Project Funding: “GUT LESEN – GERNE LESEN” (“READING WELL – READING WITH PLEASURE”) – 2020 reading symposium
Being able to read is one of those key skills that our children and adolescents need to pursue their path in life both effectively and successfully. Without this key skill, their educational path, social integration and the world of work will remain closed to them. The first Vorarlberg reading symposium for educators and librarians offered its 160 participants a variety of offers, information, workshops and ideas on the topic of “promoting reading”.
reading promotion, reading motivation, reading learning strategies, “from reading literacy to reading motivation”.
Good reading literacy is an essential prerequisite for critical thinking and enlightened citizenship. According to the evaluation of the OECD study “Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies” (STATISTIK AUSTRA, 2013), 7.1% of 16- to 65-year-olds in Austria, almost one million people, have low reading literacy and thus face possible disadvantages in their jobs and everyday life. Reading is the most important cultural technique and is an essential prerequisite for successful educational processes. The development of reading competence and reading motivation are among the central tasks of educational institutions. The individual reading learning process and reading motivation are the focus of targeted reading promotion. Last but not least, WhatsApp & Co, computer and console games, global blockbusters and mobile phone mania are important topics and offer possible links with current children’s and adolescents’ literature, exciting non-fiction books as well as digital media.
The 2020 Reading Symposium, which is to be continued on a regular basis in future, is the prelude to a continuous monitoring and support of educators in the areas of reading diagnosis, reading learning process and reading motivation. It is vitally important to “look beyond one’s own nose” – to get to know successful reading projects from neighbouring countries – the networking of educators combined with up-to-date specialised knowledge that can be applied in practice (educational institutions and libraries).
The symposium was aimed at all school locations and libraries in Vorarlberg. After an official welcoming speech by Regional Minister Dr. Barbara Schöbi-Fink, the approximately 160 participants were introduced to the world of reading in a keynote speech by Dr. Christine Kranz (“Stiftung Lesen”). Nine workshops dealing with different areas of reading promotion and reading motivation were open to the participants and were booked well in advance.
- Direct results (output): the educators start networking, learn about new approaches and research results, and look for new methods and approaches. On the day of the symposium, appropriate contacts were made, specialised books and knowledge were received and carried into the teaching teams of the respective schools.
- Medium-term effects (outcome): the networking of individual teachers is strengthened. The topics (e.g. reading, learning to read) are brought into focus and are also addressed at the respective schools.
- Long-term effects (impact): the topics of reading and language will become central themes at the respective schools. The reading symposium will take place every two years to ensure networking and expertise is kept up-to-date and secured in a sustainable way.
STATISTIK AUSTRIA (2013). Schlüsselkompetenzen von Erwachsenen – Erste Ergebnisse der PIAAC-Erhebung 2011/12. Wien: STATISTIK AUSTRIA