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An exploration of UAE families’ involvement in an ESL take-home book-bag reading experience 
  • Dina Al Khawaldeh, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE
  • Mona Humaid Aljanahi, UAE University, Al Ain, UAE

Banked on concepts of Emergent Literacy (Carroll et al., 2019; Morrow, 2001) and Home Literacy Environment (Sénéchal & LeFevre, 2002); this study aimed to examine Emirati families’ attitudes toward their involvement in their children’s ESL take-home book-reading experience.

Data was gathered from 20 families through both quantitative and qualitative research modes. A quasi-experimental design was implemented, followed by a survey to assess families’ reading habits at home before experiencing it. Interviews were then conducted with family members to discuss their participation in the ESL take-home book-bag program and its accompanying activities. A thematic analysis was performed to identify common themes. Families and their children uploaded their reading activities through Padlet, an online bulletin board platform.

The preliminary analysis of the collected data suggests that parental involvement in the take-home book-bag activity positively influences families’ attitudes and perceptions toward reading English books. Issues of reading in English versus Arabic were also brought up during the interviews. Suggestions were made to families on how to encourage reading at home.

Keywords: English language reading, extensive reading, take-home reading, parental involvement, reading habits.


  • Carroll, J. M., Holliman, A. J., Weir, F., & Baroody, A. E. (2019). Literacy interest, home literacy environment and emergent literacy skills in preschoolers. Journal of Research in Reading, 42(1), 150–161.
  • Morrow, L. (2001). Literacy development in the early years: Helping children read and write (4th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.
  • Sénéchal, M., & LeFevre, J. A. (2002). Parental involvement in the development of children’s reading skill: A five-year longitudinal study. Child Development, 73, 445–460. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8624.00417
Into the classroom: Dialogic reflections on the Ridl framework
  • Remi-Andre Antonsen, Bankgata Middle School, Norway
  • France Destroismaisons, École Notre-Dame-de-Liesse, Canada
  • Evy Kværnø, Nord University, Norway
  • Kawshiki Nasser, Nord University, Norway 
  • Wendy King, Bishop’s University, Canada
  • David Valente, Norwegian Study Centre, UK & Nord University, Norway

Part of the panel The ELLiL Project: An agentic and creative approach to children’s literature in university-school teaching practice  

In-school experiences for student teachers on exchange in Norway and Canada are at the heart of The ELLiL Project. The teaching practice phases create opportunities for student teachers and mentor teachers to jointly enact the Ridl framework and enable their learners to think critically through English, and to make creative connections to the world (Barrett & Golubeva, 2022). Our final panel session explores dialogic ways (Abednia, 2015) that project members collaborated as they experimented with the Ridl framework in their primary and secondary English classrooms.

This reflective panel discussion includes a cross section of the participating teacher educators, mentor teachers and student teachers. The goal is to provide space for multiple perspectives on the participants’ experiences of literary texts and creative tasks based on the Ridl framework. During this mini discussion, we explore:

  • Relevance of the focal texts for different school grades
  • Successes and challenges of co-planning across borders
  • Balancing the interrelated Ridl dimensions
  • Language support for learners
  • Understanding the links between deep reading and in-depth learning

To close, the ELLiL teacher educators propose principles for enabling teachers to become change agents with literary texts for English education. We end with recommendations for enriching teaching practice within the university-school nexus.

Keywords: classroom experimentation, pedagogical framework, reflective practice, teaching practice beyond borders, university-school nexus


  • Abednia, A. (2015). Practicing critical literacy in second language reading. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 6(2), 77–94.
  • Barrett, M., & Golubeva, I. (2022). From intercultural communicative competence to intercultural citizenship: Preparing young people for citizenship in a culturally diverse democratic world. In T. McConachy, I. Golubeva & M. Wagner (Eds.), Intercultural learning in language education and beyond: Evolving concepts, perspectives and practices (pp. 60–83)Multilingual Matters.


Teaching communicative skills and intercultural awareness through the use of picturebooks
  • Søren Hattesen Balle, University College Absalon, Denmark 
  • Merete Olsen, University College Absalon, Denmark

This talk will take its point of departure in the following topical questions:

  • Why work with picturebooks in EFL teaching with pupils? 
  • How can we support the development of pupils’ intercultural communicative skills through a focus on picturebooks?

Recent theory on language teaching emphasizes picturebooks as a resource for the development of EFL pupils’ intercultural communicative skills (e.g., Birketveit, 2021; Carlsen, 2020; Heggernes, 2020). The talk will be organised in two parts: A discussion and a presentation of practical ideas from our experience as teacher trainers. 

The discussion of the potentials of picturebooks for developing EFL pupils’ intercultural communicative skills takes a point of departure in, e.g., Shaun Tan’s The Arrival (2006) and Jessica Love’s Julian Is a Mermaid (2018). The focus will be on suggestions for how to exploit the multimodality of picturebooks as a means of supporting EFL pupils’ receptive and productive communication skills (Rimmereide, 2021). The presentation of practical ideas will give examples of learning activities for working with picturebooks and the development of EFL pupils’ intercultural communicative skills (Balle et al., 2019). The goal is to facilitate EFL pupils’ intercultural understanding and to support their ability to become future partakers of the discourses of interculturality.

Keywords: picturebooks, communicative skills, intercultural competence


  • Love, J. (2018). Julian Is a Mermaid. Walker Books.
  • Tan, S. (2006). The Arrival. Hodder Children’s Books.


  • Balle, S. H., Olsen, M. & Pedersen, M. S. (2019). Dannelse i og gennem sprogfagene. In M. W. Andersen et al. (Eds.), Dannelse i alle fag (pp. 115–127). Dafolo.
  • Birketveit, A. (2021). Picturebooks. In G. Williams, & A. Normann (Eds.), Literature for the English Classroom Dannelse i alle fag Theory into Practice (2nd ed.). Fagbokforlaget.
  • Carlsen, C. (2020). Reading literature. In C. Carlsen, M. Dypedahl, & S. H. Iversen (Eds.), Teaching and learning English (2nd ed., pp. X–Y). Cappelen Damm Akademisk.
  • Heggernes, S. L. (2020). Using picturebooks for intercultural learning. In M. Dypedahl, & R. E. Lund (Eds.), Teaching and learning English interculturally (pp. X–Y). Cappelen Damm Akademisk.
  • Rimmereide, H. E. (2021). Graphic novels in the English Classroom. In G. Williams, & A. Normann (Eds.), Literature for the English classroom – Theory into practice. Fagbokforlaget.
Multilingualism and multimodality: Exploring empathy in Anne Frank’s Diary – The Graphic Adaptation (2018)
  • Sara Barosen Liverød, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)
  • Gro-Anita Myklevold, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)
  • Randi Viktoria Sjølie, University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)

Part of the panel Exploring multilingual and multimodal texts: Aesthetic and pedagogical approaches

To develop empathy towards different cultures and languages is a vital skill in all learners (Kidd & Castano, 2013), and reading fiction is an excellent way of promoting this (Nikolajeva, 2014). In the new English subject curriculum in Norway (LK20), the importance of reading to achieve empathy is underlined and linked to multilingualism in that it states that working with texts will “develop the pupils’ knowledge and experience of linguistic and cultural diversity”. Multilingualism, however, requires further investigation, as teachers are insecure in both how to comprehend it, and how to work with it in the classroom (Haukås, 2016; Myklevold, 2022). To investigate how multilingualism and empathy may be understood and potentially worked with in school, we have chosen to analyze Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation (2018) as a case in point. We will explore how empathy and multilingualism are represented in this graphic diary, utilizing the theoretical frameworks of cognitive criticism (Nikolajeva, 2014) and multilingualism (Cenoz, 2013). We view cognitive criticism as an apt approach to reading and analyzing fiction which examines “the ways literary texts are constructed to maximise, or perhaps rather optimize reader engagement” (Nikolajeva, 2014, p. 4), and we regard multilingualism as a holistic concept (Cenoz, 2013), which involves all students in Norway and all languages and varieties of languages, regardless of proficiency level (Haukås & Speitz, 2020; Myklevold, 2022). 

Keywords: graphic novels, adaptation, empathy, multilingualism, multimodality


  • Folman, A., illus. D. Polonsky (2018). Anne Frank’s Diary – The Graphic Adaptation. Penguin Books. Adapted from Frank, A. (1989). The diary of Anne Frank. Longman.


