Session 4. 1:30pm. Room 4

Teaching reading includes consideration of different aspects such as code-breaking and reading for meaning that require different skills and strategies. Teaching reading in an additional language has extra challenges, not only related to the different alphabet and phonetics, but also related to the student’s ability to comprehend or read for meaning when they have limited exposure to and familiarity with the language. A further challenge is how to create an immersive space (environment and culture) that enables the development of strong oral language skills and fosters a love of reading.

In this presentation we share a literacy model developed for teaching reading in Italian in a bilingual school in Melbourne (Foundation-Year 3). We present the research-based approach (metodo sillabico) on which we based our program, provide some samples from our teaching practice, share our experience and suggest some general principles for consideration when developing a reading program in an additional language.

Jackie Robinson & Elena Pirovano

Jackie Robertson is a Learning Specialist (Bilingual) and Foundation Classroom Teacher (Italian) at Footscray Primary School. In her role as learning specialist, she is responsible for developing and coordinating the Italian/English bilingual program (now in its 3rd year). Before teaching in the bilingual setting, she worked as a specialist Italian language teacher at Coburg North Primary School.

Elena Pirovano is a Tutor of Italian and Second Language Teaching Methodology at the University of Melbourne, where she is also undertaking her PhD studies. Her research focuses on the potential of plurilingual pedagogies, pedagogical translanguaging, and multilingualism in additional language teaching and learning spaces. Previously, she has been a teacher in primary and secondary school in Italy, and has taught Italian as an additional language from kindergarten to tertiary students in the US and Australia.