reading age is by means of using readability metric, such as the Flesch readability score, proposed in 1943 and more recently popularized by Microsoft Word. These metrics are based solely on surface attributes of a text, such as average sentence and word lengths.
The term readability is therefore a misnomer; these metrics do not attempt to judge how readable, well written or cohesive a text is, or even whether it is grammatical. Rather, they suggest what reading age a text (that is assumed to be well written, cohesive and relevant in content) is suitable for, by means of a calibration with school reading grades.
1.1) Theoretical Framework
Compared to controlled generation and text summarization, there has been significantly less work done on the automatic textual modification of existing text. Interestingly, the two main groups involved with textual Modification have had very different motivations. The group at UPenn (Chandrasekar et al., 1996; Chandrasekar and Srinivas, 1997) viewed text simplification as a preprocessing tool to improve the performance of their parser. The PSET project on the other hand focused its research on simplifying newspaper text for aphasics (Carroll et al., 1998; Carroll et al., 1999b).
Chandrasekar et al.’s motivation for textual modification was largely to reduce sentence length as a preprocessing step for a parser. They treated textual modification as a two-stage process— analysis followed by transformation. Their research focused on dis-embedding relative clauses and appositives and separating out coordinated clauses.
Their first approach (Chandrasekar et al., 1996) was to hand-craft simplification rules, the example from their paper being: V W:NP, X:REL PRON Y, Z. −→ V W Z. W Y. which can be read as “if a sentence consists of any text V followed by a noun phrase W, a relative pronoun X and a sequence of words Y enclosed in commas and a sequence of words Z, then the embedded clause can be made into a new sentence with W as the subject noun phrase”. This rule can, for example, be used to perform the following modification:
John, who was the CEO of a company, played golf.

John played golf. John was the CEO of a company.
In practice, linear pattern-matching rules like the handcrafted one above do not work very well. For example, to simplify:
A friend from London, who was the CEO of a company, played golf, usually on Sundays. it is necessary to decide whether the relative clause attaches to friend or London and whether the clause ends at company or golf. And if a parser is used to resolve these ambiguities (as in their second approach summarized below), the intended use of text simplification as a preprocessor to a parser is harder to justify.
Their second approach (Chandrasekar and Srinivas, 1997) was to have the program learn simplification rules from an aligned corpus of sentences and their hand-simplified forms. The original and simplified sentences were parsed using a Lightweight Dependency Analyser (LDA) (Srinivas, 1997) that acted on the output of a super tagger (Joshi and Srinivas, 1994). These parses were chunked into phrases. Simplification rules were induced from a comparison of the structures of the chunked parses of the original and hand simplified text. The learning algorithm worked by flattening sub trees that were the same on both sides of the rule, replacing identical strings of words with variables and then computing tree→trees transformations to obtain rules in terms of these variables.
This approach involved the manual simplification of a reasonable quantity of text. The authors justified this approach on the basis that handcrafting rules is time consuming.
However, it is likely that the intuitions used to manually simplify sentences can be encodable in rules without too much time overhead. In addition, while this approach is interesting from the machine-learning point of view, it seems unlikely that a system that learns from a corpus that has been simplified by hand will outperform a system in which the rules themselves have been hand-crafted.
Textual modification can increase the throughput of a parser only if it reduces the syntactic ambiguity in the text. Hence, a Textual modification system has to be able to make disambiguation decisions without a parser in order to be of use to parsing. This early work on Textual modification therefore raised more issues than it addressed. Moreover, since the authors did not provide any evaluations, it is difficult to assess how well their approaches to text simplification worked.
The PSET project (Devlin and Tait, 1998; Carroll et al., 1998), in contrast, was aimed at people with aphasia rather than at parsers and was more justified in making use of a parser for the analysis stage. For syntactic simplification, the PSET project roughly followed the approach of Chandrasekar et al. PSET used a probabilistic LR parser (Briscoe and Carroll, 1995) for the analysis stage and unification-based pattern matching of handcrafted rules over phrase-marker trees for the transformation stage. The project reports that on 100 news articles, the parser returned 81% full parses, 15% parse fragments and 4% parse failures.
