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This paper challenges the reductive notion of children as 'efferent 1 ' readers who learn to decode written language in order to 'take away' knowledge. This anachronistic idea has become entrenched in current UK curriculum and education policy. However, it is well established that decoding letters and sounds is only one aspect of reading, that reading is cultural and that learning to read, not only words but also images and sounds, develops children's comprehension and criticality. With this indoi:10.1080/03004279.2014.991413 fatcat:i62rbqaedjbbjowyjvexk2wbru