Activity Repository

Below is a list of activity types that exemplify the four knowledge processes of multiliteracies pedagogy (experiencing, conceptualizing, analyzing, applying). Each activity type includes a brief description and at least one example, pulled from a published literacies-oriented lesson plan. We encourage you to use these activity types and examples to support the creation of literacies lesson plans that engage students with target language texts and develop their language proficiency.

If you know of additional examples of these activity types, particularly those published as Open Educational Resources (OERs), please complete this form and the Literacies in Language Education initiative directors will review the activity. If they determine that it is appropriate for inclusion, it will be added to this repository.

 

Experiencing

Categorizing Activities

Description: Students group ideas, words, images, textual content. Students can identify their own groupings or categorize items into teacher-identified groups.

Examples:

  1. While reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar, elementary Chinese immersion students group food items according to how they make the caterpillar feel (good vs. sick) and where they are typically eaten (U.S. vs. China vs. both). They additionally group descriptive words according to what they describe (physical appearance vs. physical feelings). More details are given about these activities in the full lesson created by Hsiaomei (n.d.) for the FLLITE project.
  2. Third-semester university students of Spanish view photographs of what individual families from the Spanish-speaking world eat in a week. They then create different ways of grouping the items included in each photo (e.g., processed foods, non-processed foods; proteins, grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and other; breakfast, lunch, dinner). These pre-viewing/pre-reading activities are from a unit by Barnes-Karol and Broner (2010) designed to develop vocabulary and encourage students to think in different ways about food.

Comprehension Questions

Description: A variety of formats are available to encourage and assess student comprehension of textual content, among them matching activities, multiple choice questions, true-false statements, and student-formulated questions. When focused on building global understanding of textual facts and ideas these activities target experiencing.

Examples:

  1. As part of a lesson that seeks to define linguistic insecurity, third-semester students of French watch a video. During their second viewing of the video, students match the speakers who share their experiences with the statements they make. This activity is just one in a series that scaffold student comprehension of the video and facilitate students’ defining linguistic insecurity. They comprise part of the first lesson of a curricular unit titled "Proud to be Franco-Louisianian!" (CARLA, 2023).
  2. Intermediate learners of German respond to comprehension questions during each of multiple viewings of a segment from a German public television news program on German immigration between World War II and 2015. During their first silent viewing, students select from a list the things that they see in the video; then during their second silent viewing, they answer questions about who and where the people are. Audio is turned on during their third viewing, and students identify specific details about the different waves of immigration. This multi-step viewing activity introduces a lesson that seeks to develop student’s general understanding of why people migrate and raise student awareness about how language, statistics and images affect our perception of people and events. The complete lesson, titled “Framing the Past: Immigration to Germany in the 20th Century” is part of a social justice curricular unit on framing and migration (CARLA, 2023).

Digital Social Annotated Reading (DSAR)

Description: An online tool that allows learners to synchronously and asynchronously construct and revise their interpretation of texts with other students. Some applications for carrying out DSAR include Perusall, eComma, and hypothes.is. If such applications aren’t available to you, annotated reading can be conducted offline with post-it notes, margin notes, or highlighters.

Examples:

  1. As part of the first instructional stage of a digitally mediated text lesson around Alice Inanimata, students of Italian annotate the first episode. They employ different codes (ex: ?, !, M, N) to indicate their questions or musings, moments they found interesting or intriguing, parts they want to know more about, and information that is new to them. They then respond to one another’s annotations, either using a digital platform or through in-class discussion. The entire instructional sequence can be seen on pages 261-262 of Paesani, Allen, and Dupuy (2016).
  2. Throughout a lesson on poems by Alfonsina Storni, intermediate learners of Spanish use eComma, a DSAR tool, to carry out multiple experiencing activities. First, they identify words they don’t know and respond to classmates’ unfamiliar words; then they identify the main idea of each paragraph; and finally they associate an image with each stanza and respond to the images selected by classmates. Mesa Morales (n.d.) also uses DSAR to engage students in conceptualizing and experiencing as part of this lesson, details about which are available via the complete lesson plan. A few student comments can also be seen in Mesa Morales’ reflections on the COERLL webpage.

