Plenary Speakers

Neil J Anderson

Brigham Young University–Hawaii

Plenary Session: Sustaining Engagement During Reading

Successful foreign language teachers understand the why, the what, and the how of sustaining engagement during reading. The why provides a theoretical foundation that gives confidence to teaching. Focusing on what links the theoretical foundation to principles. The how addresses the application of the theory and principles to classroom instruction. Understanding these three levels of teacher development leads to sustained student engagement during reading.

Creating a learning environment that encourages engagement transforms the learning experience from passive to active learning. An essential element of active language learning is that students take responsibility for their own learning. When students grasp this concept, they ignite their own passion to increase their language proficiency through reading.

Classroom teachers sustain engagement for reading by integrating five principles into their teaching philosophy. Teachers understand that engaged readers (1) are motivated, (2) are metacognitively aware as they use a variety of reading comprehension strategies, (3) read fluently and use their cognitive capacity to focus on the meaning of what they read, (4) read widely with different purposes, and (5) develop their comprehension by using what they read.

This plenary session will briefly explore the theoretical foundation of reading, the rationale for these five principles that sustain engagement in reading, and appropriate classroom applications of each principle.

Workshop: Designing a Reading Curriculum for Learner Success

A robust reading curriculum provides explicit connections between intensive and extensive reading instruction with intentional course learning outcomes to increase reading proficiency.

Loewen (2022) describes contexts in which instructed second language acquisition (ISLA) can best succeed. He identifies four quadrants created by two intersecting axes that illustrate the interaction of two central components: instruction and acquisition.

One axis focuses on the systematic manipulation of the learning conditions, or instruction. This axis focuses on ways to create an effective learning environment. At one end of this axis is “no systematic manipulation” of the learning conditions while at the opposite end is “systematic manipulation.” Ideal conditions for learning a second language require systematic manipulation of the learning conditions to provide appropriate input for language acquisition.

The other axis focuses on attempts by learners to acquire a language. This axis emphasizes the role that individual learners play in their own learning. At one end of this continuum is “no attempted acquisition by the learners” while at the other end is “attempted acquisition by the learners.” Teachers play a central role in encouraging learners to take appropriate risks to learn.

This workshop focuses on ways that Loewen’s framework can be applied in the development of a reading curriculum that successfully integrates learning outcomes for both intensive and extensive reading. The systematic manipulation of intensive reading learning outcomes creates authentic and meaningful opportunities for learners to engage in extensive reading and thus encourages them to make attempts on their own to become more proficient readers.

Neil J Anderson is Professor Emeritus of English Language Teaching and Learning on the Faculty of Education and Social Work at Brigham Young University–Hawaii. Professor Anderson has been actively involved in English language teaching and learning for over 40 years. He is the author or co-editor of over 50 books, book chapters, and journal articles. His research interests include second language reading, language learner strategies, learner self-assessment, and ELT leadership development. Professor Anderson believes that teaching learners to be proficient readers is a key to their success as users of English.

Rob Waring

The Extensive Reading Foundation

Notre Dame Seishin University

Plenary Session: Why do Some Teachers and Students Resist Extensive Reading?

Extensive reading is well known to be successful in promoting general motivation for English among language learners. Most ER teachers also know how powerful a successful ER program can be to bring about this general motivation for English. However, many teachers still are reluctant to take up extensive reading despite all the evidence that it works, and is very successful, and that students really enjoy reading extensively. Why does this happen? This plenary will outline some of the major reasons why extensive reading is not as well accepted as it should be. It will also highlight things such as a lack of understanding of what ER is and why it should be done, poor training, insufficient resources, inappropriate materials, lack of time and a general perception that while “extensive reading may be good, it’s not something that I want to do,” and others. The talk will then propose several strategies to ensure that the stakeholders understand the need for ER, and then show how ER practitioners can identify problems as they arise, and before they create curricular challenges. We will then see how to adjust the ER program to avoid catastrophe. The talk will then investigate several ways to structure an ER program so that there is a high chance that it survives the strains and tensions of a modern school setting. Finally, we will look at some examples of successful model ER programs which teachers can use as examples to develop their own ER programs.

Workshop: Promoting Extensive Reading

The first stage in developing an extensive reading program is to ensure that the stakeholders, whether they be the actual teacher, an administrator, or the students themselves understand the need for extensive reading. Without an understanding of a need for extensive reading, it is likely that any efforts made to build and maintain an ER program will faulter. Examples of these ER roadblocks’ will be given and some solicited from the participants. While there is a convincing case for extensive reading, this can be expressed in different ways to different people each with differing results and a likelihood, or not, of success. Generally, four types of stakeholders have been identified. First, those who do not need convincing as they themselves self-identify as readers. Second, those who may need to be persuaded by the ‘evidence’ that ER works based on experimental data and increases in test scores. Next, those who are convinced by the emotional argument for reading as a necessary life skill while understanding its importance in furthering one’s knowledge and skills. Finally, those who are convinced by the logical or linguistic argument for how a curriculum should be structured to ensure the amount of input that is needed to learn a foreign language can be achieved. This talk will discuss ways these four types of stakeholders can be approached in a way that most likely will lead to the adoption of an ER program. The participants will be asked to share their own experiences and strategies for promoting ER in their own context.

