Presentation of the three keynote speakers at the conference

Prof. Carsten Elbro, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

My research on reading covers a wide range of topics – in particular the linguistic precursors of decoding development, prediction and remediation of decoding difficulties, morphological processes in reading, aspects of vocabulary and inference making in reading comprehension. More recently, I have investigated how novice readers manage to identify new written words even though a simple letter-sound re-coding leads to mispronunciations of the written words. A more general question I work on with colleagues, is what level of proficiency readers need to attain in order to be able to continue to develop independently of instruction.

Prof. Jean-François Rouet, Université de Poitiers, France

My research work deals with the abilities and cognitive processes involved in the comprehension and use of texts and complex documents. I am especially interested in the processes of information search, hypertext navigation, as well as the evaluation and integration of multiple information sources. Part of my research deals with children and teenagers’ acquisition of these abilities, whereas another part investigate young adults’ reading behavior in various task contexts.

Among recent publications, I have co-authored the book: “Literacy beyond text comprehension: a theory of purposeful reading”  (Pergamon, 2018) with Anne Britt and Amanda Durik.

At the conference I’ll focus my talk on the issue of sources and evaluation in reading.

Prof. Kate Nation, University of Oxford, GB

Broadly, my research is concerned with the language processing, especially reading development.  I am interested in how children learn to read words and comprehend text, and more generally, the relationship between spoken language and written language. A key aim at present to specify some of the mechanisms involved in the transition from novice to expert. We also study language processing in skilled adults, addressing the issue of how skilled behaviour emerges via language learning experience.

The scientific study of reading has taught us a good deal about how children learn to read. There is much though still to understand. We know relatively little about how children develop from novice to expert: how do children move from the laborious reading of individual words to the sense of effortlessness we, as skilled readers, experience as we read and understand text? And why do some children find this so difficult?

This talk will reflect on how language shapes the development of a child’s reading system, with particular emphasis on what is clearly the ultimate goal of reading – to understand what it is that has been read.