Code and comprehension in written language : Considering limitations to the simple view of reading
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionUppstad, P.H., & Solheim, O. J. (2011). Code and Comprehension in Written Language – Considering Limitations to the Simple View of Reading. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 11(2011), pp. 159-174
The Simple View of Reading (SVR) was introduced by Gough and Tunmer in 1986 as a model to predict reading comprehension by means of two factors: decoding and linguistic comprehension. Over time, the SVR has acquired the status of a definition of reading, and it counts as a starting point for both research and teaching programmes for reading. In the present manuscript an attempt is made to maintain Gough and Tunmer’s (1986) original purpose of the SVR by discussing potential problems that arise when the SVR is applied beyond its original intention. This is done by means of a critical look at some core assumptions of the SVR. The basic argument put forward is that the SVR – with its two factors for prediction – provides teachers with no understanding of how reading develops in a society dominated by texts. The article presents some perspectives on how a focus shift in the use of the SVR could be brought about rather than claiming to provide a new, consistent framework.