The simple view of reading has been a big part of the science of reading that is sweeping across educational circles. But what is it exactly, and how can we use it to inform our instruction? It’s no secret that reading problems in students have grown exponentially in recent years. Learning to read is a huge part of any primary student’s journey. Eventually, students need to be able to translate print into meaning.
Read on or click play to learn more about how the simple view of reading plays into this!
What is the Simple View of Reading?
We want our students to be able to comprehend what they read, but there are a lot of things that need to happen before that will occur. A psychologist by the name of Philip Gough originally described this simple view of reading in the 1980s along with some of his friends. It started off as the Gough theoretical model and is now commonly referred to as the simple view of reading, which looks something like this.
The simple view of reading states that word reading multiplied by language comprehension = reading comprehension. This shows us that reading comprehension is the product of word recognition along with language comprehension.
So let’s break it down and take a look!
Word Recognition & Language Comprehension
Under word recognition, we have phonological awareness, decoding, and sight recognition of familiar words.
Under language comprehension, we have background knowledge, vocabulary, language structure, verbal reasoning, and literacy knowledge.
In word recognition, students become increasingly automatic, and in language comprehension students become increasingly strategic. These are all skills that develop over time which lead to skilled reading.
If any of those areas are weak, then it leads to a breakdown when it comes to reading comprehension. When this occurs, students will not be skilled readers.
As I’ve gone through training on the science of reading, I’ve had several a-ha moments! I want you to take a moment and think back to previous students you’ve had. Or even your current students. Especially the students who are struggling. Think about where their weakness lies….now, this is not to beat yourself up, but I’ve found that looking back helps me as I move forward to help the new students that I will come across! Reflection definitely makes me a better teacher.
I hope that this post has helped to explain what the simple view of reading is, and how it relates to the science of reading!