Category Archives: Reading

Addressing literacy issues in very low / pre-literate learners

**This chat took place on Jul 3rd 2016. Many great ideas and resources were shared. To read the transcript and access the links, please click here.**

 

Some initial questions for the #AusELT Twitter chat at 8.30pm on Sunday, July 3rd.

Q1: What is a pre-literate learner?

Q2: What are the literacy basics?

Q3: How do we approach / begin teaching pre-literate learners?

Q4: What tools can help support pre-literate learners?

Q5: What tips / strategies can you suggest for addressing literacy issues in pre-lit learners?

Q6: How do you manage a multi-level literacy class?

Q7: Can you recommend any useful resources for helping pre-literate learners?

Remember when you answer to add A1, A2, A3 etc. to show which question you are answering. This makes it easy to follow the chat when it’s moving quickly.

Using phonics in the adult learning context (#AusELT Twitter chat summary)

The last #AusELT Twitter chat of 2015 was on the topic of using phonics in the adult learning context.

With apologies for the long delay, you can now read the summary of what we discussed and pick up some great resources. Enjoy!

This post by @sophiakhan4

Beyond ‘testing’ receptive skills: #AusELT Twitter chat

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 1.23.25 AM

The pedagogical framework for teaching receptive skills that is taught on pre-service teacher training courses such as CELTA and reflected in the majority of popular EFL coursebooks is often something like this:

  • talk about context – check vocab – predict content (activate schemata)
  • read/listen to check predictions or some other gist task (global comprehension)
  • read/listen to perform a more detailed or specific task (more detailed or specific comprehension)
  • some sort of follow-on task (‘using’ or responding to the text in a new or personalised way)

So in essence, typical receptive skills lessons give students the chance to test/practise their comprehension but not to actually understand, build upon and develop the whole range of sub-skills that will make them truly effective readers/listeners.

We’re going to be discussing this issue on Sunday 7th Feb at 8.30 pm Sydney-time (this chat has now taken place – scroll down for the summary).

Some things to think about before the chat:

  • Is it ‘wrong’ to use the skills framework described above? why?
  • What ARE the other sub-skills we should/could be focusing on?
  • CAN we teach receptive sub-skills – or simply practise?
  • What activities/lessons have you used that can help develop these other sub-skills?
  • What can we do to adapt/vary our strategies while still using the same coursebook material?

A few bite-size posts for background reading:

To view the summary of what was discussed in this chat, click here.

This post by @sophiakhan4

Introducing the #AusELT Article Discussion Group

MP900387490We have a new, regular activity for AusELTers – an article discussion group. The idea is for us all to vote for our preferred article from the latest English Australia Journal, read it, and then join in a moderated discussion of the article. Authors will either join in on the discussion, or respond offline to points raised and questions asked, facilitated by the moderator. For the time being, the discussion will take place on the #AusELT Facebook page (although this may change in future) and the first discussion is slated for 13th-19th October. The articles are all relevant to many of the contexts in which AusELT folk practice. They are primary research articles, that is, the authors have devised and conducted their own research study and reported their findings. In addition, each article has been peer-reviewed, meaning that the editor has invited leading TESOL scholars to review and offer suggestions for improving earlier drafts. We have some excellent reviewers who, together with the authors, have ensured you receive the best quality research reports upon which you can make some decisions about your own teaching.

In order to assist those who are new to reading research articles, the moderator will orient you by providing a summary of the research design and the overall purpose of the research. The discussion will not only focus on how the article can inform your own teaching, but also on opportunities for further research in any form. It will hopefully spark ideas for improving the quality of life in many classrooms! Each article has an abstract for you to read; after all, just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a research article by its title.

The complete articles are all open access, freely available online here. The chosen article will be made available as a pdf and available for download on this page.

Teaching Pragmatics: An action research journey

Heather Denny, Graeme Couper, Jenny Healy, Flora MacDonald, Annette Sachtleben & Annette Watkins (Auckland University of Technology)

Teachers are often seeking ways to more objectively evaluate new approaches in teaching methodology. One way of doing this is to carry out classroom-based action research which involves teachers researching their own classroom practice, ideally with collaborative support from more experienced researchers. This summary article will trace a collaborative action research journey involving a series of such projects undertaken to test the efficacy of using elicited recordings of native-speaker roleplay to teach the discourse and pragmatic norms of interaction in communities of practice relevant to learners. It will outline the action research processes of planning and re-planning involved at each stage of the journey undertaken from 2009 to 2012 with learners at a variety of proficiency levels. It will draw out common findings which can be of use to practising teachers, and briefly examine the professional development outcomes for the teachers involved and their colleagues, and the benefits for learners.

