Reading Recovery Community

Dec 13, 2022 by North American Trainers Group

The letters MSV stand for meaning, structure, and visual, and recent discussions of early reading instruction refer to them as the ‘three cueing systems.’  Too often the descriptions of MSV are incorrect. Specifically, MSV is not using context, such as pictures and syntax, to guess words as an alternative to using the letters and words on the page.   This incorrect definition is not based on the theory and science of reading that researchers and reading specialists recognize, and while it is often linked to one instructional approach, this connection reflects limited understanding.

MSV relates to information sources available to all readers irrespective of the method of instruction or the type of text read (e.g., decodable or authentic).  Written language offers the reader multiple sources of information in print to support reading for meaning.  Three of these sources are syntax, semantics, and grapho-phonic information.  A fourth is the system of sounds (phonology).  Effective reading involves the use and integration of all information sources available to the reader; no one information source takes priority over another.

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