Information Gathering

Description: Learners collect information related to textual content to facilitate their understanding. Students might gather information from their own experiences and knowledge, from peers, from other teachers or adults, or from outside resources. 

Examples:

  1. After reviewing a series of memes, students select two images or references in the memes with which they are unfamiliar and conduct an internet search to familiarize themselves with the phenomenon. This activity is part of an intermediate- to advanced-level German lesson (Warner, n.d.) developed for the FLLITE project in which students examine the ways in which memes create humor. 
  2. In a lesson about cultural differences in finding housing in France and the United States, students gather information from classmates about how they go about finding a roommate and housing: past experiences, priorities, process, etc. In small groups they must reach consensus about how these processes are carried out in the United States. This is a pre-reading step in a lesson for second-semester students of French (Poulin, n.d.) created for the FLLITE project
  3. In a lesson about personal possessions and their importance during historical moments, beginning learners of German take inventory of what is in their backpacks and compare their items with those of classmates. They identify commonalities and differences and begin to think about why individuals carry specific items with them. Students expand their lexical repertoire and think crucially about the importance of possessions as they interact with the poem “Inventur” by Günter Eich. This activity is part of a lesson plan called “Taking Inventory” (Steiinert & Warner, n.d.) created for the FLLITE project

K-W-L Chart

Description: K-W-L charts track what a student already knows (K), what they want to know (W), and later what they learned (L) about the topic. 

Example:

  1. As an introductory activity, fourth-semester students of French complete the first two columns (K: what they know; W: what they want to know) of a K-W-L chart about la Goutte d’Or neighborhood in Paris. Later in the unit, they complete the third column to identify what they learned about the neighborhood. This lesson is part of a larger unit titled Multicultural Paris (CARLA, 2022).

React / Respond / Reflect

Description: This activity type elicits students’ opinions and reactions to textual content. The format of the reaction, response, or reflection can vary: In some cases, learners might carry out this activity individually in writing, whereas in others they might orally share their responses and reactions with a partner, small group, or whole class. These activities allow students to relate their previous experiences and preferences with textual content, creating a personal connection or scaffolding their observation of and critical analysis of cultural differences.

Examples:

  1. In a lesson about religious practices, advanced students of Spanish view a series of photos of a Chilean town and comment on what draws their attention and what they infer about the people based on the photos alone. This activity is part of a lesson titled “Una carta para Dios” (Fuentes, n.d.), created for the FLLITE project.
  2. Beginning French students read a blog post and then answer comprehension questions with a partner. In groups they then discuss what imagery stands out to them in the post and why they would or would not like to take a trip organized by the blogger. This lesson, titled Envie de voyager / Wanderlust, is published in Le littéraire dans le quotidien (Luks, 2013).

Reader’s Theater

Description: A group activity in which students perform a written text using their multiple voices to create and reflect their understanding. Students collaboratively segment the original text and read/perform it aloud with different voices. 

Examples:

  1. Advanced beginner and/or intermediate learners of Spanish first read a poem and then use different colors to highlight which character (husband, daughter, guest) says each line. They then read the poem aloud with a different student reading each character. López Sánchez (2014) includes this activity in a six-step instructional sequence designed to emphasize the interpretation of target language texts and to integrate various skills areas.
  2. Paesani, Allen, and Dupuy (2016) incorporate reader’s theater into the initial reading stage of a lesson based on a short literary vignette about purchasing pastries. By identifying unique voices in the vignette, students transform it into a script that they can perform for their class. Groups will likely differ in how they assign voices and the number of voices assigned, which will result in varied performances. The complete instructional sequence can be found in Table 5.3 on page 160 of the book.
  3. Kern (2000, p. 142) provides an example of how students might segment a short vignette from The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisnero into six different voices, which includes characters as well as narrators.

Story Maps

Description: Students illustrate or “map out” textual content based on location in time or space, or other relationships (e.g., familial, narrative structure). Story mapping is a flexible activity type that can be applied to different genres and carried out in different modalities; it allows students to refine their understanding of textual content.