  • Cenoz, J. (2013). Defining multilingualism. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 33, 3–18.
  • Haukås, Å. (2016). Teacher’s beliefs about multilingualism and a multilingual pedagogical approach. International Journal of Multilingualism, 13(1), 1–8.
  • Haukås, Å., & Speitz, H. (2020). Plurilingual learning and teaching. In C. Carlsen, M. Dypedahl, & S. Hoem Iversen (Eds.), Teaching and Learning English (2nd ed.) (pp. 61–80). Cappelen Damm Akademisk.
  • Kidd, D.C., & Castano, E. (2013, October 3). Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Science.  
  • Myklevold, G.-A. (2022). Operationalizing multilingualism in a foreign language classroom in Norway: Opportunities and challenges. In A. Krulatz, G. Neokleous, & A. Dahl (Eds.), Theoretical and applied perspectives on teaching foreign languages in multilingual settings: Pedagogical implications (pp. 320–339). Multilingual Matters.
  • Nikolajeva, M. (2014). Reading for learning: Cognitive approaches to children’s literature. John Benjamins.
Creative writing in teacher education with mentor texts
  • Janice Bland, Nord University, Norway

Student teachers exploring literary texts mostly focus on what is written, whereas helping them discover how a persuasive and powerful text is created is often overlooked, even for future language teachers. A consummate literary model or mentor text (Gallagher, 2014; Moses, 2014; Myhill et al., 2018) can scaffold novice writers, in that a degree of freedom is reduced, so reducing the scope for failure, while poetic devices are highlighted.

I will illustrate how already an 8-hour unit focusing on important tools in creative writing can increase student teachers’ confidence – in their writing and their designing of creative-writing tasks to help their (future) school students enjoy reading and writing story. Mentor texts by poetic writers, including David Almond and Philip Pullman, illustrate sensory imagery, lexical chains, and the enlivening effect of semantic and phonological repetition. Such devices foreground language, catching attention, enriching and extending the sense. I will focus on five key areas or strategies as a helpful mnemonic for student teachers to notice and practise, arguing student teachers can best grasp the power of intentional repetition and inventive language choices through their own efforts in creative writing. This can also support oral storytelling skills, for creative writing is not a silent mode, student teachers can better attend to the rhythm of their own writing when they read their texts aloud. 

Keywords: creative writing, mentor text, poetic devices, David Almond, Philip Pullman


  • Gallagher, K. (2014). Making the most of mentor texts. Educational Leadership, 71(7), 28–33.
  • Moses, L. (2014). What do you do with hands like these? Close reading facilitates exploration and text creation. Children’s Literature in English Language Education, 2(1), 44–56.
  • Myhill, D., Lines, H. & Jones, S. M. (2018). Texts that teach: Examining the efficacy of using texts as models. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 18, 1–24.
Affective responses to racism in The Secret Garden: Empathy as a gateway to solidarity
  • Mildrid H.A. Bjerke, OsloMet, Norway

Part of the panel Criticality and diversity in English literature didactics

This paper discusses the potential for empathy building and increased intercultural connectedness through engagements with canonical texts in children’s literature which overtly showcase aspects of our history with which we are less comfortable. The discussion will focus on racist passages taken from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden (2008) and their potential affective effects in teacher education, and by extension primary and secondary education. It is argued that addressing our shared cultural histories with racism can be an effective way of supplementing critical literacy instruction and the use of literary texts which approach topics such as racism in more expressly critical ways. 

The paper will draw on conceptual resources from Deleuze and Guattari’s (1994) theory of affect; from Megan Boler’s (1998) pedagogies of discomfort; as well as from work on empathy and theory of mind by cognitive literary theorists Lisa Zunshine (2022) and Maria Nikolajeva (2013). I will use this conceptual framework to help operationalise the concept of affect in ways that counteract habitual responses. Indeed, critical literacy should not just be about understanding that someone else is oppressed, but about deeply empathising with others in ways that lead to solidarity, social inclusion, and social change.

Keywords: affect, literary pedagogy, critical literacy, anti-racism, children’s literature


  • Burnett, F. H. (2008). The Secret Garden. Puffin Classics.


  • Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1994). What is philosophy? (G. Burchell & H. Tomlinson, Trans.). Verso.
  • Nikolajeva, M. (2013). “Did you feel as if you hated people?”: Emotional literacy through fiction. The New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship, 19(2), 95–107.
  • Zunshine, L. (2022). The secret life of literature. MIT Press.
Teachers’ integration of game and novel in English instruction: A video-observation study
  • Lisbeth M Brevik, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Shilan Ahmadian, University of Oslo, Norway

Our presentation highlights everyday English teaching practices where the digital commercial game This Land is My Land by Game Labs (2019) and the printed novel Mary and the Trail of Tears by Andrea Rogers (2020) were combined during a two-week project about Native Americans. Games were introduced into the English secondary curriculum for the first time with the recent Norwegian curriculum reform (LK20), but with few studies on how games are actually implemented in the English classroom. We present results from a video-observation study of naturally occurring English teaching conducted within the VOGUE project. Our sample comprises 20 video-recorded English lessons, 32 screen-recordings during gameplay, 32 student texts created while reading, and 7 student interviews. Our findings, which have important implications for teacher education, show that while the novel provided a window for observing the topic historically, the game provided a playground to experience the topic interactively (Reinhardt,  2020). However, although the combination of game and novel offered students a dual perspective on the Native American experience, we identified missed opportunities for students who gamed before reading. Teacher educators and student teachers should acknowledge not only the value of combining game and novel, but also the significance of carefully planning the order of activities.

Keywords: game-enhanced literature teaching, lower secondary school, video-observation study, naturalistic English teaching


  • Game Labs. (2019). This Land is My Land
  • Reinhardt, J. (2020). Metaphors for social media‐enhanced foreign language teaching and Learning. Foreign Language Annals, 53, 234-242.
  • Rodgers, A. L. (2020). Mary and the Trail of Tears: A Cherokee Removal Survival Story
Windows and mirrors: Literary texts to support language development and critical global literacies
  • Amanda Brewer, University of the Incarnate Word, USA
  • Mariannella Núñez, University of the Incarnate Word, USA

Culturally relevant texts aid in developing an inclusive, globally focused classroom by giving students opportunities to both see themselves and to see the lived experiences of those different from them. We will present a multilayered framework of looking at criteria for text selection and lesson planning. Dr. Sims-Bishop (1990) describes text selection using the metaphor of windows (text that explore views we may not be familiar with) and mirrors (texts which reflect our own experiences). Additionally, critical global literacies (Yoon et al., 2018) allow students and teachers to expand their views of texts while focusing on the power dynamics at play in them. 

In classrooms where the make up of students who are not part of the socially dominant groups, choosing texts that affirm their lived experiences is essential. This can be done with careful choices of children’s picture books and young adult texts. Similarly, it is critical to incorporate texts and experiences that intentionally widen our views. Adolescent learners desire authentic reasons to read and write (Stewart, 2017) and are primed to engage in critical global literacies. We will share examples of pre-service secondary teachers’ lesson and unit plans with globally-focused texts. The plans demonstrate multiple dimensions of critical global literacy, including developing awareness, making connections, analyzing and critiquing, and promoting social and political action (Yoon et al., 2018). By using current, meaningful young adult literature, the pre-service teachers’ units allow students to engage with texts as windows to an ever-changing global landscape.

Keywords: critical global literacies, culturally relevant texts, young adult literature, children’s literature 


  • Sims-Bishop, R. (1990). Mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom, 6(3), ix–xi.
  • Stewart, M. A. (2017). Keep it R.E.A.L.!: Relevant, engaging, and affirming literacy for adolescent English learners. Teachers College Press. 
  • Yoon, B., Yol, Ö., Haag, C., & Simpson, A. (2018). Critical global literacies: A new instructional framework in the global era. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 62(2), 205–214.


Multilingualism and multimodality: Approaching Pablo Neruda’s life and poems with picturebooks
  • Maria Casado Villanueva, University of South-Eastern Norway

Part of the panel Exploring multilingual and multimodal texts: Aesthetic and pedagogical approaches.

This paper focuses on two multilingual picturebooks: Pablo Neruda, Poet of the People (2011), a biography of the Chilean poet, and Book of Questions/Libro de las preguntas (2022), a bilingual illustrated edition of one of his poetry collections. The first provides facts about Neruda’s life also engaging readers visually, and its illustrations integrate words in English and Spanish exploiting their phonemic and iconic materiality. In the second, the reading experience is shaped by the intriguing connections created by the combination of Neruda’s poetic questions and the illustrator’s artwork. 

