Reading Competence as a Base for Language Production

Zuzana Straková & Ivana Cimermanová, Slovakia, ID LLCE2016-366;        Learning how to read in a foreign language has certain specific features in primary education. Young learners starting with a foreign language in year 1 encounter a massive attack of new knowledge and competencies which they have to master in their mother tongue. Bearing this in mind EFL teachers have to be careful not only about when to start with the development of foreign language literacy but also about the approach they choose. The presentation focuses on the results and experience gained from an experiment conducted at an elementary school through the application of reading programmes. The entire project disclosed encouraging findings which support the initial hypothesis that the development of reading as a skill needs to be levelled and tailored to the instant needs and abilities of young learners taking into consideration all pedagogical and psychological aspects of their mental development. Such reading programmes can help learners widen their word stock, immerse into the language which is mentally close to their environment and their interests. They also help learners to proceed from receptive to productive stage in their learner development much earlier. Last but not least it helped with building their learner autonomy.