ECIS ESLMT Conference Copenhagen (2-5 March, 2017)
"The Power of Multilingual Classrooms in International Education: Implications for Curriculum Design, Teaching and Learning" 
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Friday, March 3 • 16:10 - 17:10
Self-Selected Free Voluntary Reading: The Missing Link in Language Education. LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Our goal in language education is no longer simply to help students acquire conversational language; We now aim at developing higher levels of competence, competence that will allow acquirers to use their languages in specialized areas, such as higher education, international relations and business, science, and journalism. With increased communication throughout the planet, high levels of competence in a variety of languages is now essential in many fields.Thus far, language educators have used two means of achieving higher levels of competence in second languages: direct instruction in the grammar, vocabulary and discourse of specialized language, and content-based language ("sheltered) teaching.There is a third possibility that has not been exploited that appears to be the most powerful path of all: Self-selected reading. Evidence is accumulating showing that self-selected reading leads to high levels in nearly all aspects of language: reading, vocabulary, writing, and grammar, and is far more effective and efficient than direct instruction. Readers also know more in a variety of areas and develop "habits of mind" that contribute to career success.I present a stage hypothesis, suggesting that successful acquisition of academic/specialized language happens in two stages: A stage of self-selected "lighter" reading, which builds the foundation for the next stage, reading in one's area of interest.I briefly present evidence from method comparison studies, multivariate studies, and case histories supporting these generalizations, and suggestions for incorporating self-selected reading in classrooms.For reading to play this role in a variety of languages, however, students need access to reading material in these languages.  We clearly need to invest more in libraries, physical and virtual.

avatar for Stephen Krashen

Stephen Krashen

Emeritus Professor of Education, linguist, and educational researcher, University of Southern California
Stephen Krashen received a PhD. in Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972. He is professor emeritus at the University of Southern California. He is a linguist, educational researcher, and political activist. Krashen has more than 500 publications, contributing... Read More →

Friday March 3, 2017 16:10 - 17:10 CET
Congress Hall