Harvard Educational Review
  1. Fall 1977 Issue »

    Making Sense of Reading—And of Reading Instruction

    Frank Smith
    For many years researchers and educators have sought to specify the prerequisites for learning to read. Physical, intellectual, and perceptual factors are often cited as the necessary precursors. Frank Smith has often argued that reading is not a matter of decoding but consists of bringing meaning to print. In this essay Smith claims that the essential antecedents of reading consist of two cognitive insights: that written language is meaningful and that written language is different from spoken language. Smith discusses the importance of each of these insights and explains how children typically learn them. He argues that current instructional practices may thwart the learning of these insights and suggests ways in which parents and teachers may help children to understand that reading makes sense.

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    Fall 1977 Issue


    Eugene Radwin, Maryanne Wolf-Ward
    Helen Popp
    From Utterance to Text
    The Bias of Language in Speech and Writing
    David R. Olson
    Two Functions of Language
    Carol Fleisher Feldman
    Trends in Second-Language-Acquisition Research
    Kenji Hakuta, Herlinda Cancino
    Learning about Psycholinguistic Processes by Analyzing Oral Reading
    Kenneth S. Goodman, Yetta M. Goodman
    Alternative Conceptualizations of Dyslexia
    Evidence in Support of a Verbal-Deficit Hypothesis
    Frank R. Vellutino
    An Interactionist Approach to Advancing Literacy
    Nan Elsasser, Vera P. John-Steiner
    The Nature of Literacy
    An Historical Exploration
    Daniel P. Resnick, Lauren B. Resnick
    Making Sense of Reading—And of Reading Instruction
    Frank Smith
    Varieties of Deficiency in the Reading Processes
    Magdalen D. Vernon
    Reading Reconsidered
    Thomas Wolf
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