Presentation of the three keynote speakers at the conference
Prof. Carsten Elbro, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Changing demands for reading ability and how teaching can help students meet them
Digital communication has greatly increased the demands for reading and writing abilities. People spend much more time writing and reading on their smartphones than talking into them. The internet offers instant access to many more texts than any single library. All kinds of goods can be bought through reading, clicking, and writing. This development has not changed the basic processes of reading, however, but it has put some abilities under pressure. The presentation will discuss the profundity of these changes. It will also provide an overview of what research has to say about how to support the development of these abilities through teaching.
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.