Comprehensive Literacy Instruction: An Expansion of the Science of Reading

Proficient readers are able to comprehend text when/if they have the (pre) requisite background knowledge, language skills, and word identification/word reading ability and if they approach text with the goal of understanding it. In this session we will focus on the word reading aspect of the reading process as this is an important focus of the Science of Reading (SOR) perspective and has gained prominence in the last few years.

Proficient reading requires the ability to effortlessly identify the tens of thousands of different words encountered in text. This ability enables readers to focus their attention on comprehension. A central issue in reading/literacy instruction, therefore, is how to help readers learn to effortlessly identify this huge number of words as it is not possible to explicitly teach them all. Proponents of the SOR perspective popularized in the press argue that scientific research has firmly established that heavy and near exclusive reliance on phonics-based word solving is the optimal method of instruction and that learners should not be taught nor encouraged to rely on contextual information as an assist in word solving. A broader representation of the scientific research on reading and literacy development challenges this perspective, particularly with respect to the role of context in word solving/word learning and in comprehension more generally. In this session, we will expand on the SOR perspective and share a more comprehensive view of literacy instruction and literacy development.

April 28, 2021 @ 4 PM EST Via Zoom (Free!) 

Register in advance:


Dr. Kim Anderson, Associate Professor East Coast University, College of Education 

Kathy Champeau, Former Instructor, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Former President, Wisconsin State Reading Association 

Dr. Erica Barnes, Associate Professor, University at Albany, School of Education 

Dr. Donna Scanlon, Professor Emeritus, University at Albany, School of Education