Upcoming Events by Group

Getting into the Zone (of Proximal Literacy Development)

Date and Time: 
Sunday, 16 July 2017 - 2:00pm - 4:30pm
Anna Hudson Isozaki

Children learn to read fluently and enjoyably after many years of listening to stories read aloud to them by loving caregivers. In fact, recent cognitive investigations in first and second language literacy research have demonstrated unequivocally that we retain and internally reproduce heard voices in order to process the print we read and enable comprehension (Anderson & Nygaard, 2008; Amos Paran in Bibby & Isozaki, 2017; Field, 2008; Schmidt, 2016). Researchers in second language literacy-building have been finding that learners who are not yet reading fluently need to more efficiently “hear” what they are reading, mentally, to experience and improve reading comprehension (Cheetham, 2005; Masuhara, 2007; Prowse, 2002; Stephens, 2010, 2016; Tomlinson, 2000; Walter, 2008). Experimental and comparative condition research also shows that when supported by audio at a slightly higher speed than the learners’ accustomed reading rate the improvements in reading fluency are both rapid and lasting, in significant contrast to learners’ results in silent-reading conditions (Chang & Millett, 2015; Woodall, 2010). Woodall (2010) discusses the possibility that a crucial factor underlying this phenomenon may be the provision of aural support bringing learners into their zone of proximal development. Whether the explanations are sociocultural or psycholinguistic, paths forward toward second language literacy are becoming clearer.

This presentation and workshop will briefly update participants on the current research, share classroom projects putting the findings to use, and their results. We will explore (hands on) a variety of new resources available to use with learners of all ages, and will brainstorm possibilities for integrating the research and resources into our own, varied, teaching situations and contexts. Please bring Internet-connectable devices, memory sticks, and earphones as well.

Note: While this is planned in English, the presenter recently covered the main points in a Japanese public presentation. Please let her know when a translation would be of use, to make sure that all participants can comfortably enjoy the afternoon!

Anna Husson Isozaki teaches at Juntendo University in Tokyo. She holds an MA in Advanced Japanese Studies from Sheffield University UK, a Certificate in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (U.S.) and an MA TESOL from Kanda University of International Studies. Her current research interests focus on listening foundations of second language literacy, literature (aural and printed), translation, critical media literacy, and American Studies. She has presented around Japan and in Korea, Taiwan and Germany, and is delighted to be back in Gunma for this event and looking forward to seeing old friends.

Kyoai Gakuen College
Fee for JALT members: 
Fee for one-day members: 
1,000 yen (1st-timers free)
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