A part-time ESOL tutor in Greenwich, Philida Schellekens is also a teacher trainer, a part-time inspector with OFFSTED and an author. This seminar saw Schellekens present findings from the Cambridge ESOL sponsored research she carried out into first and second language acquisition with a specific focus on reading. Analysing the prevailing perseverance with a sub-skills approach to reading that incorporates gist, skimming, scanning and reading for meaning, Schellekens questioned the efficacy of such a tactic and suggested that there is a need for tutors to recalibrate their strategy. Evidence was provided of the relative merits of a line of attack that places emphasis on syntax, vocabulary, oral proficiency and listening comprehension as a means of developing reading skills.
By Scott Sherriff