L2 reading on a computer screen: Why and how

Almost everyone prefer to read texts of any length on paper rather than on a computer screen. However, there are benefits to on-screen reading for readers of second languages (L2s) that outweigh the inconveniences, at least temporarily. My workshop will consist of three parts. In the first, I will make the case for computer assisted extensive L2 reading. In the second, I will present tools for developing tailor-made, resource-assisted, multimedia, computer-based reading materials and tasks. In the third, I will guide participants in the use of these tools to develop their own materials using their own texts - in three target languages (English, French, and Spanish). Participants wishing to prepare for the session might read Necessary or nice: The role of computers in L2 reading, or The case for computer-assisted intensive reading.

Tom Cobb taught ESL and ESP (English for special purposes) in several parts of the developed and developing world, where he became convinced of the role of computers in developing L2 ability (particularly in the areas of reading and vocabulary). He eventually pursued this interest through a PhD in applied linguistics and educational technology, and now teaches courses in computer assisted language learning at UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal).