A dialogic account of reader–text interactions

Davis, Dennis S.; McElhone, Dot; Tenore, F. Blake
September 2015
English Teaching: Practice & Critique (Emerald Group Publishing ;2015, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p335
Academic Journal
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptualization of reading comprehension that extends beyond the traditional cognitive viewpoint on comprehension common in the field. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on literature and theory from various perspectives (cognitive, sociocultural and critical), the authors propose a conceptual heuristic that can inform future scholarship. Findings – Using four foundational principles of reader–text interactions as a starting point (non-neutrality, tethered polysemy, variable agency and unruliness), the authors describe reader–text interactions in terms of the tethers/resources that are brought into the interaction, the moment-to-moment improvisation that occurs when readers meet a text and the changes at the intra- and interpersonal levels that result from and influence future reader–text interactions. Originality/value – The conceptualization can inform future research and practice in literacy by situating meaning making within a broader understanding of the processes and consequences of textual interaction.


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