The topic of the 24th IATEFL-Hungary conference was English for a Change. The organizers invited participants “to look at the way the medium, role and potential of English are developing and what that means for us teachers and ELT professionals”. (www.iatefl.hu) Although several talks, presentations and workshops looked at ways to integrate technology in English language education, the programme covered a wide range of topics: drama, poetry, reading, young learners, learners with dyslexia, adult classes, exam preparation.
You can visit the conference blog page to read interviews and articles about the sessions. You will also be able to see what the general atmosphere was like: friendly people, serious conversations with lots of laugther and smiles. Don’t miss the presentation ‘The Dinosaur’ by Peter Medgyes, whose plenary talk made people laugh out loud every minute as he took us on a journey of technological advancements in English language teaching.
In my workshop I looked at research findings about digital reading and reading comprehension, and visited some theoretical approaches to reading education in today’s digitally equipped classrooms. How can we use technological advancements, web-based tools and applications to engage our students in reading activities and motivate them to read more in English? We tend to think that our reading habits are going only in a digital direction. However, research shows that students perform better at reading comprehension tests if they read the text on paper. Although reading on screen or e-readers have many benefits, I collected activities that engage students on the screen but then direct them towards extensive and linear reading on paper. As many approaches to teaching English point out, reading is the base of our knowledge of the language, and texts in context can be the best learning tool for us.
Here are some ideas, tasks and resources for you to experiment with.
You can download the presentation handout: From Pixel to Paper: Digital Opportunities in the Reading Class
LITERACY and READING EDUCATION
- Extensive Reading Foundation
- Reading to Learn Programme
- Using iPad Apps That Support Learning With Literacy
- Visual Thinking Strategies
Collage makers and photo editors
Cartoon and graphic novel tools
Digital research tools
Blogs and wikis