Reading to Learn in a Danish TEFL class of 11 year-olds

Reading to Learn in a Danish TEFL
class of 11 year-olds
Anne Katrine Kryger, teacher,
Susanne Karen Jacobsen,
Senior lecturer,
Learning a foreign langauage
R2L in a TEFL classroom
Rounding off
Teaching English as a foreign language
in Denmark
• Children start learning English at the age of 9,
in their fourth year of going to school
• They have 2-3 lessons a week on average
• A focus on oral skills and communication
• A written exam after year 9 was not
introduced until 2006 -> a demand for an
increased focus on learners’ writing skills
Learning a foreign language
Rich and varied input
Interaction and negotion of meaning
Forced output
Hypothesis formation and testing
The foreign language teaching
• Authentic material is complex
• Learners’ linguistic level vs. their cognitive
• -> scaffolding
R2L in a Danish classroom
Brief overview of intervention
• Unit 1 – Chocolate: 7 lessons
+ homework (teaching
material text for year 8)
• Unit 2 – Mr Fox: 6 lessons
(authentic literature, novel
by Roald Dahl)
Learner’s individual rewriting
Preparing before reading
and manuscript
Sentence prep
The first sentence tells us that Mr Fox was near the end of the tunnel and how he
was moving.
What verb tells us that Mr Fox was moving slowly?
Mr Fox crept up the dark tunnel to the mouth of his hole.
Sentence prep
Sentence prep
The next sentence tells us that he pushed his face into the air and made a sound.
The second word tells us how he moved his head – and can you identify the
(sensing) verb where he smells?
He poked his long handsome face out into the night air and sniffed once.
Why did he sniff? He can smell humans if the wind is blowing in the right direction
(the scent of humans).
The next sentence tells us that he moved just a little bit.
How much was he moving? What happened then?
He moved an inch or two forward and stopped.
Why is he not out of the hole yet/now? 1 inch = 2,5 cm.
Joint rewriting on the board
Weak learner before/after R2L
What’s in it for us, then?
• The gap between learners’ cognitive level and linguistic
level is minimized and rich and varied input is possible
• Joint rewriting and joint construction facilitate
interaction and hypothesis formation
• Weak learners produce bigger quantities of language –
> forced output
• Week learners are provided with ‘ready-to-use’ chunks
and structures.
• Learners become risk-takers
• Whole text perspective rather than focus on mechanic
Now what?
- We have a challenge!
- We have the means to meet the requirements
of this challenge through a genre-based
- New Nordic School
• Gibbons, Pouline, 2006, Bridging Discourses in the ESL classroom,
• Krashen, Stephen, 1992, The Input Hypothesis: Issues and
Implication, Laredo Publishing
• Lightbown, P & Spanda, N, 2006, How Languages are Learned,
Oxford University Press
• Rose, David, 2005, Learning to read, reading to learn,
• Rose, David & Martin, Jim, 2012, Learning to Write, reading to
Learn, Equinox
• Swain, M, 2000, The output Hypothesis and beyond: Mediating
acquisition through collaborative dialogue, in: J.P. Lantolf (ed):
Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Oxford
University Press

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