Building bridges: university students reading with young learners
Rita Collins, Friday 12.00-12.30

While exploring various ways to encourage second-year university students in a teacher-training program to read more in English, I began having them read books for children. To make the activity relevant to their future careers, the students were asked to read the books with younger learners. This required multiple skills beyond just reading as often the language (from English to Czech) had to be adapted by the university students for the children and the stories invariably led to discussions. For the university students is was a novel and enriching experience that motivated them to think more about methodology. For the children, it was a delight to have young adults take the time to read to them and help them with their emerging English.

Rita Collins has taught learners from kindergarten to adults, in classrooms from rural American schools to universities in Central Europe. Her formal training is in Special Education and Adult Literacy. She currently teaches English and Methodology at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.