This page is devoted to exploring questions related to the development of literacy in foreign languages such as:

  • What does it mean to be literate in a second language?
  • How can teachers design learning environments and experiences that will systematically develop students' skills with multiple literacies?
  • How can emerging technologies be used to support the development of second language literacy?

Literacy-based Activities, Assignments, & Projects

  • Elaboration Activity - A little activity designed to help students to become more aware of the functions of different parts of speech while learning to write more complex sentences - chericem1 chericem1

  • Journals - Ideas for incorporating journals into your instructional routine - chericem1 chericem1

  • Verb Mobiles- An idea that works well with Cherice's ideas here, this verb mobile helps students expand their thinking in the target language and in terms of grammatical concepts in both the TL and English. - cartierm cartierm

Literature-based Lesson Plans

How to Teach Writing in a Second Language (from FLTEACH)

Writing in the Target Language - Ideas

How to Teach Reading in a Second Language

Literature-based Projects & Assignments

  • Le petit prince - Illustrated vocabulary (posted on FLTEACH) - chericem1 chericem1
  • Un senor viejo con unas alas enormes - Students select a passage, read it in the target language, then explain why it is significant to them and upload it to the class website - chericem1 chericem1
  • Similar to the pictures above, using little books (click here for direction on how to FOLD) to help students check their understanding while reading a passage. It has the students stop periodically and "write 3 words to describe what you read" or "draw what you think will happen next" This example is in English, although as the students language abilities grow, inserting graphics into the directions and putting in the TL would also be beneficial for them. This idea courtesy of Connie Zucker and Joanne Tolios at MIWLA 2009. - cartierm cartierm


  • Bibliodiversia - Blog in Spanish that reviews culturally authentic children's books that highlight/support diversity

  • Reading Strategies - Information on a book of helpful activities designed to teach reading strategies to students using culturally authentic passages - chericem1 chericem1

  • Expand their knowledge of cognates!- Although not a resource for you, a cognates are a huge resource for students. They may not be able to use them in their writing right away, but it can certainly help. Find patterns in your language that you can show students and practice them. For instance, in Spanish the syllable "-mente" is the same as "ly" in Spanish. Have students work through cognates in both language, and USE them in class frequently, even if it is just oral practice. Their understanding and use will increase very quickly. - cartierm cartierm

  • Print-Cut-Fold Templates - These are good examples of different kinds of books you can have students make to engage students in "publishing" their writing in a variety of formats. Download the zipped Print-Cut-Fold templates, then open the folder. When the individual files become visible, first look at the PDF called Print-Cut-Fold Activities (down toward the bottom) for a brief description of each project. This is a good example of how teachers can use common software applications to accomplish basic paper-based projects. You can save each file onto your hard drive for future use. One nice thing about this "handout packet" is that it includes templates AND samples so you can see how students might use each one. Obviously, they will have to be adapted for use in a FL classroom. - chericem1 chericem1

  • Book Box - Children's stories available in 18 languages. Story is animated and narrated in a slower-paced native voice, accompanied by subtitles. Specifically designed for teaching foreign language or building early English literacy (or ESL). A French teacher gave me this resource and said it was very successful with her students. - hawkin28 hawkin28


See also:

  • Sequencing - Read sentences and put them in order
  • Sorting - Students sort text into categories--by conceptual content, by grammatical features, by words they know/don't know (students place the words in a T-chart, Venn diagram, etc.)
  • Word webs - Give students graphic organizers with a topic in the middle. Ask them to generate "webs" around the primary concept (antonyms, synonyms, etc.)

See also: Proficiency, Story-based Instruction, 21st Century Technologies

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