Jackie Spencer, UTS: Insearch
Bottom up before you bottom out: creative activities to help students process texts

This interactive workshop offers practical ideas about how to include more bottom-up activities in your reading lessons. It builds on the work of authors David Eskey, David Anderson, and Barbara Birch, as well as my own experience working with learners in the United Arab Emirates and Australia. Bottom-up reading typically focuses on the words and phrases of a text, in contrast to a top-down approach which looks at background knowledge, prediction and main ideas. Reading activities in most course materials tend to have a top-down focus, with bottom-up activities coming towards the end of a lesson, if at all. Moving bottom-up activities to the beginning of a lesson can be less confronting for students and can help them decode the text more easily, which leads to feelings of reading success for teachers and students. A number of bottom-up activities for the beginning of reading lessons will be examined in the workshop, which participants will be able to try out.

Jacqueline Spencer is a teacher and teacher trainer at UTS:Insearch. She started teaching 20 years ago in Japan and liked it so much that she never stopped. Jackie has also taught in China and the United Arab Emirates, as well as in her native Australia, in workplaces as diverse as universities, community colleges, private language colleges and a prison. She has a Cambridge CELTA, DELTA and Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.