An example of the kind of simplification rule used in the textual modification component of the PSET project is:
(S (?a) (S (?b) (S (?c) ) ) ) −→ (?a) (?c)
The left hand side of this rule unifies with structures of the form shown in figure 1.1 and the rule simply discards the conjunction (?b) and makes new sentences out of (?a) and (?c). This rule can be used, for example, to perform the following modification:
The proceedings are unfair and any punishment from the guild would be unjustified. The proceedings are unfair. Any punishment from the guild would be unjustified. The PSET project explored a wide range of simplification options, including lexical simplification, conversion of passives to actives and resolving pronouns. Lexical simplification involves replacing difficult words with simpler synonyms. The PSET project used Word Net (Miller et al., 1993) to identify synonyms and obtained word frequency statistics from the Oxford Psycholinguistic Database (Quinlan, 1992) to determine the relative difficulty of words (Devlin and Tait, 1998).
The syntactic component of PSET comprised three components— anaphora resolution, syntactic simplification and anaphora replacement. The anaphora resolution algorithm was based on CogNIAC (Baldwin, 1997) and Canning et al. (2000b) report a recall of 60% with precision of 84% on newspaper text.
The syntactic constructs that the PSET project simplified were coordinated clauses and passive voice. Canning (2002) reports that there were only 75 instances of coordination in her corpus of 100 news reports from the Sunderland Echo. This meant that the level of simplification achieved was unlikely to be useful. As I describe in this thesis, a treatment of relative clauses, subordination and apposition can result in a higher level of simplification.
The attempt at converting passive voice to active had mixed success. Canning (2002) reports that only one out five passive constructs had an expressed surface agent. The rest were agent less; for example, in she was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital. Further, passive constructs were often deeply embedded within a sentence, making the agent difficult to recover.
Canning (2002) reports that in her 100 news report corpus, there were only 33 agentive passive constructs. Out of these, her program converted only 55% correctly to active voice. Even the correctly converted sentences sometimes seemed odd; for example:
He was struck down by the brain disease last October.

The brain disease last October struck him down.
The main contribution of the syntactic component of PSET was the application of a pronoun resolution algorithm to text simplification (Canning, 2002). The aim was to replace pronouns with their antecedent noun phrases, to help aphasics who might otherwise have difficulty in resolving them. Intra-sentential anaphora were not replaced, to avoid producing sentences like Mr Smith said Mr Smith was unhappy.
Canning (2002) conducted an evaluation of the effect of pronoun replacement on comprehension on 16 aphasic subjects and reported 20% faster reading times and 7% better scores on question answering tests when pronouns were replaced.

1.2) Statement of the problem
Reading is definitely a basic means to literacy as well as language learning. Talking about this skill, we have to bring into focus the who and what of reading; that is the reader and the reading material. We cannot reach to reading objectives unless we establish a proper match between these two elements. Actually, prior to teaching reading, appropriate material should be selected. As Thonis (1970) suggests:
“The choice of material is big decision because it usually determines the vocabulary, language structures, and concepts which make up the reading program….These learning materials will influence the learning outcomes more than anything else in the classroom (p, 143).”
A distinction should be made between reading comprehension which is the focus of this study and reading aloud which is reading without the reader getting much to meaning (Birjandi, Mosallanejad, Bagheridoust, 2006; p, 211). What we mean by reading comprehension is reading a passage for meaning or for recreating the writer’s meaning without vocalizing what is being read. The ultimate purpose of reading is comprehension of written passage (Birjandi, Mosallanejad, Bagheridoust, 2006; p, 212).