Drawing on methodologies for studying verbal-visual interactions (Painter et al., 2013), on approaches underscoring the connection between aesthetics and literacy (van Leeuwven, 2020; Nikolajeva, 2014), and of multilingualism and art (Gardner-Chloros, 2014), the presentation will focus on the analysis of some of the elements which make these books especially suited to be used in the classrooms to help pupils achieve educational and subject-specific goals of ELT. The analysis will underscore these books’ potential to invite exploration, investigation, communication of experiences and to inspire creative responses, steps that enhance in-depth reading (Bland, 2023). Ultimately, they may provide experiences that may shape the pupils’ attitudes towards languages, literature and art in and beyond educational contexts. 

Keywords: picturebooks, Pablo Neruda, multilingualism, poetry, multimodality


  • Brown, M., illus. J. Paschkis (2011). Pablo Neruda Poet of the People/Poeta del. Henry Holt. 
  • Neruda, P., illus. P. Valdivia, trans. S. E. Paulson (2022). Book of Questions/Libro de Las Preguntas. Enchanted Lion Books. 


  • Bland, J. (2023). Deep reading for in-depth learning. In M. M. Echevarría (Ed.), Rehumanizing the language curriculum (pp. 81–99). Peter Lang.
  • Gardner-Chloros, P. (2014). Multilingualism and the arts: Introduction. International Journal of Bilingualism, 18(2), 95–98.
  • Nikolajeva, M. (2014). Reading for learning: Cognitive approaches to children’s literature. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
  • Painter, C., Unsworth, L., & Martin, J.R. (2013). Reading visual narratives: Image analysis of children’s picture books. Equinox Publishing. 
  • van Leeuwen, T. (2020). Looking good: Aesthetics, multimodality and literacy studies. In J. Rowsell, & K. Pahl (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of literacy studies (pp. 426–439). Routledge.
Exploring migrant literature in preservice English teacher education as a gateway to critical consciousness
  • Tatiana Chiquito-Gómez, Literacies in Second Languages Project, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Colombia (and Norway)
  • Raúl Alberto Mora, Literacies in Second Languages Project, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Colombia (and Norway)

We are facing a renewed focus on what English teachers do in their classrooms. Teacher education programs must address reading comprehension challenges in more diverse global classrooms (Habberger-Conti, 2021; Ibrahim, 2022). This calls for proposals beyond the geographical regions that have led the conversation and knowledge production (Mora et al., 2022; Veum et al., 2022). This presentation shares the experiences of a teacher education program in Colombia to weave migrant literature (Pourjafari & Vahidpour, 2014) with in-depth learning as a possibility to provide prospective teachers with more elements to mix the reading comprehension experience with a critical view of texts and the world.

By actively involving prospective teachers as motivated participants in class discussions and practical experiences in some of the methods courses in this program, the study seeks to enhance their preparedness for and confrontation with contemporary challenges and future uncertainties. The research will emphasize diversity, critical literacy, and interculturality through children’s literature. Our goal is to create learning environments that help students understand diverse perspectives, develop critical thinking skills, and engage in intercultural dialogue. This research aims to improve education and prepare students for a changing world.

Keywords: diversity, migrant literature, critical literacy, interculturality, critical consciousness References
  • Habegger-Conti, J. L. (2021). ‘Where am I in the text?’: Standing with refugees in graphic narratives. Children’s Literature in English Language Education, 9(2), 52-66.
  • Ibrahim, N. C. (2022). Examining a Northern Sámi-Norwegian dual language picturebook in English language education through a critical translingual-transcultural lens. Intercultural Communication Education, 5(3), 105–124.
  • Mora, R. A., Cañas, C., Gutiérrez-Arismendy, G., Ramírez, N. A., Gaviria, C. A., & Golovátina-Mora, P. (2022). Critical literacies in Colombia: Social transformation and disruption ingrained in our local realities. In J. Z. Pandya, R. A. Mora, J. H. Alford, N. A. Golden, & R. S. de Roock (Eds.), The handbook of critical literacies (pp. 151–158). Routledge.
  • Pourjafari, F., & Vahidpour, A. (2014). Migration literature: A theoretical perspective. The Dawn Journal, 3(1), 679–692.
  • Veum, A., Layne, H., Kumpulainen, K., & Vivitsou, M. (2022). Critical literacy in the Nordic education context: Insights from Finland and Norway. In J. Z. Pandya, R. A. Mora, J. H. Alford, N. A. Golden, & R. S. de Roock (Eds.), The handbook of critical literacies (pp. 273–280). Routledge.
The White Tiger as stimulus for discussing oppression
  • Marina Cvetkovic, The International School of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Olja Milosevic, The International School of Belgrade, Serbia

We shall present the unit titled “Escape from Oppression” which was taught to a group of advanced EFL students in one high school in Serbia. To help students examine socialization within unjust systems and explore different forms of oppression and their impact on people (Bell, 2007), The White Tiger (2008) by Aravind Adiga was incorporated into the unit. The novel depicts the main character’s class struggle and attempts to escape restrictions of society. As such, it served as the catalyst for initiating a discourse that prompted examination of different reactions to societal expectations and the stereotypical portrayal of specific groups. Students examined the story, identified forms of oppression both in the novel and within their own environment, and discussed how to help the marginalized. The novel provided a framework for the students to recognize the pervasiveness of oppression (Isaqzadeh et al., 2020; Kello, 2016) and motivated them to actively seek out instances of oppression within their own circumstances.

The presentation includes details of the classwork and its stages, activities such as reading and analyzing literary texts, exploring visible and concealed injustices, summative assessments, peer and teacher feedback (Santos, 2013). It also provides insights into students’ newly gained perspectives about the challenges faced by marginalized groups.


  • Adiga, A. (2008). The White Tiger. Free Press. 


  • Isaqzadeh, M., Gulzar, S., & Shapiro, J. (2020). Studying sensitive topics in fragile contexts. In J. Hoogeveen, & U. Pape (Eds.), Data collection in fragile states (pp. 173–192). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kello, K. (2016). Sensitive and controversial issues in the classroom: Teaching history in a divided society. Teachers and Teaching, 22(1), 35–53.
  • Santos, D. (2013). ‘This activity is far from being a pause for reflection’: An exploration of ELT authors’, editors’, teachers’ and learners’ approaches to critical thinking. In J. Gray (Ed.), Critical perspectives on language teaching materials (pp. 88–121). Palgrave Macmillan.


English language teaching and children’s literature of the anthropocene: A focus on loss, grief, mourning, and remembrance 
  • Justyna Deszcz-Tryhubczak, University of Wrocław, Poland

The Anthropocene poses unprecedented epistemological and affective challenges, including the confrontation with the sixth extinction and the prospect of the Age of (Human) Loneliness (Wilson, 2016). As a children’s culture scholar exploring texts addressed to young audiences and the role of scholarship in this field in facing the (post-)Anthropocene, I contribute to ELT research by inviting a reflection on how teaching English with children’s literature may address the need to grieve, mourn, and commemorate more-than-human (animal, vegetal, water, air, mineral) loss (Cunsolo & Landman, 2017). Thinking with Shaun Tan’s Tales From the Inner City (2018) and Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris’s The Lost Words: A Spell Book (2017) as texts attending to current and future ecological losses, I suggest that ELT become part of the planetary literacies, a cultural, political, and social project aimed at enabling children, young people, and adults to face the Anthropocene response-ably; that is with openness, curiosity, creativity, mindfulness, attentiveness, and care (Murris & Somerville, 2022). I conclude with a reflection of how such an orientation in ELT (Goulah & Katunich, 2020) engenders an ecological sensibility to our being always already situated in human-more-than-human entanglements and encourage us to live better with the earthly others.  

Keywords: the (post-)Anthropocene, planetary literacies, mourning, grief, human and more-than-human entanglements


  • Macfarlane, R., illus. J. Morris (2017). The lost words: A spell book. House of Anansi Press.
  • Tan, S. (2018). Tales from the inner city. Scholastic.