Reading strategies in IELTS tests: Prevalence and impact on outcomes

James Chalmers & Ian Walkinshaw (Griffith University)

This pilot study explores whether and to what extent IELTS Academic Reading test-takers utilise expeditious reading strategies, and, where employed, their impact on test outcomes. In a partial replication of Weir, Hawkey, Green, and Devi’s (2009) exploration of the reading processes learners engage in when tackling IELTS Reading tasks, participants in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses underwent a mock IELTS Academic Reading test. They then completed a written retrospective protocol and a focus group discussion to probe their reading strategy use and tease out any underlying rationale. The analysis revealed that participants responded to time pressure, unfamiliar vocabulary and demands on working memory by employing a range of expeditious reading strategies which focused less on textual comprehension than on quickly locating correct answers. Their comprehension of texts often remained at the ‘local-literal’ level rather than the ‘global-interpretive’ level (Moore et al., 2012). Their test scores did not necessarily increase as a result. The findings, though preliminary, support further enquiry into test-taking strategies to understand the extent and the direction of impact on test scores.

Preparing learners for extensive reading through ‘reciprocal teaching strategies’

Karen Benson (Transfield Services – Welfare)

Studies on extensive reading report positive learner outcomes in reading, listening, speaking and writing, gains in motivation and expanded lexico-grammatical range (Day et al., 2011). With this in mind, two teachers at an English language college for adults in Sydney, Australia started to use graded readers in their classes. From the difficulties their students encountered they identified a significant gap in reading instruction in the General English (GE) syllabus at the college. A review of the syllabus highlighted that ‘reading’ was commonly taken from the coursebook and employed an intensive reading methodology. This was not preparing the students for successful extensive reading. To address this gap, a collaborative action research project was conducted to explore if and how the instructional technique ‘reciprocal teaching’ (Palincsar & Brown, 1984) designed to promote comprehension abilities in young L1 learners could be adapted and integrated in to the GE syllabus at the college.

So, without any more fanfare, please cast your vote! (NB: the poll options may appear in a jumbled order). Voting extended. Closes Monday October 6 at 5 pm DST

Your first moderator, Phil Chappell (@TESOLatMQ, Executive Editor of the English Australia Journal)

Poll results and Article for Download

The most favoured article is Teaching Pragmatics: An action research journey, written by a group of colleagues from Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. Download the article at the link above, ore read it directly from the Journal website.

Discussion questions will be posted soon. Screenshot 2014-10-06 at 6.13.31 pm

#AusELT ‘slowburn’ chat summary on extensive reading (3rd April 2014)

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Many thanks to Lesley Cioccarelli (@cioccas) for this summary of our very first ‘slowburn’ on the topic of Extensive Reading. Read on for great tips, links and things to think about.

http://cioccas.blogspot.sg/2014/04/extensive-reading-summary-of-auselt-chat.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 

 

 

Inaugural #AusELT slowburn

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Inspired, as ever, by our #KELTchat colleagues, we’ve decided to shamelessly steal try out their “slowburn” idea for our next Twitter chat.

This means instead of the usual 1-hour format, we are spreading out over a whole 12 hours, starting at 10am and ‘officially’ closing at 10pm Sydney time.

The idea is that more of us will be able to access the chat instead of always missing it due to class/train/timezone clashes. It will also be less chaotic more relaxed than a 1-hour chat where the tweets are flying and nobody really knows what’s going on till the summary comes out (much as we love that type of chat too!) People can dip in and dip out, comment, ask and respond, whenever suits them over the 12-hour period, and hopefully we’ll still get the same great range of ideas, resources and food for thought.


So, our first slow burn will take place on Thursday 3rd April 2014, 10am-10pm, on the topic of EXTENSIVE READING.?????????????

The chat won’t be moderated as such, so participants can feel free to start whatever conversation they would like on this topic, and follow the threads that are most of interest to them. Some ideas may be:

  • What is the value of extensive reading?
  • Is extensive reading something the teacher can/should address IN class? If so, how?
  • What obstacles are there to teachers setting up an ER program & how can they be overcome?
  • Are ‘graded readers’ effective? What material has been particularly successful in helping learners ‘catch’ reading in English?
  • What’s different about reading in the digital century? Is this considered by ER programs?

Do feel free to ask your own questions and share your own experiences on this topic. See you on Thursday!

Useful pre-reading/links

Extensivereading.net – full of great resources/articles

Top 10 principles for teaching extensive reading by Richard Day & Julian Bamford http://www.nflrc.hawaii.edu/rfl/October2002/day/day.html

Extensive reading: Why it is good for our students…and for us by Alan Maley https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/extensive-reading-why-it-good-our-students…-us


PS:  Don’t worry, we will continue to mix it up and have 1-hour chats and guest chats as well as slowburns. Some other ideas for organisation of chats have also been floated including:

–       #AusELT members choosing a topic that they are especially interested in, and taking over the set up and management of that particular chat

–       voting and scheduling all chats, of all types, at the start of the year

–       all of the above 🙂

Do you have some ideas for how chats could be run/organised? Let us know in the comments.

This post by @sophiakhan4