Examples:

  1. Second-year university students of German trace the route characters in a youth novel took as they traveled by bike through Germany. They locate towns on a map and record textual details about the town. Through this activity they become aware of the distances characters biked as well as differences between towns. This activity is one of a series of learning stations that form part of an instructional sequence designed by Redmann (2005).
  2. Students locate where they are at different times of day on a map and indicate how they get from one location to another. They compare their movement with that of classmates and try to make some generalizations. They then listen to a native speaker recount their daily activities. The mapping activity prepares students to interact with the target language text by activating the necessary language forms and raising awareness of their own patterns (Paesani & Menke, 2023, p. 95).

Conceptualizing

Cohesion Relationships

Description: Activity type in which students focus on devices (e.g., words, phrases) that make paragraphs or texts cohere with the purpose of understanding how these devices contribute to a text’s meaning. This might involve students drawing arrows/lines between co-references in a text or scrambling a text and reassembling it using cohesive devices (e.g., transition or connector words) as cues.

Example:

  1. Kern (2000, p. 79) provides an example of how students of French might circle all the pronouns and cohesive devices (e.g., qui, donc, accun, ce premier fait) in a text and then underline their co-referents, drawing arrows to link the two. Figure 3.3 on p. 80 illustrates how a particularly dense excerpt from Alexis de Toqueville’s De la démocratie en Amérique might be marked up to show how nearly all references are to the pivotal phrase of the passage, l’égalité des conditions (equality of conditions).

Concept Maps

Description: Mapping as a conceptualizing activity focuses student attention on the relationships between ideas in a text. Concept maps represent ideas visually, illustrating the complex networks of relationships between textual elements.

Examples:

  1. Kern (2000, pp. 150-152) provides an example of a concept map that students co-construct about two houses described in The House on Mango Street, the narrator’s real house and her desired house. Each house is the center of a complex web of descriptors that students identify in the text (ex: trees and grass, tight steps); descriptors are grouped as appropriate. And then students are prompted to infer why the author describes each house in a particular way. By mapping the descriptions, students become aware of textual themes and vocabulary.
  2. Third-semester students of Spanish create a concept map to identify and group the images that appear in the music video for Latinoamérica by Calle 13. They first identify images independently and then work in small groups to create a concept map that identifies relationships and connections among the many items depicted in the video. After students view one another’s maps, the teacher employs critical focus questions in which students consider why these images are used, what is not included, and how these images depict Latin America in a certain way. This activity is in a lesson plan titled “Latinoamérica,” part of a multiliteracies and social justice curricular unit available on the CARLA website.
  3. Intermediate ESL high school students collaboratively brainstorm words they associate with the American Dream. They then draw lines to map relationships between the many ideas brainstormed. They use this concept map to draft a definition of the American dream. This activity is part of an intermediate-level English as a Second Language lesson plan titled “The American Dream” (Paesani & Menke, 2023).

Guided Inquiry

Description: Guided inquiry targets the how of a text (rather than the who, what, where, when, or why). Guided inquiry uses key questions to draw student attention to how language or other textual features create the meaning of a text and/or how language or other textual features contribute to the larger cultural, social, historical, or political context.

Examples:

  1. Through guided inquiry and critical focus questions, intermediate-level learners of Spanish identify descriptive words (adjectives) and expressions (metaphors) in a poem by Pablo Neruda. They also consider how the specific words and expressions employed paint a negative perception of a specific food company. This lesson, titled “La globalización de la comida” (Ready, n.d.), forms part of the FLLITE project
  2. In a lesson designed for intermediate learners of Japanese, the teacher uses targeted questions to draw student attention to different ways of expressing causation in Japanese. More specifically, students examine two sentences that report on the same event using different grammatical structures. The teacher asks students: What do you think about these sentences? and Why do you think that way about them? This questioning allows students to focus on the linguistic elements that contribute to their perception of the event as event intentional or accidental. An excerpt from this conversation is available in Kumagai and Iwasaki (2016); the authors describe a genre-based critical multiliteracies curriculum and include specific details about one short unit in this chapter.

Revising and Editing

Description: More than just checking spelling, conjugations, and agreement, revising and editing engages students in revisiting their language choices, the meanings they create, and the effectiveness of their choices in communicating their intended meanings. Revising and editing can be done via teacher feedback, peer review, or guided individual work.

