Reading involves interaction between a reader and a text. Reading requires the general knowledge of the world and a given topic requires one to have the knowledge of the language. Reader s should incorporate other activities so that their text is comprehensive. They should link the text with experiences of the past, interpret the text, evaluate it and also have a consideration of other interpretations of the same text. Reading is a process through which meaning is constructed .As people read through a text they use their prior knowledge and their understanding of the text and come up with a meaning. Effective readers are strategic meaning that their reading is based on a particular reason and they adjust their reading depending on the purpose of every reading material. In the process of constructing meaning, strategic readers use a number of strategies and skills. A strategy is a plan which is deliberately selected by the reader for the purpose of meeting a particular goal or completing a particular task. Readers should be in a position to select the right strategy and use it properly. In addition to the strategies readers should also use comprehensive and skills of study (Buehl, 2008).
The main aim of reading is to help the students to become experts in reading so that they can be independent in using literacy for enjoyment of life throughout their life. Learning the use of strategies effectively is important in constructing meaning. Readers who do not apply the strategies necessary when reading are usually faced with problems in the process. The difficulties which face an individual in his early life can affect the learning of the reader throughout the rest of the life. Strategies help to solve problems that arise in the process of constructing meaning of a given text. The strategy should be modified so as to suit the needs of the learning situation. Strategic learner should be aware of the right time and how to change, modify, put two or more strategies together, and test the strategy against the knowledge that he had initially. Strategic process involves teaching students on the best procedures used by good readers, writing using the best approaches of good writers, and solving problems using the best techniques which are applied by good problem solvers (Kathleen, 2007).
There are a variety of strategies which are used by students to construct meaning. Some of the strategies are more significant t5han others. In my discussion I will clarify several strategies and the way in which they help students to come up with a meaning .The first strategy is fix-up strategies. Fix-up strategies are the strategies are the strategies are the strategies which are used to correct problems. Readers should make sure that they understand the contents of what they are reading. If they do not understand they should apply fix-up strategies so that they can have a full understanding. The instruction which were given can be helpful in helping the students to know the steps they should take to solve the problem when it arises. Some of the fix-up strategies are rereading the text so that you can know the parts from where the problem arises from, the reader can also state again what was being read, or study7 the text carefully to know which text is helpful and which one is not. When the student realizes where the problem comes from, he rectifies into meaningful information. Monitoring is the process in which the reader is able to know when what he is reading is not making sense at all and trying to solve the problem. The reader is in a position to sense the problem in his understanding and correct it as it occurs. The student ability to monitor their reading helps in improvement of meaning construction. These include asking oneself whether the text is sensible, using the dictionary so as to know meaning of words or even asking other people for assistance (Kathleen, 2007).
Inferencing involves judging, concluding, or reasoning from a given text that you have read. Readers improve on their ability to construct meaning when they know how to make inferences. It is very useful for a reader to be able to come up with his own ideas and conclusions after reading a particular text. The student should be able to predict in the process of reading and after. The student should learn how to summarize the materials so as to improve in construction of meaning. Summarizing involves pulling together the text into few paragraphs or lines. When summarizing the student should ensure that all aspects in the text are found in the summery. Putting down the information about a text makes it easy for students to draw conclusions from the text. Question generation also helps students to construct meaning. In this case students come up with their own questions which should be answered during reading. Students read as they answer those questions. Questions generated by the student can be very effective in helping the student improve in construction of meaning. It is however a hard task to teach students the way to come up with their own questions (Kathleen, 2007).
Activating the prior knowledge: Readers should recall what they know in a topic before reading another text with new information. The knowledge that one has in a particular topic makes him have a clue of what he intends to read. Knowledge of the past is helpful in determining meaning. Creation of sensory images/visualizing. This involves the formation of a mental picture of the scenes, characters and events. Mental representation of the text helps the reader to retain it for a longer time. When the students are reading through a text they should be allowed to discuss their images, and the teacher should also tell the students the importance of mental images in understanding of the text. Having a picture is helpful in elaborating a piece of text. The reader should be able to predict in advance or on the basis of an observation foretell. Predicting of what is likely to happen is important in construction of the meaning. The reader should be able to foretell of what is likely to happen on observing can event. Prediction is likely to come up with a meaning (Buehl, 2004).
The reader should also be in a position to link two things together, associate them and see how they relate to each other. The ability of the reader to be able to compare two things and come up with their similarities and differences can end up coming up with a meaning. Two topics can be similar in a particular way thus bear the same meaning. The reader should also be able to clarify a text. A strategic reader should be in a position to make people understand the text that he has read. He should make sure that people understand it fully and they are free from confusion. The reader should do this by answering adequately to the questions posed to him .This shows that the reader has not only read but has also understood the text. This helps in constructing meaning of the given text. The reader should be in a position to evaluate or form an opinion of what he has read. The reader should be in a position to tell whether he has understood the text fully or not. He should also be in a position to tell whether the text has been helpful or not and how it has impacted on the life of the reader (Boyles, 2004).
The assessment of the progress of they student depends on how well the student is able to; employ these strategic activities which help the student to construct meaning. Students who are able to apply these strategies in the correct way usually do well in their work. If for instance the student can summarize he works that he has done well, have an image of the work by just observing it, be in a position to solve all the problems which arise then the student is likely to do well. The progress of the student depends on how well he can employ these strategies. The teacher should ensure that the students learn how to apply these strategies. Monitor the work of the students closely to ensure that they perform to the expected standards. If the student is not doing well it is the duty of the teacher to coach him and ensure that he performs better. Strategic activities count a lot when it comes to constructing meaning through reading and writing thus emphasis should be put to the readers to ensure that they apply them (Boyles, 2004).