Inferring is the process of creating
a personal meaning from text. It involves a mental process of combining what is read with relevant prior knowledge
(schema). The reader's unique interpretation
of text is the product of this blending.
When proficient readers infer, they create a meaning that is not necessarily stated
explicitly in the text. The process implies that readers actively search for,
or are aware of, implicit meaning.
Inferences are revised based on the inferences and interpretations of other readers.
Therefore, it is very important to provide students with multiple opportunities to discuss texts in a variety of settings.
When they infer, proficient readers
- Draw conclusions
- Make reasonable predictions
as they read, test and revise those predictions as they read further;
- Create interpretations of text that are adapted as they continue
to read and after they read;
- Use the combination of background knowledge and explicitly
stated information from the text to answer questions they have as they read;
- Make connections between conclusions they draw and other beliefs
- Make critical or analytical
judgments about what they read.
When proficient readers infer, they are more able to
- Remember and reapply what they have read
- Create new background knowledge for themselves
- Critically analyze text and authors
- Engage in conversation and reflective responses to what they