As it was mentioned before, in any reading course, the material is the most important part. Because through access to authentic, organized materials, reading ability can be maintained at a higher level by students themselves. But it should be mentioned that if students are exposed to original texts, which don’t match the students’ knowledge and experience, the texts become too complex for the comprehension to occur. Besides, students might develop a negative attitude towards reading and many of them may avoid reading at all.
As a matter of fact, reading comprehension entails three elements: the reader who is meant to comprehend; the text that is to be comprehended and the activity in which comprehension is a part of (Snow, 2002). In addition to the content presented in the text, the vocabulary load of the text and its linguistic structure, discourse style, and genre interact with the reader’s knowledge. When these factors do not match the reader’s knowledge and experience, the text becomes too complex for the comprehension to occur. One solution for this problem is introducing modified readings at the beginning levels and increasing the complexities of the text as the student’s progress, via a process called Text Simplification (TS). The aim of textual modification is to maximize the comprehension of written texts through simplifying their linguistic structure. This involves simplifying syntactic structure by breaking down and changing the syntactic structure of the sentence. As a result, it is expected that the text can be more easily understood by learners (Mapleson, 2006; Siddharthan, 2003, Max, 2006).
Besides, textual modification may involve dropping parts or full sentences and adding some extra material to explain a difficult point. textual modification in the past has been defined as any process that reduces the syntactic complexity of a text while attempting to preserve its meaning and information content (Jarrahian, 2006).Syntactic simplification is the process of reducing the grammatical complexity of a text, while retaining its information content and meaning (ibid). textual modification processes, following the 3stage architecture proposed by Siddhar than (2002), include stages of analysis, transformation and regeneration. To simplify, however, we need to take some factors into consideration. As Bruce and Robin (1988) hold:
“If text must be changed so that the intended readers can understand them we want to be able to identify what the barriers are and what improvements actually increase comprehension”.
As a matter of fact, how to simplify passages has been an area of controversy over the past few decades. However, despite the fact that there are many arguments against simplification, simplified passages are more attractive for many EFL students, and this fact shows that simplification, although it’s not theoretically proven, does have an impact on students’ comprehension of text.
Therefore, how text is to be simplified to aid comprehension is not a simple task to be done intuitively. Rather, it requires a scientific endeavor. The present study, therefore, is being carried out to shed scientific light onto sophisticated process of textual modification.
This study is addressed to investigate the effect of textual modification on Iranian upper-Intermediate EFL learners.
1.3) Purpose of the study:
This study aims at shedding light on using textual modification by reducing the grammatical complexity of a text while retaining its information content and meaning. Here, textual modification is going to help Iranian EFL students to comprehend the text. This study will investigate the impact of textual modification on Iranian upper-Intermediate EFL Learners’ Reading Comprehension ability of these learners.
1.4) Research question
The present investigation aims at dealing with textual modification and investigates the following question:
-Does textual modification have any effect on Iranian upper-intermediate EFL learners’ Reading Comprehension ability?
1.5) Research hypothesis
On the basis of the above question the following null hypothesis is formulated:
– Textual Modification does not have any effect on Iranian upper-intermediate EFL learners’ reading comprehension ability.
1.6) Significance of the Study
This study is initiated to address the difficult problem of developing appropriate reading materials for upper-intermediate EFL learners at university. Materials are either original which are difficult and ineffective, or developed by non-native writers, which would be inauthentic and counterproductive. These authentic materials are often too hard for students who read at lower levels, since they may contain complicated structures.
This research has pedagogical and practical implications in that teachers and professors and practitioners whether at universities or schools should be aware of their students’ level of proficiency so simplify the reading comprehension texts syntactically. It is practical since it leads to a better material design. So this study aims at shedding light on using textual simplification by reducing the grammatical complexity of a text while retaining its information content and meaning. Here, textual Modification is going to help Iranian EFL university students to comprehend the text. This study will investigate the effect of textual Modification on reading comprehension ability of these learners.
