Simple View of Reading (SVR): Validation studies

Simple View of Reading (SVR): Validation studies

First Author: R. Malatesha Joshi -- Texas A & M University
Keywords: Decoding, Reading comprehension, Orthography, Cross-linguistic, Vocabulary
Abstract / Summary: 

One of the influential reading models is the Simple View of Reading (SVR), according to which Reading Comprehension (RC) is the product of Decoding (D) and Linguistic Comprehension (LC). Most of the studies hitherto have explored SVR in alphabetic writing systems such as English and French, and among monolinguals. The purpose of this symposium is to explore the applicability of SVR in bilingual and different orthographies. Joshi will present the results about the applicability of SVR in Hebrew – a Semitic language with vowelized and unvowelized system. Catts shall present results from longitudinal data to examine the stability of SVR across grade levels. Proctor and Nakamura shall present the validity of SVR in bilingual populations - Proctor in Spanish-English, and Nakamura in English and Kannada, an alpha-syllabic language. An expanded model of SVR along with the results of an intervention study will be presented by Geva.

Symposium Papers: 

Validation of Simple of View of Reading (SVR) in Hebrew – a Semitic language

First Author/Chair:R. Malatesha Joshi -- Texas A & M University
Additional authors/chairs: 
Zvia Breznitz; Yulia Astri; Rafael Lara Arroyo; Beverly Irby

Purpose:The purpose of this presentation is to explore the applicability of SVR across various grade levels in Hebrew.
Method: We tested the Simple View of Reading (SVR) in Hebrew by administering two decoding measures, a listening comprehension measure, and a reading comprehension measure to 1,022 students from Grades 2-9 in northern part of Israel.
Results: Results from Structural Equation Modeling supported SVR in Hebrew with decoding and listening comprehension measures explaining much of the variance in reading comprehension. Similar to the results in many alphabetic languages, decoding contributed more at the early grade levels and listening comprehension more at later grade levels to reading comprehension. However, unlike in transparent orthographies, such as Spanish and Finnish, decoding seems to play an important role in reading comprehension even in upper grades due to the nature of Hebrew orthography, of using unpointed script after fourth grade level.
Conclusions: It appears that SVR is applicable to Hebrew orthography, despite its pointed and unpointed writing system. LC contributed significantly to RC at all grade levels, however, decoding contributed more at early grade levels, but for a longer time compared to other alphabetic languages in Hebrew, because of the nature of its orthography.

Validation of SVR from Grades 1-3

First Author/Chair:Hugh Catts -- Florida State University
Additional authors/chairs: 
LARRC Consortium

Purpose: To investigate changes in the contributions of word reading (accuracy & speed), vocabulary, and listening comprehension to reading comprehension in the primary school grades.
Method: Participants were 125 first grade, 123 second grade, and 123 third grade children from 4 research sites in the United States. Participants were administered a large battery of assessments including multiple measures of word recognition (WR), listening comprehension (LC), vocabulary, and reading comprehension (RC).
Results: Structural equation modeling was used to assess the relationship between variables in three different theoretical models. The first model showed that WR and LC accounted for approximately 90% of the variance in RC at each grade. In first grade, WR accounted for considerably more variance in RC than did LC. In second and third grades, the pattern shifted, and LC became the more prominent predictor of RC. The second model showed that the nature of WR contributions changed across grades from primarily an influence of WR accuracy in first grade to an influence of WR fluency in third grade. Finally, the third model indicated that vocabulary had no direct influence on RC but had an impact indirectly through both WR and LC.
Conclusions: The contributions of WR and LC to RC change during the primary grades. These findings have theoretical and practical implications that will be discussed.

The Simple View, linguistic comprehension, and modeling across languages

First Author/Chair:Patrick Proctor -- Boston College
Additional authors/chairs: 
Rebecca Silverman

Purpose: In the present study, we worked with 71 Spanish-English biliterate students in grades 3 (n = 21), 4 (n = 23), and 5 (n = 27) with three specific aims. The first specific aim was to test the Simple View using a component approach to operationalizing linguistic comprehension, specifically including morphological awareness, syntactic and semantic awareness, and breadth of vocabulary knowledge. The second goal was to investigate similarities and differences in the simple view across Spanish and English. We applied the model described in the first specific aim in English as well as in Spanish among a group of Spanish-English biliterate students. Finally, the third goal was to investigate the cross-linguistic contributions of Spanish to English reading, and of English to Spanish reading, controlling for English and Spanish predictors, respectively.