Examples:

  1. In a unit on Multicultural Paris, intermediate learners of French create an alternative representation of a cultural symbol and write a narrative description to accompany it in an art show. Students engage in three rounds of review in this summative assessment–one independently and two with a peer–in which they examine the effectiveness of their written narrative description in describing the artwork. Their review centers on genre features studied in instruction (e.g., discourse structure, adjectives, complex sentences) and the effectiveness of the author’s choices in describing their image.
  2. Multilingual middle school learners create a digital story related to their identity or heritage. Revising and editing is built into the text creation process multiple times. In the first round of revision, teachers guided students to individually reflect on their selected images and sounds and how they aligned with the intended message. In the second round, students first independently identified their message, their reason for selecting it, and their intended audience; then they examined their word choice, sentence structure, elaboration, and code switching with the teacher. In the final round, individual consultations guided students through the process revisiting their image and voice choices and whether they sufficiently communicated their desired meaning (Angay-Crowder, Choi, & Yi, 2013).
  3. Third-semester postsecondary learners of French design and pitch a social media campaign to promote Francophone pride for the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL). After drafting an initial social media post, students share it with classmates who consider the content as well as the impact and effectiveness of textual design elements, including visual appeal, use of English and French, and language play (e.g., metaphor, idiomatic local expressions, conversational style). Based on this peer feedback, students revise their post prior to presenting it to the CODOFIL. You can find the complete summative assessment lesson plan in a curricular unit titled "Proud to be Franco-Louisianian!"

Substitutions

Description: Activity type in which students swap out one linguistic feature for another, similar feature. Allows students to understand language use as a series of choices between forms that communicate different meanings rather than as an arbitrary set of rules.  

Examples:

  1. After several activities that support intermediate students of Spanish in comprehending and interpreting the short story Apocalipsis, the teacher draws their attention to the verb forms used to narrate the story, the preterit and imperfect. Students first identify examples of the two verb forms and consider how each aligns with or differs from the uses they are familiar with. Students then substitute the preterit for all imperfect verbs, and the teacher leads a discussion in which they consider how this linguistic change effects the overall meaning of the text. The entire lesson plan is available on pages 99-102 of Paesani, Allen, and Dupuy (2016).
  2. Kern (2000, p. 201) describes an activity in which learners are asked to consider various possible relationships between two clauses by substituting different conjunctions. For example, students might consider how the relationship between the weather and the possibility of having a picnic changes based on the conjunction used in the following sentence: We can’t have a picnic [BLANK] the weather is nice. The goal of the activity is not to identify the “right” answer, but rather to discuss and understand how different conjunctions change the situational context.

Text Matrix

Description: A text matrix is a graphic organizer, often in table form, that students fill out. Each row or column represents a different category. Text matrices allow students to identify structural and linguistic patterns in a text and connect language and meaning.

Examples:

  1. First-semester German students used text matrices focused on characters and actions as they read an entire romance novel over the course of one semester. At the beginning of the semester, the teacher offered scaffolding for this activity by providing some answers and guiding students through completion. Scaffolding was removed as students gained familiarity with the matrix and the novel so that they could complete the matrix independently. Use of the text matrix developed student awareness of cause-effect relationships, familiarity with discourse markers, and comprehension of sentences employing non-Subject-Verb-Object word order (Maxim, 2006).
  2. In a unit centered on World War I for intermediate or advanced learners of German, students complete multiple text matrices that fulfill different purposes in the instructional unit. In one example, students analyze a child’s complaints and how their grandmother responds, focusing on the wartime propaganda language the grandmother employs in her responses. You can find this and other multiliteracies activities, texts, and unit details in Redmann and Sederberg (2017).
  3. A text matrix is used to guide third-semester students of Spanish through the analysis of the song Latinoamérica by Calle 13. Students identify the referent of each subject pronoun (yo, tú) in lyrics from the song, a dominant figure with power or an oppressed figure who seeks power to confront the oppressor, and then students explain their selection and identify patterns in what the yo and the do throughout the song. This activity is in a lesson plan titled “Latinoamérica,” part of a multiliteracies and social justice curricular unit available on the CARLA website.