According to Dickinson (Dickinson, 1996), where an instruction system is catering for learners with varying specific requirements in language learning, the most effective way to provide them with proper materials is to base the instruction on authentic texts. Proponents of authentic texts tout positive effects on students’ interest and motivation and advantages of exposing students to “real” language and culture.
However, Byrnes (Byrnes, 1985) implies that such authentic texts may be problematic for learners. Authentic materials are often too hard for learners who read at lower levels, as they may contain more complex language structures and vocabulary than texts intended for learners.
Nevertheless, a third way is to reconcile these two ideas. That is, to tune syntactic structure of an authentic text to the level of learners via a process of simplification. But unfortunately materials either original or fabricated by non-native writers are not appropriate for EFL learners. So this study is shedding light on the difficult problem of developing appropriate reading material at intermediate level by investigating syntactic simplification which, at the end, would lead to simplified authentic reading materials.
Davison (1988) stated that over 60 percent of native speakers of English were attempting to read materials in various subjects which had been judged to be too difficult for their reading skills and general reading development. Thonis (1970) conducted similar studies on high school textbooks. They found that the reading level of the textbooks tended to be above the reading ability of majority of students.
The same findings were reported by Singer (1989). He noted that the reading requirements of the various subjects in the textbooks are burdensome. Furthermore, a brief survey of ESP students’ language proficiency and their textbooks in Iran reveals that they are not well-matched. Such novice readers get easily frustrated and discourage unless text would be modified adequately. So there is a need to make reading materials appropriate syntactically so that there is a match between students’ knowledge of grammar and the syntax of reading material.
Although previous studies have generally found that textual Modification improves L2 comprehension, there is still a need of further research in order to confirm their relative effectiveness.
1.7) Definition of key terms
1.7.1) Textual modification
Is the process of reducing the grammatical complexity of a text, while retaining its information content and meaning .It refers to the modification of those structures considered to be difficult for EFL learners. Simplifying at the syntactic level has been defined as shorter sentences, increased clarity between sentence constituents and a closer adherence to the basic SVO word order of English (Beck et al., 1984; Hatch, 1983). It seems logical that if sentences look easier to a native speaker, they will be easier for an L2 reader to comprehend.
1.7.2) Reading comprehension
In this study refers to the scores obtained by subjects on multiple-choice questions of a reading test. Reading is an active process. The reader forms a preliminary expectation about the material, and then selects the fewest, most productive cues necessary to confirm or reject the expectation. This is a sampling process in which the reader takes advantage of his knowledge of vocabulary, syntax, discourse, and the real world
1.8) Summary
In this chapter the literature related to reading and simplification has been briefly reviewed followed by statement of the problem. The study is going to investigate the effect of textual simplification on Iranian EFL learners’ reading comprehension ability. In the next section the purpose of the study has been stated followed by the research question. The researcher is going to answer the research question through formulating a null hypothesis. After stating the significance of the study, key terms have been defined.
CHAPTER 2
REVIEW 0F THE RELATED LITERATURE
2.0) Introduction
The present chapter reviews the literature related to reading comprehension and modification. First of all, in “Theoretical framework” section some related studies will be reviewed. In the second section ”Reading Comprehension, Past and present”, the literature on approaches to reading, its different definitions, models and theories of reading comprehension will be examined and reviewed, followed by different processes involved in reading. The other section, “Reading Materials”, will investigate the literature on appropriate reading material followed by components of appropriacy. Then, some sources of syntactic complexity will be mentioned. The other section will investigate the relationship between syntactic complexity and reading comprehension. Then, in “Simplification of reading materials” different simplification techniques will be discussed. At the end, the relationship between simplification and authenticity will be mentioned.