  • Cunsolo, A., & Landman, K. (2017). Mourning nature: Hope at the heart of ecological loss and grief. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  • Goulah, J., & Katunich, J. (2020). TESOL and sustainability: English language teaching in the Anthropocene era. Bloomsbury Academic. 
  • Murris, K., & Somerville, M. J. (2022). Planetary literacies for the Anthropocene. In J. Zacher Pandya, R. A. Mora, J. H. Alford, N. A. Golden, & R. Santiago de Roock (Eds.), The handbook of critical literacies (pp. 335–344). Routledge.
  • Wilson, E. O. (2016). Half earth: Our planet’s fight for life. Liveright Publishing Corporation.
The teaching of literature in English in Norwegian lower secondary classrooms: Findings from a large-scale video-observation study 
  • Katherina Dodou, University of Oslo, Norway
  • Lisbeth Brevik, University of Oslo, Norway

Our presentation, which illuminates everyday school teaching practices, provides empirical data and discussion about literature teaching in English lessons in Norwegian lower secondary schools. Specifically, we shed light on the frequency with which literary texts occur and the kinds of texts used, as well as the opportunities teachers create for students to explore literary texts. By exploration we mean whether teaching invites students’ substantive engagement in a literary text and their thoughtful interrogation of some aspect of it (Bland, 2022; Delanoy et al., 2015; Hansen, 2023; Nystrand et al., 1997). We account for results from a large-scale video-observation study of naturally occurring English teaching conducted within the EDUCATE project which evaluates the latest curricular reform in Norway. Our sample comprises 173 video-recorded English lessons from 38 lower secondary classrooms in the period 2015–2023. Our findings, which have important implications for teacher education, indicate that literature, not least for children and young adults, occurs frequently in lessons and that literature teaching often invites students to engage in literary texts in ways that require a degree of reasoning and interpretation. While teaching encourages students’ involvement with literary texts, its potential to unpack the texts is not always realized.  

Keywords: literature teaching, lower secondary schools, video-observation study, naturalistic English teaching, literature education research 


  • Bland, J. (2022). Compelling stories for English language learners: Creativity, interculturality and critical literacy. Bloomsbury.
  • Delanoy, W., Eisenmann, M., & Matz, F. (Eds). (2015). Learning with literature in the EFL classroom. Peter Lang.
  • Hansen, T. I. (2023). Phenomenological exploration in literature education: On the theoretical development of a phenomenological approach to inquiry-based literature teaching as a focal point for a large-scale intervention study in Denmark. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 23, 1–26. 
  • Nystrand, M., Gamoran, A., Kachur, R., & Prendergast, C. J. (1997). Opening dialogue: Understanding the dynamics of language and learning in the English classroom. Teachers College Press.
Reflections on reading and mapping Trace Balla’s Landing With Wings with student teachers 
  • Melanie Duckworth, Østfold University College, Norway

Australian writer and illustrator Trace Balla’s graphic novels depict non-Indigenous children building relationships with the natural world, including plants, animals, and places, in conversation and partnership with Indigenous Australians. This presentation builds on my previous work on Indigeneity and counter-mapping in Trace Balla’s graphic novels (Duckworth, 2022). Balla’s graphic novels decolonize the act of mapping and envision a respectful relationship with Australian landscape, plants, and animals by mapping children’s perspectives in conversation with Indigenous Australians. This paper reflects on the experience of reading Balla’s graphic novel Landing With Wings with fifth year EFL student teachers in Norway. The student teachers are encouraged to read the text from ecocritical perspectives (Goga, 2017; Moriarty, 2020) and in relation to practices of listening to Indigenous cultures (Leane, 2007; Milroy & Milroy, 2008). I have observed that Norwegian student teachers struggle to introduce information about Australian Aboriginal people to Norwegian pupils without falling back on stereotypes. By exploring this text alongside texts by Indigenous authors (Kwaymullina, 2012, 2020; Morgan, 2015) and creating their own ‘walking maps,’ student teachers are encouraged to reflect on the cultural and ecological diversity of landscapes and to explore their own relationships with place. 

Keywords: Indigeneity, Australia, ecocriticism, mapping, graphic novels 


  • Balla, T. (2020). Landing With wings. Allen & Unwin.
  • Kwaymullina, A. (2012). The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf. Walker Books. 
  • Kwaymullina, A. (2020). Living on Stolen Land. Magabala Books. 
  • Morgan, S. (2015). Sister Heart. Freemantle Press.


  • Duckworth, M. (2022). Mapping, countermapping, and country in Trace Balla’s graphic novels. Nordic Journal of Childlit Aesthetics, 13(1), 1–13.
  • Goga, N. (2017). A feeling of nature in contemporary Norwegian picturebooks. Encyclopaideia, 49, 81–97.
  • Leane, J. (2007). Teaching with BlackWords: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers. Austlit.
  • Milroy, G., & Milroy, J. (2008). Different ways of knowing: Trees are our family too. In M. Tjalaminu, B. Kwaymullina, & S. Morgan (Eds.), Heartsick for country: Stories of love, spirit, and creation (pp. 22–42). Freemantle Press.
  • Moriarty, S. (2020). Visual scaling in children’s picturebooks: Ecopedagogy and children’s literature. DEP: Deportate, Esuli, Profughe, 44, 119–136.


Interculturality, critical literacy, and social justice through diverse picturebooks for diverse children
  • Rhoda Myra Garces-Bacsal, United Arab Emirates University, UAE

In order to disrupt racial inequity in education one must first be able to acknowledge that it exists. In order to teach for social justice one must first be able to read for social justice. This session will push participants to reimagine the idea of reading as an act of resistance, hope, and transformation. Despite the changing school demographics indicating greater diversity in today’s classrooms (Auzina, 2018), research indicates how teachers have little cognizance of the cultural backgrounds of their students (Nguyen, 2012) and, more importantly, narratives that allow students to see themselves represented as embedded in the curriculum (Gay, 2018). This presentation leverages on an inter-institutional research project that includes the development of an international catalogue of picturebook titles that tackle themes on global awareness and sensitivity and social justice issues. Participants will be introduced to text-sets that engage in ‘restorying’ (Thomas, 2022) or counter-storytelling that serve to reclaim dignity, grace, and joy among marginalized communities and people of color. Using Muhammad’s (2020) historically responsive literacy framework, participants will explore how the text-sets can be used for (1) identity development, (2) skills development, (3) intellectual development, and (4) criticality to further explore issues related to power, positionality, and voice.


  • Auzina, A. (2018). Teacher competencies for facing challenges of globalisation in education. Journal of Education, Culture & Society, 9(2), 24–37.
  • Gay, G. (2018). Culturally responsive teaching: Theory, research, and practice. Teachers College Press. 
  • Muhammad, G. (2020). Cultivating genius: An equity framework for culturally and historically responsive literacy. Scholastic Teaching Resources.
  • Nguyen, H. T. (2012). Culturally and linguistically diverse students with giftedness: How teachers and parents can support their academic and social needs. Multicultural Education, 19(2), 10–17.
  • Thomas, E. E. (2022). Shadow books: Considering enslavement and its legacy in children’s literature. School Library Journal.
Digital professional development for digital literacy: Improving language teacher sense of competence, autonomy and relatedness
  • Suzanne Graham, University of Reading, UK,
  • Alison Porter, University of Southampton, UK,
  • James Turner, University of Southampton, UK

In the UK, as in other contexts, primary school foreign language learning (PFL) suffers from teacher-related issues concerning lack of language-specific expertise or training for those who are generalist teachers. These issues pose threats to PFL teachers’ motivation, especially their sense of autonomy, relatedness and competence (Deci & Ryan, 2000). 

Digital Professional Development (DPD) has been found to promote language teacher sense of competence, autonomy and relatedness (Haukås et al., 2022). Yet there is little evidence on exactly how DPD has this effect (Lantz-Andersson et al., 2018), nor in relation to key aspects of teachers’ work, namely developing PFL literacy and associated attributes of empathy and creativity (Bland, 2022).

This presentation reports on a research project that aimed to address these research gaps. Thirty-five PFL teachers participated in DPD that focused on children’s PFL literacy, particularly on the use of digital stories for developing comprehension strategies, phonological and lexical knowledge, but also empathy and creativity. Analysing data from questionnaires and interactional teacher data from the DPD digital platform, we present findings that consider how far and in what ways the DPD improved teacher sense of competence, autonomy and relatedness, alongside their understanding of empathy and creativity and associated pedagogic skills. 

