What is Reading?

Reading involves recognizing words and attaching them to their meanings. The Simple View of Reading calls these two parts of the process “word recognition” (or “decoding”) and “language comprehension” (or “linguistic comprehension”).

In a sense, reading happens invisibly, inside the brain. This invisible activity takes place as readers combine the process of recognizing words with the process of understanding them. The science of reading has helped us understand what occurs during this two-step process.

Reading is also about figuring out the ideas that authors want to convey. Authors express ideas by grouping words into phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and whole books.

What’s the Simple View?

To read is both (1) to recognize words and (2) to understand their meanings.