5.1 The Simple View of Reading

Learning Intentions

After viewing this module session participants will be able to: 

  • Explain how the Simple View of Reading helps us understand reading comprehension difficulties
  • Determine if reading comprehension problems are the result of word-reading problems, language problems, or both


watch the session below.

*Please see the Transcripts resource folder located in Module 0 for a text copy of the transcript from this video. 


  • Reading comprehension is based upon two broad skills, 1) word-level reading and 2) language comprehension 
  • When a student struggles in reading comprehension, it is useful to find out if that student would comprehend if the passage were read to him or her
  • Some students struggle in reading comprehension based upon difficulties in language comprehension
  • Skills in the limited vocabulary of “everyday language” may mask a broader language deficit that may hinder reading comprehension

Reflect & Connect

What has been your understanding of reading comprehension difficulties? How, if at all, does the Simple View clarify your understanding?