The comments about deploying strategies from L1 when reading in L2 are really interesting. I can read Spanish fairly well as my L2 and I guess it´s lack of vocabulary and/or a doubt about a structure (like e.g. the subjunctive) that certainly slows me down.
Erica I really like the idea you mention about reading aloud and asking Ls to decide on their favourite line/sentence from the text. I´m going to try that out this week.
Like Erica I found the discussion about skills and strategies very interesting and for my own understanding I´ve tried to summarise some of what I read last week in a couple of paragraphs below. I would be grateful for any comments: if you agree or think I´m way off or something in between please could you let me know?
1. There is a difference between reading skills and reading strategies. By employing deliberate, conscious, problem-orientated strategies Ls can acquire automatic, unconscious reading skills. (Afflerbach et al. = automatic v non-automatic control and intention is a key difference between strategy and skill). First comes the strategy, then the skill.
2. As teachers, we can apply a skills or strategy approach to teaching reading (while perhaps recognizing what Thornbury says about it being the readers´s lack of language knowledge (vocab and grammar) that makes reading difficult because of problems “unpacking” sentences/ identifying ways that sentences are connected). A strategic approach in centred around bottom-up processing and is perhaps more suitable for lower level Ls in terms of what we teach in the classroom, although more proficient readers might employ strategies when faced with a difficult text. A skills approach is centred around top-down processing and is perhaps more suitable for higher-level learners.
Thanks for any comments!