Vocabulary does not complicate the simple view of reading Academic Article uri icon

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  • Gough and Tunmer's (1986) simple view of reading (SVR) proposed that reading comprehension (RC) is a function of language comprehension (LC) and word recognition/decoding. Braze et al. (2007) presented data suggesting an extension of the SVR in which knowledge of vocabulary (V) affected RC over and above the effects of LC. Tunmer and Chapman (2012) found a similar independent contribution of V to RC when the data were analyzed by hierarchical regression. However, additional analysis by factor analysis and structural equation modeling indicated that the effect of V on RC was, in fact, completely captured by LC itself and there was no need to posit a separate direct effect of V on RC. In the present study, we present new data from young adults with sub-optimal reading skill (N = 286). Latent variable and regression analyses support Gough and Tunmer's original proposal and the conclusions of Tunmer and Chapman that V can be considered a component of LC and not an independent contributor to RC.


  • Braze, David
  • Katz, Leonard
  • Magnuson, James S
  • Mencl, W Einar
  • Tabor, Whitney
  • Van Dyke, Julie
  • Gong, Tao
  • Johns, Clinton L
  • Shankweiler, Donald P

publication date

  • March 2016