Group Reader Role Reflection


Over the past week we have been focusing on utilising group work and ‘reader roles’ in order to better enable us to analyse and understand a text. This activity focused on a Winch Reading from Literacy published in 2010. My personal role was graphic artist which involved visually representing the crucial elements of the texts (as seen in my depiction of the four reader roles below), something that was challenging yet resulted in a deeper understanding of the text. I found that condensing the key ideas into pictures to convey their meaning was difficult, however believe that the group presentation allowed me to expand upon and explain my visual cues in order to best convey the points to all the learner types in my group.


My Reading Reflection:

Winch (2010) highlights the critical learning devices, strategies and components employed to ensure the one is reading ‘effectively’. Winch emphasises the importance of context, postulating that it is only through an understanding of the influences of both the author’s context, and that of the reader that a text may be fully analysed; “‘reading’ changes, depending on the context in which it is being used’” (p. 30). He exemplifies the changing literacy mediums, reflective of Freebody’s (2012) theory of a “literacy-saturated world” (p.4). Winch identifies digital texts as one changing medium, outlining the different approach required to read and analyse, compared to traditional paper-based print. This establishes the critical role of educators who must adapt to the changing nature of literacy and model a wide range of effective reading practices. Such reading strategies Winch suggests, should draw upon the textual form, understanding the context, genre and register of the text, and also the sources of information or “cue systems” (p. 32), identified as the semantic, grammatical, phonological-graphological and visual/pictorial information, which form the foundation of any literary understanding. Furthermore, Winch emphasises the four “reader roles” (Freebody, 1990, 1999), which any effective reader utilises in order to “access, understand, use, reflect on, evaluate, and respond to a text” (Winch, 2010, p. 38), those of analyst, code-breaker, user and participant. These form the continuous reading strategy which Winch postulates is the most effective means of gaining understanding, scanning the text, obtaining an overview of the crucial ideas, utilising the cueing systems to predict and confirm meaning, and finally correcting uncertainty by reanalysing the information (p. 43). It is through a combination of these strategies that Winch believes the reader can obtain the most accurate understanding of any given text and confirms his statement that “effective reading is a complex, thinking activity” (p. 46). (Word Count = 300)

My Group Reflection:

The group activity resulted in a deeper of understanding of the reading as allowing individual analysis of an aspect of the text, before combining, a concept which resulted in a more detailed deconstruction and reflection. My graphic-artist role highlighted the importance of visual cueing systems in creating understanding, although it was challenging to minimise the emphasis on the text. The group’s different roles enabled me to focus on the text’s other aspects in greater detail. The feedback reflected the group’s collaboration enabled identification of weaker areas, allowing us to, as Winch suggests, return to the text for more information (p. 43), thus growing in our understanding. (Word Count = 106)
Reference ListWinch, G., Johnston, R. R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L. and Holliday, M. 2010. Towards a Model of Reading. In: Winch, G. eds. 2010. Literacy. 4th ed. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Freebody, P. 2012. Knowledge about Language, Literacy and Literature in the Teaching and Learning of English. In: Simpson, A., Freebody, P. and Comber, B. eds. 2012. Literacy, Language and Literature. 2nd ed. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.



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