Reading FAQ by Frank Smith

Bryce Hedstrom recommended a list of books for me to read and this was on the list. Frank Smith is right up there with Krashen. Actually, he was there before Krashen. I had never heard of him, but I came to realize that he is no slouch — especially since he has his PhD from Harvard.

So what is this book? Basically it is a short book where he answers commonly asked questions that he gets at seminars. He keeps the answers to about a page or so, which is just right for teachers who probably don’t have time to read his larger, more comprehensive books. Some of the questions are: How do you define reading, What is the role of prediction in reading, How can you read a word you haven’t met before, Are some kinds of reading preferable to others, etc.

I really feel that this book is great introduction to reading research. If  you don’t have the time to go out there and do a full research summary on reading and language acquisition, this book is great resource to whet your appetite. We all know that there are way too many great books to read out there and most people want to know  the top 10 books. I would say that this is one that makes the top 10.

Check it out, you won’t regret it. Thanks Bryce!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Reading FAQ by Frank Smith

  1. David Young

    I also am a big admirer of Frank Smith. He is the man!!! I first started reading his works when he was mentioned by Krashen. Understanding Reading and Reading without Nonsense are two powerful books. Frank Smith approaches reading from a psycholinguistic perspective. He totally demolishes the main tenets of the reading policies pushed by NCLB. He makes mincemeat of the focus on intensive phonics instruction.

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