Method: All measures were collected in English and Spanish. Reading comprehension, real word reading, and broad vocabulary were measured using the Woodcock-Muñoz Language Survey – Revised (Woodcock & Muñoz-Sandoval, 2005). Morphological awareness was assessed with the Extract the Base test (August, Kenyon, Malabonga, Louguit, & Caglarcan, 2001). Semantic and syntactic awareness was assessed with the CELF Formulated Sentences subtest (Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2003).

Results: Controlling for grade, regressions indicated that only semantic and syntactic awareness significantly predicted English comprehension (t = 2.0, p = .05), while in Spanish, decoding (t = 3.74, p < .001), broad vocabulary (t = 2.22, p = .03), and morphological awareness (t = 5.41, p < .001) significantly predicted comprehension.

Conclusions: SVR is also applicable among English-Spanish bilinguals.

Examining the Simple View of Reading in Alphasyllabic Kannada

First Author/Chair:Pooja Nakamura -- American Institute of Research
Additional authors/chairs: 
Malatesha Joshi

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the Simple View of Reading in elementary school children acquiring Kannada in low-income educational settings in rural India. Research examining early reading development in alphasyllabic languages suggests a slower pace of acquisition than English (Nag, 2007), and the importance of dual encoding of both syllable and phoneme level phonological information (Reddy & Koda, 2012). However, the relative contributions of decoding and oral language sub-skills in reading comprehension outcomes across the elementary grades have not been studied.
Method: As part of an ongoing study, 104 participants from the villages of Karnataka, India, were tested on the following reading sub-skills: phonological awareness (blending and deletion tasks), decoding, oral vocabulary knowledge, and reading comprehension.
Results: Bivariate correlations showed significant relationships between all reading skills, except blending ability. Hierarchical regressions revealed that in grade 2-3 children, word reading outcomes were significantly predicted by phonological deletion (at the syllabic and phonemic levels); whereas in grade 4-5 children, reading comprehension outcomes were significantly predicted by both oral vocabulary knowledge and decoding ability.
Conclusion: The results suggest that alphasyllabic reading comprehension, in line with the Simple View of Reading, requires oral language skills and decoding ability; however, the sustained importance in basic decoding in grade 4-5 learners is an important finding that may be explained by the orthographic complexity of Kannada, which requires a prolonged acquisition period, and the limited print and instructional resources in low-income contexts of literacy acquisition.

An argument for an expanded SVR framework – the case of recently immigrated adolescent ELLs

First Author/Chair:Esther Geva -- University of Toronto
Additional authors/chairs: 
Fataneh Farnia

Purpose: Recent research has shown that the SVR model applies to English language learners (ELLs), though an expanded, “not so simple” model, works better in explaining reading comprehension (RC) in ELLs. We examined an expanded SVR model in the context of an afterschool tutoring program for adolescent ELLs who immigrated to Canada after the age of 10. The Vocabulary Learning program (VLP) involved systematic, 13-week, intervention targeting academic vocabulary and RC strategies, delivered in small groups.
Method: Sample: 135 Grades 9-10 high-school ELLs, (Immediate Intervention = 85; Control/Waitlisted = 50) living in an innercity, impoverished, neighborhood. Measures (pre-post): cognitive (nonverbal ability, working memory (WM)); language (receptive, expressive vocabulary, morphological awareness, root words); reading (word-level, fluency, and RC), as well as motivation for reading and metacognitive strategies for reading questionnaires. Here we focus on the pre-post results. Multivariate analysis of covariance examined the effect of intervention on performance on RC, academic vocabulary, and reading strategies at Time 2 (post-test) controlling for motivation and pretest covariates. Predictors of RC within an expanded SVR model were then compared in the two groups.
Results: Results indicated greater effects for the Intervention group. Intervention adolescents benefitted strongly from explicit instruction on academic vocabulary and reading strategies.
Conclusions: Results confirmed the strength of an expanded SVR model that includes also WM, motivation, and reading strategies. As predicted, different patterns of contributions to RC in the Intervention and Control groups emerged, pointing to a nuanced SVR.