Speaking as someone who works with struggling readers at KS3 I would say that age 6 is far too early to tell if a child is a 'good reader' or not. The 'other strategies' tend to fail children once texts become more complex and what appears to be 'good reading' at 6, if it is not based on a firm foundation of knowledge of all the common letter/sound correspondences and automatic decoding and blending of unfamiliar words, can become 'poor reading' if children continue to depend on pictures, context or someone 'telling' them unknown words. I think that, until you have actually listened to 12 & 13y olds merrily deviating from the words written on the page, staring helplessly at unfamiliar words without a clue how to work out what they say, trying to turn unknown words into 'known' words, or decoding the start of a multisyllable word and 'blurghing the rest, you can't judge how successful their initial teaching has been. I think that the argument is more about whether there actually is a mixture of techniques and skills necessary for skilled reading or whether this is just an entrenched belief that has little foundation in reality. There are plenty of teachers around who use only SP for the initial teaching of reading and would not dream of encouraging the use of context, pictures or guessing for working out what words 'say'. They get excellent results, Msz is just one example. This being so it rather begs the question 'Are the 'other strategies' actually necessary to produce skilled readers?' To be honest, I think that you have to actually try it before making a final judgement. We don't know that all of us use every single one of them. I don't for a start. Perhaps the people who do use them use them because that is how they were taught to read. As 'mixed methods' has been the norm for several decades now it is likely that a very significant number of people do read like that. But I am sure that an equally significant number of people don't. Certainly, research on skilled readers (which is what the current exchange has been about) shows that skilled readers use decoding and blending as their prime strategy for working out what unfamiliar words 'say'.