Venue: KU Leuven, Maria-Theresiacollege Sint-Michielsstraat 6, 3000 Leuven Room 00.16, Belgium.  Date 14/12/2018


Theme and objective of the workshop

This workshop serves as a rallying point of  three fields (reading, music and multilingualism), which also come together in the international R+D project on “Musical aptitude, reading fluency and intercultural literacy of European university students” (MusicLang, coordination by University of Huelva (M. Carmen Fonseca Mora); collaboration: more than 10 international universities, a.o. KU Leuven).The main objective of both the workshop and the project is to obtain knowledge about  Reading in a Foreign Language in general, and about the relation between musical aptitude and reading fluency in a foreign language in particular.

  •   9.30-10.00: Welcome session
  •   10.00-11.00: Marc Brysbaert (Ghent University): Reading and studying in L2 versus L1: Recent insights from psycholinguistics                                          In this talk I will discuss research on reading and studying in L2 vs. L1, done as part of the LEMMA project at Ghent University. University students often get a course or handbook in L2 (mostly English) and are tested in L1 or L2. How does this compare to L1 reading and learning? First, I discuss reading L2 texts: How much longer does it take and how much evidence do we find for contextual word learning? Next, I discuss how text learning differs from text reading in L1 and L2. I finish by discussing various studies comparing test performance for materials studied in L1 and L2.
  •   11.00-11.30: M.Carmen Fonseca-Mora (University of Huelva, Spain), José Manuel Foncubierta Muriel (U. of Huelva/KU Leuven), Francisco H. Machancoses (Fundación Andaluza Beturia para la Investigación en Salud – FABIS, Spain): Italian learners’ reading profile in Spanish as a FL: the case of auditory sensitivity   Integration of information from multiple senses is fundamental to reading comprehension although auditory sensitivity and its relation to adult foreign language learners’ reading prosody has been less studied. In the case of adult FL learners, silent reading fluency is a more appropriate indicator of learners’ reading ability. While in L1 and in oral reading fluency, automaticity and prosody are known as essential components that interact with working memory to reach reading comprehension, the FL silent reader needs to compensate due to interlinguistic interference and the absence of prosodic cues beyond some orthographic signs. Research has confirmed working memory mediated by the FL learners’ proficiency level as essential elements of the reading comprehension process but recent research points to other individual differences of FL learners that seem to help them to overcome these reading difficulties. The main aim of this study is to observe the reading comprehension capacity of 117 Italian university students of Spanish in order to describe the different individual variables that affect the reading process in two romance languages. Linguistic, neuropsychological and musical variables were tested as we hypothesized that elements related to auditory sensitivity could be significantly relevant. The data analysis shows the existence of a significant relationship between the linguistic and non-linguistic variables which contribute to explain the profiles of adult foreign language readers and their level of reading comprehension.
  •  11.30-12.00: Discussion “Psychological factors in foreign language reading skills”
  •  12.00-13.15: Lunch break
  • 13.15-13.45: Analí Fernández-Corbacho (University of Huelva): Influence of the L1 in early foreign language reading skills                                                Many factors influence the development of early reading skills in a foreign language. Most of them can be classified as cognitive, linguistic or socio-cultural; being the mother tongue one of the most influential ones. This influence can be positive or negative; especially, when important orthographic differences between languages exist. The present study shows the influence of the mother tongue, as well as other factors, on the performance of second graders in early reading skills in English as a foreign language. Results pinpoint the significant role of reading skills in the mother tongue in determining the performance of reading skills in the foreign language. To some extent, those seem to have a facilitating role regarding phonological and decoding skills. Unlike this, comprehension skills in the mother tongue do not transfer to the foreign language. Besides, the mother tongue is essential to identify poor readers in the foreign language.
  •   13.45-14.15: María Concepción Julián de la Vega (Spanish Cultural Embassady, London) & Carmen María Toscano-Fuentes (University of Huelva): Singing and reading in L2: an intervention programme in Primary Education         Reading is an essential skill which affects learning processes and academic success. This is especially important in Primary Education, not only for the literacy development of the language of schooling but also in the early stages of foreign language reading processes. When the nature of both languages is different, as it is the case of Spanish and English, great care must be taken when dealing with these processes as transferences between both languages do not always help. This research showcases how an intervention programme carried out with a group of fourth grade students of Primary Education, where videoclips with subtitles in the foreign language -English- were used, helped improve the phonological awareness, the identification of sounds, the suprasegmental features and the vocabulary. As a consequence, participants presented an improvement in their reading fluency and the understanding of texts in the FL. Key words: phonological awareness, reading fluency, music videos, FL learning.
  •   14.15-14.45: Discussion “L2 reading in primary education”14.45-15.15: Coffee Break
  •   15.15-15.45: Kris Buyse (KU Leuven/Nebrija University): The influence of data driven reading applications on reading in L2. In this talk I will discuss the results of a pilot study on the impact of the use of data driven reading applications such as Lingro and Readlang on the frequency, accuracy and motivation of L2 reading by university students at the KU Leuven.
  •   15.45-16.15: Helena Legaz (Ghent University, KU Leuven): Silent reading fluency in multilingual adult learners of Spanish as a Foreign Language The connections between music abilities and reading skills have been an intense object of study in the past two decades, focusing mainly on children and native language. The aim of this research is to contribute to the field by establishing a link between silent reading fluency and musical aptitude on adult learners of a foreign language. In this talk I will present the first results of an exploratory study among Flemish university students of Spanish as a Foreign Language.16.15-16.45: Discussion “L2 reading in Higher Education”
  •   16.45-17.15: Javier Ávila López (University of Cordoba): Second Language Reading Fluency, Musical Ability and Mental Imagery.Musical ability has been shown to be related to phonological decoding stills, word segmentation and ultimately to reading; similarly, an important bulk of research indicates that mental imagery plays an important role in information processing with strong implications for reading. In the light of that research, we hypothesized that a high use of visual-auditory mental imagery in foreign language readers would be correlated to higher musical ability and lead to better L2 reading. A cross-curricular study was developed to analyse how these three variables relate to each other and among themselves.
  •   17.15-17.45: Eva Adam (Polytechnic University of Valencia) & Dominique Bonnet (University of Huelva): Lecture et émotions: effectivité de l’affectissage
    Il s’agira ici de tenter de montrer le rôle des émotions dans l’apprentissage de la lecture en FLE (Français Langue Étrangère). Nous soulignerons que les émotions si présentes dans la vie de chacun ne peuvent être séparées du processus d’apprentissage puisqu’elles nous semblent potentialiser ses différents stades, débouchant sur une motivation de type affectif. Le processus émotionnel sera donc au cœur de la sélection des textes étudiés. Selon le modèle de reconnaissance des émotions de Lagarde, nous nous proposerons de les identifier à travers la lecture de textes littéraires, cherchant les types d’émotions primaires qui s’y manifestent à partir d’un passage déclencheur. Dans notre intervention nous montrerons ainsi comment l’utilisation des émotions facilite le processus d’apprentissage de la lecture en langue étrangère.17.45-18.15: Discussion “The impact of affect on L2 reading”
  • 18.15-18.45: Closure “Music and Reading” . Poetry reading by Marisa Martínez Pérsico (University of Macerata, Italy) “El Origen del Mar”  with musical accompaniment by Kris Buyse.
  • Attendance: free, but registration required (number of places is limited), send email BEFORE 30/11/18 to Eva González Melón (