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Hypotheses are expectations or predictions that the reader forms about the text. They are formed before and during the reading. Proficient readers test and revise their hypotheses as they encounter and act upon new information in the text. Depending on the learning goal, a hypothesis may relate to any aspect of the text, for example, its structure, theme, and characterisation, its possible content, or how it engages the reader.
The teacher can usefully model forming a hypothesis when introducing a text. Testing and revising the hypothesis can be modelled later on, during the reading and discussion. This process encourages students to think critically about their own hypotheses, to seek and give feedback about hypotheses, and to revise them in the light of new information. Students often form a hypothesis as a result of asking their own questions about the text.
In this book, the term predicting is used for one of the processing strategies, and the term forming and testing hypotheses is used for one of the comprehension strategies. Predicting in this sense is usually at the word, sentence, or paragraph level, while hypothesizing involves deeper thinking about aspects of the whole text, such as a scientific concept or the development of a character.