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What Is the Science of Reading?

The term “science of reading” refers to the research that psychologists and cognitive scientists have conducted on how we learn to read. This body of knowledge, over twenty years in the making, has helped debunk older methods of reading instruction that were based on tradition and observation, not evidence.

The science of reading combines several disciplines to provide a more thorough understanding of what processes are involved in reading, where challenges generally occur, and what preventative or remedial instruction can be implemented. This consensus is derived from thousands of studies, conducted across several languages, and contributes to the development of a method of reading instruction that is proven to work for the broadest range of students.

It answers questions such as: 

  • What skills are involved in reading?

  • How do these skills work together?

  • How is reading related to speaking, spelling, or writing?

  • How do children learn to read?

  • Does experience come into play?

  • Which experiences are most important?

  • What parts of the brain prove most integral to reading?

  • Why do some children struggle with reading?ith reading?

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