Analyzing

3-2-1 Summary

Description: Learners summarize and analyze the knowledge they have gained from a target language text and identify areas of misunderstanding. The 3, 2, and 1 prompts can take many forms depending on a lesson’s learning objectives. 

Examples:

  1. After watching and discussing a documentary on the history and preservation of the French language in Louisiana, students summarize three things they learned from the documentary, two things they found interesting, and one question they still have. They discuss their 3-2-1 summary in small groups and share their collective ideas during whole-class follow up. You can see this example in context in an intermediate-level French lesson plan titled “The franco-louisianian experience” that forms part of a curricular unit on linguistic pride/insecurity. 
  2. Students analyze nutrition guidelines and images of families from Ecuador and Mexico and then write a 3-2-1 summary of what they learned about food, health, and nutrition: three sentences that summarize their new knowledge; two comparisons to food, health, and nutrition in the United States; and one question related to food, health, and nutrition in the target cultures. This activity is part of an intermediate-level Spanish lesson plan on cross-cultural health and nutrition that is found on pp. 131-132 of Paesani, Allen, and Dupuy (2016).

Critical Focus Questions

Description: This activity type raises students’ awareness of the significance of language and ideas presented in a target language text and their effect on the reader, listener, or viewer. Critical focus questions must target the why and how of a text, or why the facts and language presented in a text are important and how they are situated within larger cultural, social, and historical contexts. 

Examples:

  1. In an curricular unit titled "Multicultural Paris," students describe images of la Marianne, the symbol of the French motto “liberty, equality, fraternity,” and then answer the following critical focus questions: How is this symbol representative of France? Who is included in this representation? Who is excluded? You can see this example in context in an intermediate-level French lesson plan titled “Multicultural Marianne.” 
  2. To analyze the cultural, linguistic, and visual content of memes and more deeply understand how this content can create humorous, ironic, and critical effects, students answer critical focus questions such as: How would you interpret the function and impact of the memes as a whole? To what extent do the memes agree with each other? To what extent are they contradictory? These questions are part of an advanced-level German lesson plan titled “Cultural Allusion, Humor, and Memes On- and Offline” (Warner, n.d.) and created for the FLLITE project
  3. After reading excerpts from the anonymous diary of a Parisian high school student and analyzing the diary’s genre features, students reflect critically on the personal impact of the text, answering questions such as: In what ways do you think the author creates her identity through journal writing? Is this different from how she expresses her public identity through language? Based on your journaling experiences, how does journaling allow you to create yourself? Is this experience different when journaling in a second language? Why or why not? This activity is part of a lesson for novice French learners called “Un journal intime” (Law, n.d.), created for the FLLITE project.

Cultural Comparisons

Description: Students compare products, practices, and perspectives from home and target cultures and their representation in target language texts. In addition to identifying similarities and differences, students can critically explore why these similarities and differences exist and what they tell us about ways of being in the world. 

Examples:

  1. To understand the concept of individualism in French and English, learners compare a list of words that French students associate with the word individualisme and U.S. students associate with the word “individualism.” They then use this understanding to reflect on characters presented in the Jacques Prévert poem “L’élève Hamlet.” This activity for first-year French students is from a lesson titled “Comment?!,” published in Le littéraire dans le quotidien (Luks, 2013).
  2. After studying environmental issues impacting German cities, students read two English-language news articles about race, class, and the environment and reflect on the following questions: What is the relationship between race, class, and the environment in U.S. cities? How do unjust practices from the past impact the lives of people today? In what ways do the issues and examples in these texts about a U.S. city compare to environmental justice issues in Germany? This activity is in an intermediate-level German lesson plan titled “Umweltgerechtigkeit in meiner Stadt",” and is part of a curricular unit on Green Cities.

Peer Feedback

Description: Students exchange feedback on drafts of the presentational products they create, focusing in particular on their content (e.g., clarity, interest, level of detail) and on the relationships between language forms and their purpose and meaning (rather than on linguistic accuracy). By focusing on the content of presentational products, students better understand the author’s perspective, cultural content, and genre features, and ground their ideas in textual evidence.

