The Simple View of Reading
The Simple View of Reading (SVR) developed by Gough & Tunmer (1986), represents the single most influential article in the development of the science of reading. The article clarifies for teachers and researchers the two key skills necessary to enable early reading - language comprehension and word recognition - in a simple formula.
Thus, children who have poor language comprehension and good word recognition would be unable to develop adequate reading comprehension, much the same as children with poor word recognition and good language comprehension. (See the diagram below adapted from Rose, 1986).
Multiple studies have confirmed Gough & Tunmer's (1986) theory of early reading. It recognises not all children will have the ability to learn to read without a solid foundation in these skills and that some children will need significantly more practise than others.
One of the most important aspects of the SVR is that science has shown that children arrive at school with differing degrees of language comprehension and word recognition development (due to biological and environmental factors) that will require them to have more or less need of practise in these skills. It is important to realise that all brains learn to read in much the same way, although some children will have more developed neural pathways (Dehaene 2008).
Therefore, it is important that all children are provided with explicit, systematic and cumulative instruction to develop both language comprehension and word recognition (decoding) in order to strengthen these pathways and to have the opportunity to become skilled readers.