2.1) Theoretical framework
One of the fundamental issues in teaching reading is providing the learners with “appropriate” material. “Appropriacy” for the material, however, is not an absolute or independent characteristic. It gains significance only when the consumers, the readers, are brought into the picture. In other words, there should be a match between intended readers general proficiency with the reading material. As Paulston and Bruder (1976) hold:
“The most important consideration in selecting text is the level of reading difficulty which must be matched to the overall proficiency of students (p: 160).”
Davison (1988) stated that over 60 percent of native speakers of English were attempting to read materials in various subjects which had been judged to be too difficult for their reading skills and general reading development. Thonis (1970) conducted similar studies on high school textbooks. They found that the reading level of the textbooks tended to be above the reading ability of majority of students.
The same findings were reported by Singer (1989). He noted that the reading requirements of the various subjects in the textbooks are burdensome. Furthermore, a brief survey of ESP students’ language proficiency and their textbooks in Iran reveals that they are not well-matched. Such novice readers get easily frustrated and discourage unless text would be modified adequately. So there is a need to make reading materials appropriate syntactically so that there is a match between students’ knowledge of grammar and the syntax of reading material. Actual evidence for the strength of simplified texts lies in experimental studies. For instance, Long and Ross (1993) compared comprehension scores of L2 readers using three versions of the same text authentic, simplified, and elaborated versions.
Long and Ross found that students who read the linguistically simplified text scored significantly higher on multiple choice items meant to test comprehension than did those that read the authentic version. They also found that students who read the elaborated version did not score significantly better than those that read the authentic or the simplified text. These results were replicated in a follow up study (Yano, Long, & Ross, 1994) which demonstrated that there were no significant differences between simplified and elaborated texts, but simplified texts showed significant gains in reading comprehension over authentic texts whereas elaborated texts did show gain over authentic texts.
A later study conduct by Tweissi (1998) also found that simplification positively affected student’s reading comprehension. However, Tweissi found that it was the type of simplification and not the amount of simplification that played the most important role in assisting the students to understand the material (e.g., texts with simplified lexicon led to greater comprehension gains than did other types of text modifications). Overall, these studies support the basic notion behind simplified texts: that the use of simplified input results in more comprehensible language. According to Balaghizade, simplifying reading passages promotes reading comprehension (Balaghizade, 2010).
Abrahamsen and Shelton (1989) carried out a study in which twenty-two adolescents with learning disabilities were randomly assigned to four groups to determine the effect of semantic and syntactic complexity on the reading comprehension of content area prose. One group served as control group and read a social studies passage without simplification. The three treatment groups read passages with semantic and/or syntactic modifications. The result of the study indicated that comprehension was significantly better for those groups who read passages with combined semantic and syntactic modifications and syntactic modification alone, when they compared to the control group. It was also found that semantic modifications alone did not improve comprehension significantly.
As previously mentioned, text simplification is one way for second language learners to access the general message of authentic texts, without being stymied by language that falls outside the bounds of their abilities. Simplification has also been generally defined as any modification designed to make text more accessible to a reader (Young, 1999). Oh (2001) further specifies simplification as applying to the more basic units of vocabulary and syntax in a text.
These differing definitions indicate an important distinction that must be made when dealing with any kind of text simplification-namely, that simplification can apply to different levels of a text. Research in readability and simplification has generally drawn lines between lexicon (word level), syntax, (sentence level), and discourse (text level) in written texts. On the surface, text simplification seems an attractive possibility for aiding reading comprehension for L2 learners. This has been shown to be the case in numerous studies of simplification, several of which are characterized in Table 1. Several other studies in the table, however, have demonstrated that simplification at the different levels of a text may actually hinder comprehension or other aspects of language learning.
Additionally, Oh (2001) points out that lexically simplified texts limit learners’ exposure to vocabulary and structure in the target language and may inhibit the development of reading skills such as inference. In examining the strengths and weaknesses of text simplification, it is clear that some intuitive assumptions about simplification may actually be false, and that different types of simplification may have unanticipated consequences, especially when considering varying proficiency levels of readers.
