‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be…
Sang and danced the Shakers more than 150 years ago.
Life has become simpler since then. We no longer have to grow our own food, sew our own clothes or make our own medicines. At the same time, education seems to have gotten longer and more complicated. Does it really have to be?
I was recently given an article written in 2010* recounting Gough and Tunmer’s 1986 Simple View of Reading, in which they reduced the obvious to a simple equation: Decoding (D) X Language Comprehension (LC) = Reading Comprehension.
“Decoding (D) is defined as ‘efficient word recognition’…beyond the traditional definition of decoding as the ability to sound out words based on phonics rules. The meaning of decoding expands to include fast and accurate reading of familiar and unfamiliar words in both lists and connected texts.” [Italics mine.]
Language Comprehension (LC) …is defined as the ability to derive meaning from spoken words when they are part of sentences and other discourse.”
Can anyone disagree with The Simple View of Reading? How many schools and teachers are putting it into practice?
The article also cites Alan G. Kamhi’s insight that decoding is a “teachable skill” compared to comprehension, which “is not a skill and not easily taught.”
At Everyone Reading, we try to keep everything simple. We teach teachers to teach Decoding, and we occasionally take a crack at Language Comprehension.
On Giving Tuesday, which is tomorrow, we would appreciate the Simple Gift of a donation, but we would really prefer that you use your money for our workshops and/or our conference. Then, we could give you the gift of one or both of the factors in a Simple View of Reading.
* Marcia Davidson, Linda Farrell, Michael Hunter and Tina Osenga, “The Simple View of Reading,” 2010, Center for Development and Learning.
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