Keywords: digital professional development, digital literacy, empathy, creativity, teacher motivation


  • Bland, J. (2022). Compelling stories for English language learners: Creativity, interculturality and critical literacy. Bloomsbury.
  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227–268
  • Haukås, A., Pietzuch, A., & Schei, J.H.A. (2022). Investigating the effectiveness of an online language teacher education programme informed by self-determination theory. Language Learning Journal.
  • Lantz-Andersson, A., Lundin, M., & Selwyn, N. (2018). Twenty years of online teacher communities: A systematic review of formally-organized and informally-developed professional learning groups. Teaching and Teacher Education, 75, 302–315.
Learning to see: Using children’s literature to rediscover nature
  • Heidi Haavan Grosch, Nord University, Norway

Literature, with nature as a focus, can be a pedagogical tool to help English language learners develop critical and creative thinking, ecological sensitivity and openness to new perspectives. Richard Louv (2010) discusses the disconnect children have to the natural world and emphasizes how essential it is that we find ways for them to reconnect. Children’s literature can be a key to open that door. Among other scholars, Massey & Bradford (2011) and Tørnby (2020, p. 84) suggest that nature in literary texts can influence how children understand and cope with actual environmental challenges, which in turn may heighten their understanding of ecocitizenship. The novel The Last Bear (Gold, 2022), for example, addresses global warming and the plight of the polar bear as seen through young April’s encounter with one. In the picturebook, Daniel Finds a Poem (Archer, 2016), a young boy discovers nature’s poetic voice and begins to invest in his environment in a new way. My session will be an interactive presentation offering concrete ideas on how to deepen relationships to and spark curiosity about nature – both in our own classrooms and for own wellbeing.


  • Archer, M. (2016). Daniel Finds a Poem. Nancy Paulsen Books. 
  • Gold, H. (2022) The Last Bear. Harper Collins.


  • Louv, R. (2010). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. Atlantic Books.
  • Massey, G., & Bradford, C. (2011). Children as ecocitizens: Ecocriticism and environmental texts. In K. Mallan, & C. Bradford (Eds.), Contemporary children’s literature and film: Engaging with theory. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Tørnby, H. (2020). Picturebooks in the classroom: Perspectives on life skills, sustainable development and democracy & citizenship. Fagbokforlaget.


Queering ever after: Citation and subversion in Trung Le Nguyen’s The Magic Fish
  • Colin Haines, Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

Part of the panel Criticality and diversity in English literature didactics

This paper examines Trung Le Nguyen’s 2020 graphic novel The Magic Fish through the lens of queer theory. The American-born son of Vietnamese refugees, Tiến wishes to tell his parents that he is gay, though does not know how, lacking “the Vietnamese words for it.” Central to the narrative are the fairy tales that mother and son tell each other, a tradition they have carried on since Tiến was a child. Noting the way in which fairy tales both differ across cultures and, at the same time, remain constant, Tiến’s mother notes that fairy tales “can change, almost like costumes.” Drawing on Butler’s (1993) theory of performativity, this study argues that the retelling of fairy tales constitutes a citational practice, one which not only instantiates and strengthens the heterosexual norm of these narratives, but likewise provides the means for undoing it. Insofar as fairy tales “can change,” their “script” can too, something both mother and son discover at the end of the novel. While a queer resignification of fairy tale norms is by no means new, this study will argue that The Magic Fish likewise subverts the narrative tropes of coming out and what Sara Ahmed (2017) has called “queer fatalism.” 

Keywords: The Magic Fish, queer theory, fairy tales, coming out, queer fatalism


  • Nguyen, T. L. (2020). The Magic Fish. RH Graphic.


Author intention in English education: Does it matter? The gender critical case of J.K. Rowling
  • Jessica Allen Hanssen, Nord University, Norway

An author’s biography and circumstance are obvious interest areas for young readers, but with the rise of New Criticism and its Deconstructionist offshoots purely textual readings became normalized (Barthes, 1967/1977; Foucault, 1969). Debate on the authorial role became largely obsolete in classrooms.

When teachers consider J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame, though, the debate reopens. Rowling affirmed, in an October 2007 BBC interview, a detail that was but suggested in her novels: beloved schoolmaster Albus Dumbledore was gay. Rowling’s pronouncement was well received, both by those present and those in the Potterverse diaspora, and largely accepted as canon (Kidd, 2008). 

Yet, as social media enables Rowling’s later, polarizing views on biology and gender to stretch beyond the novels’ domain and into young learners’ lifeworlds, teachers and teacher educators who previously engaged her novels as inclusive ELT material might be reconsidering Harry Potter’s, and Rowling’s, role in their classrooms. A dilemma manifests: should teachers leave Rowling’s ideology out of their instruction and focus on “the art and what we do with it” (Bland, 2023, p. iii), or should they acknowledge the impact of Rowling’s public presence (Duggan, 2022), which requires extratextual participation. 

This presentation contextualizes this dilemma and offers perspective. 

Keywords: Rowling, New Criticism, canonicity, critical theory, middle-grades ELT


  • Barthes, R. (1977). The death of the author (S. Heath, Transl.). In R. Barthes (Ed.), Image, music, text (pp. 142–148). Fontana. (Original work published 1967)
  • Bland, J. (2023). Editorial: The challenge of complexity – In-depth learning in ELT. Children’s Literature in English Language Education, 11(1), i–vi. 
  • Duggan, J. (2022). Transformative readings: Harry Potter fan fiction, trans/queer reader response, and J. K. Rowling. Children’s Literature in Education, 53, 147–168. 
  • Foucault. M. (1969). What is an author? In J. D. Faubion (Ed.), Aesthetics, method and epistemology (pp. 205-222). The New Press.
  • Kidd, K. (2008). Introduction: Outing Dumbledore. Children’s Literature Association Quarterly33(2), 186–187. 


Teacher education in ELT through international placement: Reading for in-depth intercultural learning
  • Nayr Ibrahim, Nord University, Norway
  • Sunny Man Chu Lau, Bishop’s University, Canada
  • Lindsay Tolton, Bishop’s University, Canada

Research on international placement has shown the benefits of border-crossing experiences, including transformed teacher identity, improved curricular design with a global perspective as well as desirable teacher qualities, such as self-reflexivity, empathy, and sensitivity to diverse cultures (Dressler et al., 2021; Lickteig et al., 2019). Hence, international experiential learning can act as a catalyst for growth in critical interculturality and ethical responsibility at the global scale. 

This paper reports on preliminary findings from an international student teacher exchange project in Norway and Canada, which aims to explore reading for in-depth learning through children’s literature (Bland, 2022). Using the RiDL Framework, mentor and student teachers co-designed and implemented lessons using selected children’s literature to promote critical reading for intercultural learning. 

Initial data, comprising in-depth interviews and curricular materials, show that the exchange experience heightened both mentor and student teachers’ awareness of cultural differences regarding personal relationships and teaching and learning practices. Reflecting on these intercultural learning experiences, both parties recognise the importance of understanding learners’ invisible cultural selves and identities and drawing thereon to build their reading curriculum. Their co-designed lessons fostered learners’ emotional connections to global and social issues and offered insights to further develop the RiDL Framework for transformative practice.

Keywords: children’s literature, in-depth reading, international placement, teacher education, interculturality


  • Bland, J. (2022). Compelling stories for English language learners. Bloomsbury.
  • Dressler, R., White Prosser, C., Liu, J., Jardine, L., Neutzling, N., Ma, Y., van Beers, R. A., Liu, N., Pira, R., & McCurdy, K. (2021). Benefits of international teacher and student exchanges for participant outcomes, school communities and K–12 education systems: A review of the literature. Alberta Teachers’ Association.
  • Lickteig, A. D., Rozell, J., & Peterson, A. (2019). Here is the place to begin your explorations: An autoethnographical examination into student teaching abroad. Educational Considerations, 45(1).


Working with functional grammar and literature in teacher education
  • Susanne Karen Jacobsen, University College Copenhagen, Denmark

In Denmark, as in other countries, national curriculum guidelines intend for language to be taught in context. Nonetheless, Gramma3, a large Danish research project conducted in 2018-2020, has confirmed a suspicion, that in Danish primary and lower secondary schools, language is mostly taught separately from content (Kabel et al., 2019). Gibbons (2015) and others suggest that the use of texts written for authentic communicative purposes might be a vehicle for language learning. However, most English language teaching resources available in Denmark do not integrate content and language learning.

