"Start Reading" is the third of three textbooks written by Frank Bacheller, principal lecturer in the Intensive Language Institute at Utah State University.
The text is geared to beginning and low-intermediate students who are studying English as a second language. Bacheller's previous texts are "Listening and Recall" and "Start Writing" and focus on similar audiences.Published by Prentice-Hall, the newest book emphasizes reading skills.
"Students read charts, narratives, stories and expository passages," Bacheller explains. "They do exercises that help them learn to recognize words, phrases and main ideas. They answer questions, solve problems as well as summarize and discuss readings."
Bacheller published his first text in 1986 at a time when relatively few educational materials were available to adults beginning studies in English.
"Now there are more resources," he notes.
Bacheller begins his fourth year teaching at USU; he earned a master's degree in teaching English as a second language from Southern Illinois University in 1977. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"Writing is one of the most difficult tasks for students who are learning English as a second language," Bacheller says. "Students are competent to write sentences in English but have trouble organizing their writing in the way American professors expect.
"Language and culture are so intertwined," he explains. "What we consider logical order in English will not be logical in another language. American professors expect a topic sentence followed by substantiation. A Japanese student would never write so bluntly."
Bacheller is one of eight lecturers in USU's Intensive English Language Institute. Officially created in 1970 as the first institute of its kind in Utah, it has grown in enrollment steadily and now serves some 110 students each quarter.
"Most students in USU's intensive English program arrive on campus with their academic credentials intact," notes Susan Carkin, the institute's director. "Ninety percent of our students go on to enter USU in undergraduate and graduate programs.