Continued and often heated debates about how teachers and parents can best help young children learn to read are closely related to different definitions of, and understandings about, what effective reading is. This Fact Check discusses two approaches to defining effective reading and argues that it is imperative to adopt a definition of reading that privileges meaning-making. It acknowledges that reading is a highly complex and multi-dimensional meaning-making process that must be underpinned by a repertoire of diverse practices and strategies that respond to the needs of individual learners.

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