Dr. Rob Waring, is Emeritus Professor at Notre Dame Seishin University in Okayama where he taught English for 30 years. He is a world-renowned expert in extensive reading and vocabulary acquisition. He has published over 80 articles and has given hundreds of lectures, plenaries and featured speaker presentations in 32 countries. He is an Executive Board member of the Extensive Reading Foundation. He is also author and series editor of six series of graded readers and has recently published Teaching Extensive Reading in Another Language with Paul Nation.

Dumrong Adunyarittigun

Thammasat University

Plenary Session: Whispers in the Wildfire: Reimagining L2 Reading Instruction for Turbulent Times

In this presentation, I will press on the need for discursive drifts by visualizing challenges encountered by L2 students and urge you to consider how critical literacy instruction could help L2 students strategically deal with such challenges in a contentious world and become change agents. I will illustrate an ecology of literacy learning, which requires teachers to be facilitators and students to be critical and active problem-posers working collaboratively. L2 students will examine contentious, engaging and corporeal issues, pose questions, and construct their own views on those issues. Samples of discussions and projects will be showcased.

Workshop: Promoting Self-regulated Readers through Effective Reading Strategy Instruction

The basic goal of reading instruction for L2 readers is to enable them to read. In doing so, they have to deal with the challenges of reading English texts, and so become self-regulated readers. Research in reading comprehension reveals that L2 readers benefit from explicit instruction in reading strategies. Through demonstration, explanations and hands-on practice, this workshop introduces two effective reading strategy instructions which can help L2 readers become self-regulated readers: KWL (What do you know?, What do you want to know?, and What did you learn?) and DR-TA (the Directed Reading Thinking Activity). These methods are designed to teach students cognitive strategies that arouse their curiosity and motivation to read and encourage them to participate in group activities with support from experts (the teacher or capable peers). They are well suited at allowing L2 readers to develop critical thinking and improve reading attainment levels in the target language. Participants will receive handouts including suggestions for activities. To help the participants teach the reading strategies successfully, some examples of cautions about the strategies are shared and discussed.

Dumrong Adunyarittigun is an Associate Professor in the English Department, Thammasat University. His research interests include comprehension, reading strategies, self-perception and motivation to read, language assessment and critical literacy to promote peace.

Janice Bland

Nord University

Plenary Session: Inspiration for reading in English: Selection of Texts for Deep Reading and Engaging Tasks

The role of stories to inspire, unify and enlighten is more important than ever. Reading can offer a gateway to increased empathy through the many literatures in English from nations throughout the world. Selecting the best possible, accessible literary text for a language class requires good sources of information, which I will explore in this talk. Choosing methods and tasks that promote delight and deep reading, as well as interculturality, critical literacy and creative response, requires the ability to evaluate the potential of a text for English language teaching (ELT) and design activities for learners. Deep reading is a much more active, collaborative, and agentic approach to reading than, for example, intensive reading, which I will elucidate in this keynote.

Multimodality characterizes any kind of text that includes some combination of language, images, or sound. I will introduce multimodal literary texts: recent picturebooks, which can be very suitable for secondary school students, the graphic novel as a format that is swiftly gaining scholarly attention due to a sudden surge in seriously themed, award-winning exemplars, and suggestions for short films combined with text. I will introduce lesser-known chapter books, which have very brief chapters for young or less strong readers who still need shorter texts supported by some illustrations and without overly complex language. I will focus on texts that offer opportunities for genuine discussion in ELT, motivated reading and listening, often more tolerance of unfamiliar vocabulary and openings for language development. The key is better books, books that can inspire creative and critical literacy response, books that offer delight and can create readers.

Workshop: The Picturebook for English Teaching: Enchanting Reading and Social Interaction around Texts

Through the internet and social media, children’s out-of-school reading is increasingly multimodal and mostly in English. This is an advantage for second language acquisition – yet suggests even more the need to exercise critical literacy in language education, meaning learning to evaluate texts with a critical stance, as well as in-class social interaction around texts. Collaborative exploration is one important component of reading for understanding and reading between the lines, for we can be strongly influenced by the texts we read or hear, as well as the pictures that can helpfully scaffold the verbal text. In this workshop, we will consider different ways to exploit outstanding and award-winning picturebooks from diverse countries, suitable for English teaching with different age-groups, and with a variety of learning goals, including reading motivation, intercultural learning and visual literacy. Complex picturebooks can be used creatively on a number of levels, with the help of techniques such as reciprocal teaching and creative writing. We will try out adaptable activities that are apt for complex picturebooks; not only exploring the story, but also activating connections to students’ lives, to sustainability, and global issues, experimenting with creative response, and engaging critically and in depth, while reading both with and against the text.

Janice Bland is Professor of English Education, Nord University, Norway, and guest professor at Oslo Metropolitan University. In her teacher education classes she focuses on English language and literature pedagogy, and her research interests are concerned with creativity to enhance ELT in elementary and secondary school contexts: with children’s literature from picturebooks to young adult fiction, visual and critical literacy, creative writing, global issues, ecocriticism, interculturality and drama in education. Janice leads the Nord Research Group for Children’s Literature in ELT and is editor-in-chief of the diamond open-access journal Children’s Literature in English Language Education (CLELEjournal). Among her publications are two monographs and three edited volumes. Her latest book Compelling Stories for English Language Learners: Creativity, Interculturality and Critical Literacy appeared with Bloomsbury Academic in 2022.

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