Examples:

  1. Students pitch an improvement project intended to mitigate environmental health risks, increase the amount of greenery, and improve accessibility to green spaces in urban areas that are negatively impacted by climate change and economic disparity. Submissions must include photos and a description of the proposed improvement project. After drafting their submissions, students work in groups of three to conduct peer review. One reviewer reads the first half of the project proposal and provides feedback on the content and details of the draft; another reviewer reads the second half of the project proposal and provides feedback on the importance of the project and the language forms in the draft. This activity takes place at the close of a third-semester German curricular unit on green cities.
  2. After reading and interpreting a blog post on travel, students imitate the genre by writing their own blog post on a place they know with the intent of persuading readers to visit it. After drafting the blog post, students conduct peer review of both the language and content of the draft. To improve the post’s topic development, reviewers make suggestions for improvement based on the following question: Is there any important content information missing, something that you as a reader would need to know in order to have a clear enough understanding of the location and its attraction? This activity for first-year French students is from a lesson titled “Envie de voyager/Wanderlust,” published in Le littéraire dans le quotidien (Luks, 2013).
  3. At the end of a lesson plan on the impact of food production on Latin American countries, which includes reading the Pablo Neruda poem “La United Fruit Co.,” students write a poem about an issue related to the production or consumption of food that they feel passionate about. During a peer editing session, students exchange drafts and provide feedback on the poem’s comprehensibility, the poem’s message and its related details, and the use of metaphor and past participle adjectives. This activity is part of an intermediate-level Spanish lesson titled “La globalizatión de comida” (Ready, n.d.) created for the FLLITE project.

Predicting

Description: Predicting activities ask students to get at the who, what, where, when, why, or how of a target language text before they read, view, or listen to it. Predictions students make about a text should be recorded (e.g., in their notes, in a master class list on the board) so that they can decide whether their predictions were borne out after gaining general comprehension of the text. 

Examples:

  1. After reading the title and brief introductory paragraph of an article featuring American dream statements from immigrants and non-immigrants living in the United States, students then predict the intended audience of the dream statements and their authors and content. After reading the dream statements, students return to their predictions and identify those that were correct. This activity is part of an intermediate-level English as a Second Language lesson plan titled “The American Dream” (Paesani & Menke, 2023).
  2. Prior to reading excerpts from a collection of prose poetry by Haitian author Dany Laferrière, students read a brief author bio as well as two short quotes about the book’s content. They are then asked the following question: Based on the information provided, what subjects or topics can you imagine reading about in Laferrière’s chronicle? Later in the lesson, students look closely at the different subjects/topics treated in the excerpts. This activity for first-year French students is from a lesson titled “Sur le chemin du retour,” published in Le littéraire dans le quotidien (Luks, 2013).

Text Comparison

Description: Students compare texts on a common topic or theme and make connections between them regarding how information is organized, what information is presented, and how these differences affect students’ understanding of the meaning, purpose, cultural content, and intended audience of each text.

Examples:

  1. Students read two personal narratives on the topic of childhood memories. They are divided into two groups, one reading the first text and the other reading the second text. As a class, students summarize the text orally with the teacher, noting their ideas on the board. Then in their groups, students prepare a written summary of their assigned text, drawing from the notes on the board. Finally, the teacher leads students in a discussion of the similarities and differences between the ideas expressed in each text. This activity is adapted from a lesson titled “My Childhood Place” on pp. 193-4 of Paesani, Allen, and Dupuy (2016)
  2. After reading two articles–one written by an American and one by a German–on the themes of relationships and breakups, students work in groups to compare the articles and consider how each author addresses the themes: Do you agree with the authors or not? Are these articles and the comments typically German or typically American? What similarities/differences do you notice between these cultural viewpoints? How are relationships navigated and advice given in each culture? Students are further directed to support their answers with words generated during an initial brainstorming activity and with information from the text gathered using a text matrix. This activity for intermediate-level German students is part of a lesson titled “Ich hätte gerne Ihre Hilfe!” (Krauter, n.d.) created for the FLLITE project.