This talk reports how a group of student teachers designed, tried out and evaluated teaching units revolving around children’s literature (Williams & Normann, 2021) and functional grammar (Derewianka, 2022; Rose & Martin, 2012). It provides examples of how students’ self-chosen picturebooks, graphic novels and short stories have been their point of departure for setting up learning objectives for content learning as well as for language learning, how they have tested their designs with pupils on lower secondary level in Denmark during their practicum, and what their learning outcomes have been. 

Keywords: functional grammar, content and language integrated learning, teacher education, children’s literature


  • Derewianka, B. (2022). A new grammar companion for teachers (3rd ed.). Petaa.
  • Gibbons, P. (2015). Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning: Teaching English language learners in the mainstream classroom. Heinemann.
  • Kabel, K., Christensen, M. Vedsgaard, Brok, L. S., Bruntt, K. L., Bjerre, K., Bock, K., Bruntt, K. L., Dolmer, G., Fregerslev, P., Gyde, I., Jacobsen, J. G. H., Jørgensen, N., Maibom, I., Møller, H., Riis, S. M. V., Rohde, L., & Spangenberg, J. (2019). Hvordan ­ praktiseres undervisning i dansk , ­engelsk og tysk ? Statusrapport Gramma3.
  • Rose, D., & Martin, J. R. (2012). Learning to write, reading to learn: Genre, knowledge and pedagogy in the Sydney School. Equinox.
  • Williams, G., & Normann, A. (Eds.). (2021). Literature for the English classroom: Theory in practice (2nd ed.). Fagbokforlaget.
Learning with and learning about picturebooks: In-depth learning with Anthony Browne’s books in teacher education
  • Ingrid K. Jakobsen, UiT, The Arctic University of Norway

Picturebooks have increasingly become recognized for their potential to enhance children’s literacy development, critical thinking skills, and in-depth learning (Birketveit, 2015; Bland, 2015, 2023; Tørnby, 2020). Many teachers and pre-service teachers, however, tend to underestimate the power of picturebooks until they are (re)introduced to the genre. Drawing on a decade of teaching pre-service and in-service English teachers, this presentation takes a retrospective look at what is it like to teach the topic of picturebooks for English teachers.

Encounters with texts in English are often about understanding both textual aspects as well as content. I will present examples of my own practice of combining learning about and learning with picturebooks to achieve in-depth learning (Bland, 2023). More specifically, I explore the impact of engaging with Anthony Browne’s books Gorilla (1983), Me and You (2010), and Voices in the Park (1998). It is not until they have these textual encounters that teacher students realize the value of developing an analytical vocabulary, and how understanding the iconotext (Hallberg, 1982) is useful for them as teachers to adapt their teaching. 

This presentation contributes to the broader discourse on the integration of picturebooks in teacher education, by showing concrete examples of teaching practices and experiences. 


  • Browne, A. (1983). Gorilla. Walker. 
  • Browne, A. (1998). Voices in the Park. Random House. 
  • Browne, A. (2010). Me and You. Picture Corgi.


  • Birketveit, A. (2015). Picture books in EFL: Vehicles of visual and verbal literacy. Nordic Journal of Modern Language Methodology, 3(1).  
  • Bland, J. (2015). Pictures, images and deep reading. Children’s Literature in English Language Education, 3(2), 24–36.  
  • Bland, J. (2023). Deep reading for in-depth learning. In M. M. Echevarría (Ed.), Rehumanizing the Language Curriculum (pp. 81–99). Peter Lang.  
  • Hallberg, K. (1982). Litteraturvetenskapen och bilderboksforskningen [Comparative literature and picture book research]. Tidskrift för litteraturvetenskap, 3(4), 163–168. 
  • Tørnby, H. (2020). Picturebooks in the classroom: Perspectives on life skills, sustainable development and democracy & citizenship. Fagbokforlaget. 


Setting the scene for in-depth learning: Story-based activities around picturebooks in primary EFL
  • Annett Kaminski, University of Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU), Germany

Driven by the speed of modern information transfer, a reading style has emerged that favours scanning over immersing oneself in a text engaged in deep reflection (Wolf, 2016). However, with texts around us being increasingly complex multimodal ensembles (Serafini, 2014), the ability to comprehend them through a process of reasoning, analysis and reflection becomes even more of a necessity. How can we foster deep reading skills in our English language learners?

This presentation reports on three sequences of ten lessons each that student teachers designed as part of their teaching-based MEd theses, inspired by practitioner research traditions (Burns, 2010; Farrell, 2018). The presentation describes how learners aged 6 to 9 were introduced to three different picturebooks and how they were engaged in various story-based activities, such as conducting experiments, creating artwork and producing music to allow for multisensory as well as cross-curricular learning.

The talk will focus on student teachers working with learners on the picturebooks Whatever Next (Murphy, 1983), Frida (Winter, 2002) and Giraffes Can’t Dance (Andreae, 1999). Student teachers’ observations as articulated in their dissertations and follow-up interviews will be discussed with reference to critical incidents and affordances for in-depth learning.

Keywords: in-depth learning, primary EFL, picturebooks, multisensory and cross-curricular activities, story-based language learning


  • Andreae, G., illus. G. Parker-Rees (1999). Giraffes Can’t Dance. Orchard Books.
  • Murphy, J., illus. J. Murphy (1983). Whatever Next. Macmillan Children’s Books.
  • Winter, J., illus. A. Juan (2002). Frida. Scholastic.


  • Burns, A. (2010). Doing action research in English language teaching: A guide for practitioners. Routledge.
  • Farrell, T. S. C. (2018). Reflective language teaching: Practical applications for TESOL teachers. Bloomsbury.
  • Serafini, F. (2014). Reading the visual: An introduction to teaching multimodal literacy. Teachers College Press.
  • Wolf, M., & Gottwald, S. (2016). Tales of literacy for the 21st century. Oxford University Press.
Text selections and co-creations: Lesson planning with the Ridl framework
  • Wendy King, Bishop’s University, Canada 

Part of the panel The ELLiL Project: An agentic and creative approach to children’s literature in university-school teaching practice  

The second paper in The ELLiL Project panel considers the pedagogical potential of several literary texts, as selected by participating mentor teachers, for English language and literature education. This includes a consideration of how far these focal texts align with the Ridl framework dimensions (ELLiL Project Partners, 2023) and their relevance for learners of English at primary and secondary schools in Canada and Norway. A rich variety of children’s and YA literature formats such as Illegal, Malala’s Magic Pencil, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, The Crazy Man, The Sleeper and the Spindle and We Are Water Protectors are explored for their cognitive, affective, and social justice affordances.

The premise of the paper is that well-selected ‘compelling stories’ (Bland, 2022) can function as pedagogical vehicles which enable teachers and their learners to explore several challenging themes or ‘big ideas’ (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998) for in-depth English learning. The jointly planned lesson sequences which accompany the texts are also analyzed to establish whether the classroom tasks and activities could scaffold deep reading. Finally, the main learning outcome of each lesson series is considered for its potential to ignite transformative action (Short, 2011) at school and beyond.

Keywords: change agents, dialogic approach, multivoicedness, practicum partnerships, university-school nexus


  • Bland, J. (2022). Compelling stories for English language learners: Creativity, interculturality and critical literacy. Bloomsbury.
  • ELLiL Project Partners (2023). Reading for in-depth learning (Ridl) framework.
  • Short, K. G. (2011). Children taking action within global inquiries. The Dragon Lode, 29(2), 50– 59.
  • Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (1998). Understanding by design. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


  • Brown, P. (2013). Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. Little Brown Books for Readers.
  • Colfer, E. & Donkin, A., illus. G. Rigano (2017). Illegal. Hodder Children’s Books.
  • Gaiman, N., illus. Riddell, C. (2014). The Sleeper and the Spindle. Bloomsbury.
  • Lindstrom, C., illus. M. Goade (2020). We Are Water Protectors. Roaring Brook Press. 
  • Porter, P. (2005). The Crazy Man. Groundwood Books.
  • Yousafzai, M., illus. Kerascoët (2017). Malala’s Magic Pencil. Puffin Books.
Exploring the potential of picturebooks from a mediation perspective
  • Kyoko Kuze, Toyo University, Tokyo, Japan

Carefully selected literary texts provide important educational opportunities for children and young adults (Bland, 2023). This paper explores the potential of the picturebook format as one such literary text, focusing on its application in the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classroom from a mediation perspective. Drawing inspiration from the inclusion of mediation concepts in the CEFR, Companion Volume (Council of Europe, 2018) and the growing interest in mediation roles (Hall, 2020), the study adopts a cross-linguistic approach using Shel Silverstein’s renowned picturebook, The Giving Tree, alongside its two Japanese translations. The practice involves various language activities, such as comparing the original text with the two different Japanese translations, constructing meanings of the texts with others, and writing a short passage.

