There are three stages of working with a text in top-down approach:
This stage does not involve reading. It has two functions:
– lead-in, i.e. it prepares learners to the topic of a text (Do you like to travel?)
– emphasis on the language that cannot be understood through questions, including some proper names, historical events and the like.
This stage is the only one that involves reading process. It includes reading the text and doing exercises that require reading. Scholars proved that it is better for learners to read a text at least twice, that is why in top-down process activities should go in the following order:
Stage 1. Skimming
Stage 2. Scanning
Stage 3 (optional). Detailed reading
NOTE! All tasks should be given BEFORE reading so that learners should know WHY they read and be motivated.
At this stage learners work with ideas, mostly productive skills are developed (writing and speaking), e.g. writing an essay, discussions, debate on problems raised in the text.