This paper reports on the understandings of Catherine Wallace’s critical reading theory by reviewing her works from 1988 to 2012 and an interview with her conducted in London on 28th March, 2016, as her view that society can be understood through language provides scaffolding to build a theory of critical reading in Japanese language education. In the interview, we discussed 1) her interests and career in this field and background for her ideas, 2) the reason why her teaching practices focus on written texts, 3) the relation with other approaches such as critical thinking, and 4) reading materials and tasks. The interview clarifies that she was originally interested in studies on language such as semantics and applied linguistics, and that she has always been encouraged by the awareness of political issues. Furthermore, she has been reading ideology in texts by practicing critical literacy, sticking to written texts as reading materials. Both her theory and method show the potential for application to the teaching of reading in Japanese language education in order to associate language with society.