Introduction to SSP - Module 2 slide outlines

1.     The Simple View of Reading

Gough and Tunmer (1986)

[Image: the slide shows a diagram divided into four quadrants. The x-axis is labelled ‘Word recognition processes’ and runs from ‘poor’ on the left side of the axis to ‘good’ on the right side of the axis. The y-axis is labelled ‘Language comprehension processes’ and runs from ‘good’ at the top of the axis to ‘poor’ at the bottom of the axis. The top right quadrant is labelled ‘Good word recognition; good language comprehension’. The bottom right quadrant is labelled ‘Good word recognition; poor language comprehension’. The bottom left quadrant is labelled ‘Poor word recognition; poor language comprehension’. The top left quadrant is labelled ‘Good language comprehension; poor word recognition’.]

2.     The many strands that are woven into skilled reading

Scarborough’s Reading Rope, 2001

[Image: shows a rope, with individual strands on the left representing language comprehension and word recognition skills. Woven together as a full rope, the strands lead to skilled reading on the right.

Language comprehension – becomes increasingly strategic

  • Background knowledge (facts, concepts, etc)
  • Vocabulary (breadth, precision, links, etc
  • Language structures (syntax, semantics, etc)
  • Verbal reasoning (inference, metaphor, etc)
  • Literacy knowledge (print concepts, genres, etc)

Word recognition – becomes increasingly automatic

  • Phonological awareness (syllable, phonemes, etc)
  • Decoding (alphabetic principle, spelling-sound correspondences)
  • Sight recognition (of familiar words)

Skilled reading

  • Fluent execution and coordination of word recognition and text comprehension

The image has a circle around the word recognition section.]

3.     The Big 6 of Reading Instruction

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonics
  • Vocabulary
  • Fluency
  • Comprehension

[Note: ‘Oral Language’ is not included when this list appears initially; but is added as the first item on the list during the presentation.]

[Image: included on the page are covers of:

  • the National Reading Panel report
  • Australian Journal of Teacher Education article ‘Teaching reading: Why the “Fab Five” should be the “Big Six”’]

4.     Oral language

Oral language is a complex mix of interdependent skills:

  • Semantics (meaning)
  • Syntax (sentence structure and parts of speech)
  • Morphology (the study of the smallest units of meaning)
  • Phonology (the sounds of words)
  • Articulation (ability to say them)
  • Pragmatics (appropriate language for the situation)
  • Vocabulary and Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

5.     Phonemic awareness

  • Early phonological sensitivity – rhyming syllables, alliteration
  • Basic PA skills – identifying phonemes, blending, segmenting
  • Advanced PA skills – manipulating, deleting, adding, substituting

Phonological awareness is a broad skill that includes identifying and manipulating units of oral language – parts such as words, syllables, and onsets and rimes. Phonemic awareness refers to the specific ability to focus on and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words (Reading Rockets).

A lack of these skills is one of the primary predictors of reading difficulty (Stone, 2013).

While phonological and phonemic awareness tasks can be performed ‘with your eyes closed’, when it comes to instruction, phonemic awareness is most effective when combined with phoneme grapheme correspondence (Kilpatrick, 2015).

Finally, it is important to note that phonemic awareness is a means to enable reading and spelling, not an end in itself.

6.     Phonics

English has one of the most opaque orthographies in the world.

An understanding of the alphabetic principal is critical to the development of reading and spelling. There are 44 phonemes in Standard Australian English and between 150 to 200 representations of these phonemes (graphemes).

There are 75 ‘core’ graphemes (Eide, 2011).

Synthetic phonics involves teaching these letter sound correspondences and then teaching children to blend words.

The recommended approach to phonics instruction is systematic and explicit (NICHD, 2000).

[Image: sample of two charts titled ‘The Alphabetic Code’.]

7.     Vocabulary

  • Critical for comprehension.
  • Vocabulary instruction requires context.
  • Repeated exposures are important for learning gain. Application of the vocabulary knowledge in authentic tasks is important across the curriculum.
  • There is little benefit to pre-teaching vocabulary for younger students. Instead, explain as you read and then select high utility words to teach explicitly in robust lessons (Beck et al).
  • The creation of a language rich classroom environment is important for implicit learning of vocabulary.
  • Once students can read proficiently, they are able to expand their vocabularies through the text they read. This is an important step in reading development.

8.     Fluency

  • First comes accuracy, then comes speed.
  • Fluency at grapheme level and word level are important in supporting children to attain fluency at sentence and text level.
  • Fluency is not just about speed. It is about expression, prosody (phrasing) AND rate.
  • Fluency goals are: 60 words per minute by the end of Year 1, 90 words per minute by the end of Year 2.
  • This is for unseen text containing a range of sentence structures, some unfamiliar vocabulary and the full alphabetic code.
  • Repeated oral reading with feedback leads to gains in reading fluency. There is no evidence that sustained silent reading leads to better fluency outcomes.

9.     Comprehension

  • Comprehension isn’t a ‘task’ undertaken in the classroom, but the end result of all things going well with the previous five components of reading instruction.
  • Vocabulary and background knowledge have a large part to play in a student’s ability to comprehend what they read. Knowledge building is a crucial part of reading instruction.
  • Studying syntax and the role of grammar and sentence structure on comprehension can enhance comprehension.
  • Comprehension strategies have a place, but a small amount of time on these is just as good as a large amount of time.

10. Let’s recap

  • The Simple View of Reading remains one of the most robust and respected frameworks for understanding reading comprehension.
  • Scarborough’s Reading Rope provides more detail about the different aspects of reading comprehension and decoding.
  • With its origins in the National Reading Panel report, the Big 6 of Reading gives us a breakdown of the key areas to focus on in our classroom instruction.