Becoming a Reading Teacher : Connecting Research and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Becoming a Reading Teacher
Connecting Research and Practice

  • Available for pre-order on December 9, 2022. Item will ship after December 30, 2022
ISBN 9780367473020
December 30, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
200 Pages

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Book Description

This book encourages readers to think about reading not only as an encounter with written language, but as a lifelong habit of engagement with ideas. We look at reading in four different ways: as linguistic process, personal experience, collective experience, and as classroom practice. We think about how reading influences a life, how it changes over time, how we might return at different stages of life to the same reading, how we might respond differently to ideas read in an L1 and L2. There are 44 teaching activities, all founded on research that explores the nature, value and impact of reading as an authentic activity rather than for language or study purposes alone. We consider what this means for schools and classrooms, and for different kinds of learners. The final part of the book provides practical stepping stones for the teacher to become a researcher of their own classes and learners. The four parts of the book offer a virtuous join between reading, teaching and researching. It will be useful for any teacher or reader who wishes to refresh their view of how reading fits in to the development of language and the development of a reading life.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Abbreviations

Series Editors Preface


Becoming a reading teacher

Why should a teacher of reading engage with research?

Ten questions about reading

What this book is not

What this book is

PART ONE From research to implications

A Framing reading as linguistic process

Question 1: What are we doing when we read?

Question 2: What are the different reasons and ways people read?

Question 3: What knowledge do we bring to our reading?

Question 4: What is the relationship between L1 and L2 reading? 

B Framing reading as personal experience

Question 5: Why and how do people read for pleasure? 

Question 6: Can reading change the way we think and feel?

C Framing reading as collective experience

Question 7: How far and in what ways is reading a collective act? 

D Framing reading as pedagogy

Question 8: What pedagogies are used in the teaching of reading?

Question 9: How should teachers of reading teach language?

Question 10: What does it mean to be an effective teacher of reading?

Our beliefs and principles

PART TWO From implications to application

A Teaching reading as linguistic process

Question 1: What are we doing when we read?

Activity 1.1 All in one: the shape of words

Activity 1.2 Word chain race

Activity 1.3 Learner generated word race

Activity 1.4 Run-on sentences: seeing and hearing sentence boundaries

Activity 1.5 Text shopping: what’s next in the text?

Activity 1.6 Reading aloud and holistic reading

Activity 1.7 Storytelling: stories without barriers

Question 2 What are the different reasons and ways people read?

Activity 2.1 Reading the landscape: noticing and acting in the linguistic landscape

Activity 2.2 Bits and pieces: choosing your favourite bits in a longer text

Activity 2.3 Wikipedia race: searching for something specific

Activity 2.4 Information slant: separating facts and opinions

Activity 2.5 Why I read: personal reading behaviours

Question 3 What knowledge do we bring to our reading?

Activity 3.1 Rhyme race: reading and sounds

Activity 3.2 Word bags: knowing about words

Activity 3.3 Language detectives: reading and language patterns

Activity 3.4 Text guessing: reading and text types

Activity 3.5 Reading between the lines: reading for nuance

Activity 3.6 Border crossing: reading culturally

Question 4 What is the relationship between L1 and L2 reading? 

Activity 4.1 Book covers crossing borders

Activity 4.2 Text memory game

Activity 4.3 First language story sharing

Activity 4.4 Talking to the author: asking questions about a text

Activity 4.5 Comprehending across languages

B Teaching reading as personal experience

Question 5 When and how do people read for pleasure?

Activity 5.1 Feeling stories

Activity 5.2 The dream book competition: understanding reading preferences

Activity 5.3 Reading spurs and blocks

Activity 5.4 Profiles of lifelong readers

Question 6 Can reading change the way we think and feel?

Activity 6.1 Nobel Prize champions: books which changed the way we think

Activity 6.2 Re-reading over time: returning to childhood stories

Activity 6.3 Reading in layers

Activity 6.4 Personal reading histories

C Teaching reading as collective experience

Question 7 How far and in what ways is reading a collective act? 

Activity 7.1 Performing reading

Activity 7.2 Dream circles: building reading circles

Activity 7.3 Choosing together

Activity 7.4  Reading shaping the child

D Teaching and training reading pedagogy

Question 8 What pedagogies are used in the teaching of reading?

Activity 8.1 Communicating with texts

Activity 8.2 Text activities: interacting with texts

Activity 8.3 Task-based reading and the real world

Activity 8.4 Activity detective: mining for principles

Question 9 How should teachers of reading teach language?

Activity 9.1 Genre-bending: unravelling text types

Activity 9.2 Language doctor: unravelling a text

Question 10 What does it mean to be an effective teacher of reading?

Activity 10.1 Finding a star teacher 1: criteria for stardom

Activity 10.2 Finding a star teacher 2: Asking questions

Activity 10.3 Star teacher of reading competition

Activity 10.4 Walking into the shoes of star teachers

PART THREE From application to implementation

A Becoming a reading teacher: connecting with others

B Becoming a reading teacher: know yourself as a reader

C Building reading resources

D Building a reading assessment strategy

E Reading for many kinds of learners

F Reading for different kinds of classes

G Reading outside the classroom

H Creating a reading culture

I Conclusion

PART FOUR From implementation to research

Introduction: researching as a teacher

A Researching reading as linguistic process

Research Idea 1: How does cultural knowledge help us read a text?

Research Idea 2: What are the differences in the way learners process LI and L2 texts?

Research Idea 3: Does translanguaging help reading in the L2?

Research Idea 4: How many words do my learners need to understand for a text to be readable?

B Researching reading as personal experience

Research Idea 5: What makes readers choose books?

Research Idea 6: What are the triggers for reading enjoyment in my own reading life?

C Researching reading as collective experience

Research Idea 7: Do reading communities make a difference to my learners?

Research Idea 8: How do my learners interact in self-run reading groups?

D Researching reading pedagogy

Research Idea 9 What kind of questions do I use in the reading classroom?

Research Idea 10 What are the qualities of successful reading lessons?

Final reflections: the virtuous circle

Reference List


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Jane Spiro is Professor of Education and TESOL at Oxford Brookes University, National Teaching Fellow and research lead for Applied Linguistics. Her book Changing Methodologies in TESOL (2013 Edinburgh University Press) forms the core of the MA in TESOL in the School of Education. She has run programmes for teachers of language and literature worldwide, including Hungary, Poland, Mexico, Kenya and India. Her doctorate was in the role of creativity in language education (Bath University 2008). She is a published poet and novelist: her resources for the teaching of language through creative writing include Storybuilding 2007 and Creative Poetry Writing 2004, with Oxford University Press. She was co-editor of the journal Reading in a Foreign Language in its first incarnation in the UK. Her most recent publication is Crossing Borders in University Learning and Teaching (Routledge 2022).

Amos Paran is Professor of TESOL at the IoE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. His background is in teaching EFL in secondary schools in Israel, and he has worked and taught internationally, including visiting appointments in Chile, Germany and Hungary. He has also written EFL coursebooks including supplementary skills books for reading comprehension, and his doctoral work looked at processing words and reading times in L1 and L2. His current areas of interest are using literature in EFL, reading in EFL and distance education and he has published extensively in these areas, including co-editing Testing the Untestable in Language Education (with Lies Sercu, Multilingual Matters 2010) and co-authoring the teachers’ handbook Literature (with Pauline Robinson, OUP, 2016). He is a tutor on the free MOOC, Teaching EFL/ESL Reading: A Task-Based Approach. He is the Book Reviews editor of the ELT Journal and co-convenor of the AILA research network, Literature in Language Learning and Teaching (LiLLT).