Through qualitative analysis of learners’ responses and feedback on these classroom activities, the study demonstrates the potential for young adult learners to enhance their language awareness in both English and Japanese, their native language, while refining interpretative skills through picturebook reading. In conclusion, this paper asserts that picturebooks can be effectively integrated into second language education through adept utilization of mediation strategies.

Keywords: picturebooks, mediation, translation, language awareness, interpretative skills


  • Bland, J. (2023). Deep reading for in-depth learning. In M. M. Echevarría (Ed.), Rehumanizing the language curriculum (pp. 81-100). Peter Lang.
  • Council of Europe (2018). Common European framework of reference for languages. Companion volume with new descriptors.
  • Hall, G. (2020). Literature, challenge, and mediation in 21st century language learning. In A. B. Almeida, U. Bavendiek & R. Biasini (Eds.), Literature in language learning: New approaches (pp. 7-14).


Stories matter: Using popular family films to support curriculum aims in the EFL/EAL classroom
  • Alyssa Magee Lowery, NTNU, Norway
  • Jade Dillon Craig, NTNU, Norway

Popular family film is often overlooked and underestimated as a valuable resource for teachers of English as a Foreign/Additional Language. Though students of all ages are accessing English-language media at unprecedented rates (Sayer & Ban, 2014), the in-service teachers we encounter as instructors of EFL-focused professional development courses express hesitancy toward utilizing those resources in the classroom, usually based on fears about student comprehension. Though popular film has immense potential for introducing authentic language alongside thematic content often well-suited to a variety of curriculum aims, little work is done in teacher education programs to prepare teachers to use a now commonplace technology to support skill development in listening, comprehension, and cultural awareness.

We contend that elevated exposure to popular media can help to reframe language learning in the contemporary EFL/EAL classroom through increased motivation and language immersion, fostering language acquisition through authentic texts and encouraging cultural understanding. Research supports these claims (Hameed, 2016; King, 2002), but adoption of film-based pedagogy, in our experience as educators of in-service teachers, remains low.

This paper aims to empower teachers to incorporate popular English-language media into the EFL/EAL classroom by undertaking an exploration of best practices for film selection and for designing film-based learning activities that maximize film’s potential in the classroom. We combine discussion of film analysis (Brown, 2017; Hintz & Tribunella, 2019) with pedagogical research (Hameed, 2016; King, 2002) and preliminary data collection to make film as an EFL/EAL tool accessible and achievable.

Keywords: family film, children’s media, EFL/EAL education, language learning, teacher education


  • Brown, N. (2017). The children’s film: Genre, nation, and narrative. WallFlower Press, Columbia University Press.
  • Hameed, P. F. M. (2016). Short films in the EFL classroom: Creating resources for teachers and learners. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 5(2), 215–219. DOI: 10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.2p.215
  • Hintz, C., & Tribunella, E. L. (2019). Reading children’s literature: A critical introduction. Broadview Press.
  • King, J. (2002). Using DVD feature films in the EFL classroom. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 15(5), 509–523. DOI: 10.1076/call.15.5.509.13468
  • Sayer, P., & Ban, R. (2014). Young EFL students’ engagements with English outside the classroom. ELT Journal, 68(3), 321–329. DOI: 10.1093/elt/ccu013
Creating space for addressing the climate crisis by using picturebooks in the primary classroom
  • Marit Elise Lyngstad, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway

Part of the panel Creating spaces for reading across the educational span

Picturebooks are useful texts to incorporate into the classroom since they “have huge potential for exploratory dialogues” and “invite speculative and imaginative responses” (Roche, 2015, p. 81). This paper discusses the two picturebooks We Are Water Protectors (Lindstrom, 2020) and Little Turtle and the Changing Sea (Davies, 2020). They both address humans’ destructive influence on the environment, as well as how we can make everything better again. I argue that both picturebooks are suitable for working with climate change with the youngest learners (Years 1-4 in Norwegian schools) and can create spaces for critical interaction with text: they encourage pupils to read both “between the lines, that is, inferring, guessing, predicting” and “beyond the lines, that is, engaging critically with the text and its connections to the world” (Bland, 2021, p. 125).

Furthermore, I discuss the importance of “a pedagogy of hope” (Dolan, 2021, p. 284), especially when teaching the youngest students, by focusing on the positive outcomes in both picturebooks, and especially how the actions of individual people changed the course of pollution and environmental destruction. I argue that this could lead students on a path of transformative learning involving agency and climate activism.

Keywords: picturebooks, climate crisis, young learners, transformative learning


  • Davies, B., illus. J. Poh (2020). Little Turtle and the Changing Sea. Tiger Tales.
  • Lindstrom, C., illus. M. Goade (2020). We Are Water Protectors. Roaring Book Press.


  • Bland, J. (2021). Picturebooks that challenge the young English language learner. In Å. M. Ommundsen, G. Haaland, & B. Kümmerling-Meibauer (Eds.), Exploring challenging picturebooks in education: International perspectives on language and literature learning (pp. 122–142). Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Dolan, A. M. (2021). Pedagogy of hope: Future teaching for climate change. In A. M. Dolan (Ed.), Teaching climate change in primary schools: An interdisciplinary approach (pp. 284–304). Routledge.
  • Roche, M. (2015). Developing children’s critical thinking through picturebooks: A guide for primary and early years students and teachers. Routledge.
Teaching multimodal literature: In-service teachers’ professional development and classroom experiences 
  • Mari Skjerdal Lysne, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway

The understanding of what literature and literacy in English education entails has changed to include more modes, more genres and more contexts (Delanoy et al., 2015; Lütge, 2018). This is also to some extent expressed in the Norwegian English subject curriculum, where text is broadly defined to include a variety of modes (Utdanningsdirektoratet, 2019). To successfully include multimodal literacy and literature in the English classroom, teachers need to develop their own repertoire of theoretical and pedagogical frameworks for multimodality (Serafini, 2014; Yi et al., 2019) as well as a repertoire of available literature. 

This paper describes instruction in a course for in-service teachers, where they were introduced to multimodal literacy and literature working with a graphic novel. As part of the course, they were required to plan, execute and evaluate lessons in their own English classes (years 5-10) based on Serafini’s (2014) curricular framework, which consists of three phases: exposure, exploration and engagement. The teachers’ reports form the data material for this paper, exploring the teachers’ experiences of multimodal literacy instruction working with literature. The paper investigates how teachers utilized the three phases, learning objectives and activities, the role of language learning, and teachers’ reported needs when including multimodal literature and literacy in the English subject.

Keywords: multimodal literacy, multimodal literature, professional development, English language teaching, in-service teachers


  • Delanoy, W., Eisenmann, M., & Matz, F. (2015). Introduction: Learning with literature in the EFL classroom. In W. Delanoy, M. Eisenmann, & F. Matz (Eds.), Learning with literature in the EFL classroom (pp. 7–15). Peter Lang.
  • Lütge, C. (2018). Digital, transcultural and global?: Reconsidering the role of literature in the EFL classroom. In A.-J. Zwierlein, J. Petzold, K. Boehm, & M. Decker (Eds.), Anglistentag 2017 Regensburg. Proceedings (pp. 299–309). Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier.
  • Serafini, F. (2014). Reading the visual: An introduction to teaching multimodal literacy. Teachers College Press.
  • Utdanningsdirektoratet. (2019). Curriculum in English (ENG01-04). Utdanningsdirektoratet [The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training].
  • Yi, Y., Shin, D.-S., & Cimasko, T. (2019). Multimodal literacies in teaching and learning English in and outside of school. In L. C. de Oliveira (Ed.), The handbook of TESOL in K-12 (pp. 163–177). Wiley Blackwell.