Applying

Artistic Expression

Description: Students create original artwork based on cultural and linguistic information learned through target language texts. The artwork can contain visual, audio, or linguistic elements, or a combination of all of these elements.

Examples:

  1. After studying traditional and alternative symbols of the French Republic (e.g., the maxim liberté, égalité, fraternité; la Marianne) and connecting them to questions of identity and cultural diversity, students create an alternative representation of a cultural symbol from their home culture. They also create a short description of the symbol explaining how it represents cultural, ethnic, religious, linguistic, etc. diversity, and connecting that diversity to issues of identity and symbolic representation discussed in class. Students then stage an art show for French speakers at their school or in their community. This summative assessment is the culmination of a multi-day unit titled “Multicultural Paris.”
  2. At the end of a two-week long curricular unit titled “Artistic Expressions of Individual and Cultural Identity,” intermediate-level Spanish students create their own work of art intended to educate, inform, inspire, and/or raise awareness in others. They can choose from three options: (1) represent their identity in a creative way, (2) create advocacy art to promote tolerance, justice, peace or equality, or (3) raise awareness around an injustice. Students imagine that they will share their original artwork on their Instagram page with the intention to connect with other Spanish speakers with similar interests on social media. To accompany the artwork, students write an Instagram post describing the meaning behind the art and articulating genre-specific artistic strategies they employed to convey their message.

Dialogue Journals

Description: Dialogue journals serve as a form of informal, interpersonal communication between student and teacher that allow students to react to, contemplate, interpret, and personalize their understanding of a target language text. Dialogue journals can take different forms, including written, audio, and audiovisual. After submitting a journal entry, the teacher responds to the messages students relay (not the form of those messages) and asks follow-up questions to encourage ongoing dialogue with the student.  

Example:

  1. In an effort to develop speaking proficiency based on their viewing and analysis of Spanish-language films, students video record spoken journal entries addressing a topic presented in a film or retelling part of the story from another character’s perspective. This summative assessment activity is part of an instructional sequence presented in an article by Bueno (2006).

Finish the Story

Description: After reading, listening to, or viewing a story, students write an alternate ending based upon a teacher provided prompt. Alternatively, students read, listen to, or view a story with the ending omitted and then write an appropriate ending based upon their understanding.

Example:

  1. After reading a short story without a final resolution, students are instructed to write a creative story ending responding to the question: What’s next? In small groups, students share their story endings and decide which is their favorite, reading it aloud to the whole class. Finally, the teacher shares the original story ending and students discuss its implications and its relationship to the rest of the story. This activity for novice- or intermediate-level German students is part of a lesson titled “Ein Tisch ist ein Tisch” (Bichsel, n.d.) created for the FLLITE project.

Genre Reformulation

Description: Following interpretive communication activities based on a target language text, students recreate the text in a different genre to demonstrate their knowledge about its cultural and linguistic content. 

Example:

  1. Students read and analyze Facebook threads (i.e., initial post plus comments from friends), including their linguistic and stylistic features. They then choose one thread and act it out as a play, paying attention to body language, intonation, and non-verbal elements that demonstrate their understanding of the Facebook exchange. As follow-up, students and their teacher discuss whether there are any parallels between these non-verbal elements and the Facebook posts. This activity for intermediate- or advanced-level German students is part of a lesson titled “Social Networks, Intertextuality and Heteroglossia” (Warner, n.d.) created for the FLLITE project.

Imitate the Genre

Description: Students create their own text that reflects the genre features of a written, audio, or audiovisual text they have interpreted. In this activity type, although the genre features are the same as the original text, the topic of the student-created text is different.  

Examples:

  1. Students analyze posters and videos from an advertising campaign that uses humor to depict different regions of France and perspectives on urban and rural culture. As a culminating activity, students apply the language and genre features of these ads to script and design their own parody of a commercial promoting their college town. This activity for intermediate-level French students is part of a lesson titled “Rat de ville ou rat des champs?” (Amsellem, n.d.) created for the FLLITE project.
  2. Students read the Chinese translation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, focusing on the four stages of the caterpillar’s transition to a butterfly. They then create their own book about The Very Hungry… using a teacher-provided template. The students’ text must follow the same sequence as the original book but feature a different insect. Students then present their book to classmates in small groups by reading the story aloud. A whole-class discussion follows in which students note similarities and differences between the original and student-created books. This activity for novice-level Chinese students is part of a lesson titled “The Life Story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar” (Hsiaomei, n.d.) created for the FLLITE project.

