What is reading?

This is probably an issue for most modules, but here in the context of “Assessment” – what is reading?
Yesterday in class I was prompted to think generally about how we can assess reading, outside the framework of multiple choice, matching items etc., and I can’t really design a response format for that without first defining what I think reading is or what I want reading to be in the context I am testing. So I’ll have to find out what I want reading to be and then I can think of a way of testing it, and then I can write a test item for my specific text.
A few thoughts on what reading could be:

– understanding words- so we can test vocabulary
– understanding sentence relationships, e.g. Cause and effect – so we can test grammar
– understanding the general meaning of the text – that would be skim reading
– understanding details, maybe the meaning of individual passages – reading for detail.
I’m sure there’s more!

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