ABSTRACT The communicative aspect of the reading skill resides in the ability to interpret culturally authentic messages in the foreign language environment, that is, to be functionally literate in the second language. A task-analysis procedure is useful in three areas: identification of appropriate communicative materials, strategies effective for the decoding process, and evaluation techniques that capitalize on the communicative aspect of the situation. Within thematic units developed in textbook lessons, teachers can provide guidelines that expand the reading materials to exploit communication between written messages and learners by encouraging the guessing process that the independent reader must develop. This type of activity serves to bridge the gap between controlled and liberated reading situations. A combination of language skills and contextual expectations works together so that the reader interprets the realia of the foreign culture.