Personal Action Plan

Description: A personal action plan helps students turn an idea into action. It involves identifying a goal, the steps required to carry it out, any needed resources, and any possible barriers to completion. An action plan can also culminate in reflection, in which students determine whether they have met their goals.

Example:

  1. Students read a Time magazine cover whose lead story focuses on national service (i.e., volunteering). After analyzing various genre features of the magazine cover, including the images and vocabulary used, and making predictions about national service activities in the U.S. and home countries, students create a personal action plan for carrying out a national service activity. Their plan must include a definition of what national service means to them, a volunteer activity, at least three action steps, and an image that expresses their ideas visually. This applying activity comes at the end of a novice- to intermediate-level English as a Second Language lesson on pp. 47-48 of Paesani, Allen, and Dupuy (2016).  

Story Retelling

Description: After reading, listening to, or viewing a story, students retell it from a different perspective, such as a (different) character from the story, an older or younger person, a non-binary person, a BIPOC person, etc. 

Examples:

  1. Students complete interpretive reading activities for a short story titled Apocolipsis, which tells the story of machines taking over the world from the point of view of the machines, and then rewrite the story from the point of view of a human. This is the culminating activity in an intermediate-level Spanish lesson described in an article by Barrette, Paesani, and Vinall (2010)
  2. After gaining global understanding about a humoristic videotext advertisement for antiperspirant, students analyze its linguistic, audio, visual, gestural, and spatial features. They then retell the story of the advertisement from the perspective of one of the characters in it, thinking about how that individual would relay the events and convey their thoughts in relation to those events. The story retelling is then presented as an oral performance in front of the class. This applying activity comes at the end of a novice-level German lesson on pp. 224-225 of Paesani, Allen, and Dupuy (2016).


Repository Bibliography

Angay-Crowder, T., Choi, J., & Yi, Y. (2013). Putting multiliteracies into practice: Digital storytelling for multilingual adolescents in a summer program. TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada, 30(2), 36-45.

Barnes-Karol, G., & Broner, M. A. (2010). Using images as springboards to teach cultural perspectives in light of the ideals of the MLA report. Foreign Language Annals, 43(3), 422-445. 

Barrette, C. M., Paesani, K., & Vinall, K. (2010). Toward an integrated curriculum: Maximizing the use of target language literature. Foreign Language Annals, 43(2), 216-230.

Bueno, K. (2006). Stepping out of the comfort zone: Profiles of third-year Spanish students’ attempts to develop their speaking skills. Foreign Language Annals, 39(3), 451-470.

Kern, R. (2000). Literacy and language teaching. Oxford University Press.

Kumagai, Y., & Iwasaki, N. (2016). Reading words to read worlds: A genre-based critical multiliteracies curriculum in intermediate/advanced Japanese language education. In Y. Kumagai, A. López Sánchez, & S. Wu (Eds.), Multiliteracies in world language education (pp. 107-131). Routledge.

López Sánchez, A. (2014). Hacia una pedagogía para la multialfabetización: El diseño de una unidad didáctica inspirada en las propuestas del New London Group. Hispania 97(2), 281–97.

Maxim, H. H. (2006). Integrating textual thinking into the introductory college-level foreign language classroom. Modern Language Journal, 90, 19-32.

Paesani, K., Allen, H. W., & Dupuy, B. (2016). A multiliteracies framework for collegiate foreign language teaching. Pearson.

Paesani, K., & Menke, M. (2023). Literacies in language education: A guide for teachers and teacher educators. Georgetown University Press.

Redmann, J. (2005). An interactive reading journal for all levels of the foreign language curriculum. Foreign Language Annals, 38(4), 484–93.

Redmann, J., & Sederberg, K. (2017). The First World War in the literacies-focused classroom: Teaching German through cultural themes. Die Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German, 50(1), 45-66.

 

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