Table (2.1). Survey of Simplification Studies and Results (Cited in Brewer, 2008)
StudyProficiency levels/
Second languageSimplification
AreaInstrument TypeResults
Oh, 2001
Low/High English
Sentence length,
syntax, lexiconComprehension
(replication,
synthesis &
inference)Higher
proficiency
learners benefited
more from
simplification
Young, 1999
2nd year university/
Spanish
Mostly lexicon
Written recall and
comprehensionAids
comprehension at
word level, not
overall
Tweissi, 1998Intermediate/
EnglishLexicon, syntax,
(separate &
combined)Multiple choice
achievement testLexical
modification
aides factual
extraction
Leow, 1997
2nd semester
university/ Spanish

Discourse (text
length)Comprehension
and form
recognitionSignificant aid to
comprehension,
but not form
recognitionYano et al., 1994Varying/ EnglishSentence length,
syntax, lexiconComprehension
(replication,
synthesis &
inference)Simplified forms
significantly
aided
comprehensionLeow, 1993Low/Intermediate
SpanishLexicon &
syntacxPretest: Recall
Posttest: Form
recognitionComprehension
aided, Not intakeBlau, 1982Low/Medium/High
English Syntax, sentence
lengthMultiple choice
(main idea)Shorter sentence
length does not
aid

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comprehensionSimplifying at the syntactic level has been defined as shorter sentences, increased clarity between sentence constituents and a closer adherence to the basic SVO word order of English (Beck et al., 1984; Hatch, 1983). It seems logical that if sentences look easier to a native speaker, they will be easier for an L2 reader to comprehend.
As it is obvious, there is no agreement among researchers about the effect of simplification on reading comprehension ability. Therefore, this study is going to investigate whether syntactic text simplification has any effect on EFL learners’ reading comprehension ability or not.
2.2) Reading Comprehension, Past and Present
A glance at studies done on reading comprehension reveals that in the past, the process of reading was not given enough attention. What the researchers were interested in, as a result, was the amount of information which a reader could get from text.
Another false belief about reading was that it was regarded as a passive skill since it involves no language production. In fact reading is not a passive, but rather an active, and in fact an interactive, process. But it is only recently that second/foreign language reading has been viewed as an active rather than a passive process. Early working second language reading assumed a rather passive, bottom-up, view of second language reading.
It was viewed primarily as a decoding process of reconstructing the author’s intended meaning via recognizing the printed letters and words, and building up a meaning for a text from the smallest textual units at the bottom (letters and words) to larger units at the top (phrases, clauses, links).
According to Clark and Silberstein (1987), in the past the reader was viewed as working through text in a rigid, word-by-word fashion, decoding information in a precise manner from print to speech to aural compression(in Longman & Richards,1987,p.237).
Accordingly, in the past, only the final product of reading was attended and the students’ scores obtained on tests were the only representation of comprehension. Problems of reading comprehension were viewed as being essentially decoding problems, deriving meaning from print. This approach, however, could tell little to the researcher about how reading is successfully accomplished. Therefore, having felt the need for an insight into the process of reading, researchers shifted their focus of attention.
In the light of new orientation, the idea that reading proceeds word-by-word is rejected. In the early seventies, Goodman’s psycholinguistic model of reading (later named the top-down or concept-driven model) began to have an impact on views of second language reading. In this model the reader is active; makes predictions, processes information, and reconstruct a message encoded by a writer. As Clark and Silberstein (1987) denote: “Reading is an active process. The reader forms a preliminary expectation about the material, and then selects the fewest, most productive cues necessary to confirm or reject the expectation. This is a sampling process in which the reader takes advantage of his knowledge of vocabulary, syntax, discourse, and the real world.”
The top-down processing perspective into reading comprehension had a profound impact on the field, to an extent that it was viewed as a substitute for the bottom-up perspective, rather than its complement. Alderson and Urquhart (1984) contrast the two approaches as follows:

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