Reading and Writing

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 127–160 | Cite as

The simple view of reading

  • Wesley A. Hoover
  • Philip B. Gough


A simple view of reading was outlined that consisted of two components, decoding and linguistic comprehension, both held to be necessary for skilled reading. Three predictions drawn from the simple view were assessed in a longitudinal sample of English-Spanish bilingual children in first through fourth grade. The results supported each prediction: (a) The linear combination of decoding and listening comprehension made substantial contributions toward explaining variation in reading comprehension, but the estimates were significantly improved by inclusion of the product of the two components; (b) the correlations between decoding and listening comprehension tended to become negative as samples were successively restricted to less skilled readers; and (c) the pattern of linear relationships between listening and reading comprehension for increasing levels of decoding skill revealed constant intercept values of zero and positive slope values increasing in magnitude. These results support the view that skill in reading can be simply characterized as the product of skill in decoding and linguistic comprehension. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of the simple view for the practice of reading instruction, the definition of reading disability, and the notion of literacy.

Key words

components of reading decoding listening comprehension literacy reading ability reading comprehension reading disability reading instruction 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wesley A. Hoover
    • 1
  • Philip B. Gough
    • 2
  1. 1.Southwest Educational Development LaboratoryAustinUSA
  2. 2.University of TexasAustinUSA

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