Professor Barry Lee Reynolds and two ALLL Members, Tina (PhD student) and Cindy (MPhil student) attended the 2021 MÆLT English Language Teaching Conference held at Santa Rosa de Lima English Secondary School in Macau. MÆLT is the conference for English language teachers in Macau to discuss practical teaching ideas and share research experiences in a supportive environment. At the conference, Prof. Reynolds and Tina organised a 60-minute workshop titled “How can I ensure my students stay in the Goldilocks zone of reading.” In this workshop, they showed teachers how to calculate the vocabulary load of texts they select as reading materials for their students. They further explained how to properly match students’ vocabulary abilities to texts by using vocabulary assessments and text analysis tools.
The workshop began with Prof. Reynolds’ introduction of Prof. Paul Nation’s Four Stands to developing a well-balanced language course and how to apply the four strands for teaching reading in a reading course. With a focus on reading fluency and reading as meaning focused input, Prof. Reynolds laid a good foundation for Tina to introduce two tools that secondary teachers could use in to prepare reading materials for their English classrooms: The Vocabulary Levels Test and the VocabProfiler. Tina demonstrated how the VocabProfiler could be used to analysed digital practice and then teachers that brought their own devices could analyse their own texts. Tina also explained how to go about simplifying a text that is beyond students’ level.
The ALLL members attended a number of different interesting talks and workshops discussing a variety of topics ranging from online learning, to mindfulness, to reading instruction, among others. At the end of the conference there was a lucky draw, but unfortunately none of the ALLL members won. However, they all left feeling like winners.