Washington University in St. Louis, USA
Plenary title: The Scientific Side of Reading Between and Among Languages and Cultures
There is a strong relationship between scientific research on FL/L2 reading and our everyday lives, as the vast store of knowledge, experiences and culture preserved in texts is invaluable to understanding others. My empirical research has been driven by the power of reading across languages and cultures-reading authentic texts that capture the culture of the lives of everyday people, and reading domain specific texts- including science, health and medicine –so that people with different backgrounds, nationalities, and beliefs can appreciate and value one another. In this talk, I will present the scientific side of reading non-native texts as I highlight findings from empirical research on reading across languages and cultures that examines specific cognitive, linguistic, and affective contributions to FL/L2 reading capabilities. In doing so, I will discuss current models that conceptualize reading and demonstrate that practically all FL/L2 reading competencies are contingent on variation within individuals across stages of language acquisition. Throughout my talk, I will highlight UNESCO’s central mission of literacy - that literacy is a fundamental human right.
About Professor Brantmeier:
Cindy Brantmeier (Ph.D. Indiana University) is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Education at Washington University in St. Louis. She serves as Director of Applied Linguistics. Most recently, she was appointed to the post of Faculty Fellow of International Research in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research for the School of Medicine and Danforth Campus at Washington University. Since 2015, she serves as Co-editor of Reading in a Foreign Language, an international scholarly journal housed at the University of Hawaii. She was named Distinguished Visiting Professor at Northeast Normal University in China from 2016-2021. She is principal investigator in the Language Research Laboratory, where her research team conducts experiments that examine variables involved in second language reading, language research methodology, and language testing and assessment. Professor Brantmeier has extensive experience teaching Spanish and ESL/EFL in the USA, Nicaragua, Mexico, Spain, and Costa Rica to students of all ages, and she was the recipient of numerous teaching and mentoring awards, including Washington University's 2012 Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. She has given invited presentations of her research across the world, including the plenary address at The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) International Conference on Literacy in Chile in 2017. More important than all of the above, Professor Brantmeier is the mother of two children, Anja and Gavin.