Good omens for social change: Inspiring civic engagement in the English classroom via fan activism
  • Ariane Manutscheri, Department of English and American Studies & Research Platform #YouthMediaLife, University of Vienna, Austria

Part of the panel English for social change: Learning from literature and beyond

This paper presents fan activism as an innovative approach for promoting civic education in the English language classroom. It focuses on how fan activists educate and mobilize individuals across geographical boundaries, particularly youth, on matters of sustainability and social justice by leveraging popular culture and its “fandom”, i.e. the emotional connections of interpretive communities as well as the fan practices and networks formed around their object of interest (Booth, 2015; Ito et al., 2015). By establishing parallels between fictional narratives, very often fantasy texts, and complex real-world issues, a strategy Jenkins (2012) calls “mapping”, fan activists aim to enable more inclusive and accessible discussions around global issues and their potential resolution. Fandom Forward, a well-researched fan activist organization, has spearheaded campaigns and developed educational toolkits for various causes using popular content worlds for over 15 years. Scholars and practitioners have begun to address this potential for promoting civic and critical media literacy education. By examining Gaiman and Prachett’s Good Omens (1990 novel and 2019 TV adaptation) as an exemplary content world, this project aims to add to their work; providing an in-depth understanding of how guided engagement with a text could lead to civic action. The story’s exploration of pollution, famine and war provides a rich platform upon which to showcase the inner workings of the “mapping” process as well the ways in which new educational materials for this content world or others can be created.

Keywords: fan activism, civic education, “mapping”, Good Omens, educational materials


  • Gaiman, N. & Pratchett, T. (1990). Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch: A Novel. Workman Publishing.
  • Gaiman, N. (Writer), & Mackinnon, D. (Director). (2019). Good Omens [TV series]. Amazon Studios; BBC Studios.


Teaching children’s literature competently: Implications for teacher education
  • Johanna Marks, Universität Münster, Zentrum für Lehrerbildung, Germany
  • Thorsten Merse, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

The use of children’s literature in English language education has a substantial tradition, which is mirrored in their potential for language exposure, creative and aesthetic experience, and intercultural encounters with new worlds and diverse protagonists (Bland, 2022; Lütge, 2019; Paran, 2008). While the value of literary texts seems undisputed, their role in teacher education and the question of preparing teachers for their competent use at all levels of English language education are less clear. Professional reference frameworks, for example, tend to neglect describing a teacher’s professional competence for teaching literature (Marks, 2023). In closing this gap, we will conceptualize what it means to teach literature – and in particular, children’s literature – competently. We argue that such competences entail discursive, aesthetic, cognitive, cultural and attitudinal dimensions which require continuous professional development. We will provide hands-on examples from our own teacher education at university to substantiate how such professional development can be implemented. A key concern, we will emphasize, is to empower teachers to stay in sync with innovations in the field, including the selection of children’s literature beyond established literary canons, the digitalization of literary experiences, the emergence of new genres, and the literary representation of diversity (Merse, 2018).

Keywords: competences for teaching children’s literature, teacher education, continuous professional development, innovations in teaching children’s literature


  • Bland, J. (2022). Compelling stories for English language learners: Creativity, interculturality and critical literacy. Bloomsbury.
  • Lütge, C. (Ed.). (2019). Grundthemen der Literaturwissenschaft: Literaturdidaktik. De Gruyter.
  • Marks, J. (2023). Standards und Kompetenzen in der Lehrer*innenbildung: Eine fremdsprachendidaktische Perspektive. LIT.
  • Merse, T. (2018). Creating queer text ensembles for the EFL literature classroom: Conceptual considerations and practice-oriented perspectives. In C. Ludwig, & M. Eisenmann (Eds.), Queer beats: Gender and literature in the EFL classroom (pp. 307–338). Peter Lang.
  • Paran, A. (2008). The role of literature in instructed foreign language learning and teaching: An evidence-based survey. Language Teaching, 41(4), 465–496.
Addressing racism with young language learners through picture books
  • Frauke Matz, University of Münster, Germany
  • Julia Reckermann, University of Münster, Germany

Complex social and global issues such as racism should be addressed with younger learners to support them as early as possible in developing their ability to critically reflect everyday practices (Becker & Reckermann, 2022; Gienapp, 2019). The young learners’ English as a foreign language classroom (Grades 3-6) is well suited to touch upon race for several assumptions: young learners have not yet established irrevocable stereotypes, are usually openminded towards and interested in cultural and social practices and backgrounds, and the lessons follow a theme- and task-based approach.   

How to introduce learners to such a complex subject without overwhelming them linguistically and content-wise is a question many teachers ask themselves. This paper is based on the belief that picture books have the potential to address sensitive and seemingly difficult topics, such as racism, with young language learners (Mourão, 2015; Reckermann & Matz, 2021).  But which books should teachers use and how can a teaching unit be designed around that book? 

To answer the questions posed in this abstract, we will 1) outline why and how younger learners can be engaged in a critical discussion of racism through children’s books, 2) present an analysis grid that outlines criteria that can help analyse and select potential picture books, and 3) conclude with a practical example based on the book Something Happened in Our Town (Celano et al., 2018).

Keywords: critical race theory, picture books, global learning, analysis grid, social justice


  • Celano, M., Collins, M., & Hazzard, A. (2018). Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice. Magination Press Children’s Books. 


  • Becker, C., & Reckermann, J. (2022). Global learning: Why and how to teach. Grundschule Englisch, 78, 4–5. 
  • Gienapp, R. (2019). What’s wrong with saying “We’re all equal”?: 5 important conversations about race white kids need to have. Retrieved April 26, 2023 from
  • Mourão, S. (2015). The potential of picturebooks with young learners. In J. Bland (Ed.), Teaching English to young learners: Critical issues in language teaching with 3-12 year olds (pp. 199–217). Bloomsbury. 
  • Reckermann, J., & Matz, F. (2021). Something happened in our town: Mit jungen Lernenden über Black Lives Matter und Rassismus sprechen. Der Fremdsprachliche Unterricht Englisch, 173, 13–20. 
Using metaphors to frame the exploration of children’s literature in English language learning
  • Julie McAdam, University of Glasgow, UK
  • Rowena Seabrook, University of Glasgow, UK

This paper examines metaphors used in the construction of a course that enables masters level students to curate and use children’s literature in learning contexts, many of which are focussed English language learning. Over the past ten years the course has drawn on Lakoff and Johnsen’s (2003, p. 140) work that suggests we use metaphor to frame conceptual understandings and experiences of the world because they encourage imagination and creativity, as well as offering new ways to understand our past, daily activities and future intentions. The four key metaphors are that children’s literature can act as: 

  • Semiotic playgrounds (Serafini, 2013) for readers to explore drawing on multimodal response strategies (Arizpe et al., 2014)
  • Safe spaces (Sargent, 2003, p. 233) for readers to learn, grow and pay attention to their linguistic identities. 
  • Mirrors, windows and doors (Bishop, 1990) for readers to explore aspects of self, others and transformation. 
  • Resources of hope (McAdam et al., 2020) for children to ‘move on’ through the world finding pathways for future direction. 

Students taking the course shape the ways in which the metaphors are examined and express these through their curations. The paper will conclude by looking at how the themes expressed in the curations reflect the interests of the diverse students taking the course. 


Narratives and metaphors of childhood reading: CEFR and literary competences 
  • Tara McIlroy, Center for Foreign Language Education and Research, Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan

Although we have literary encounters throughout our lives, childhood reading experiences are perhaps the most memorable. For teachers and curriculum planners, reader narratives can therefore provide opportunities to discuss reader identity, understand personal reading preferences, and reveal areas of interest. To illustrate how this occurs in practice, the presentation aims to explore the reading lives of Japanese learners of English in a tertiary setting through retrospective reading experiences. An initial discussion looks at reading metaphors such as transportation (Gerrig, 1993), control, and investment (Stockwell, 2009) with reference to the reading narratives. The discussion then draws on results of a reading survey which gathered details about childhood reading preferences as well as the reflective assignments from a recently created language and literature course. Using the revised CEFR Companion Volume descriptors related to literature as a framework, the presentation applies a new model of literary competences (Alter & Ratheiser, 2019) to various literature-based activities and student responses to them. The concepts of empathetic competence, aesthetic competence, cultural and discursive competence, and interpretative competence are introduced, with illustrative examples. The presentation incorporates student and instructor reflections from course materials and selected literary texts. The session concludes by discussing activities and methods appropriate for learners in a variety of circumstances.

Keywords: narrative, language learning, metaphors of reading, childhood reading, emotion


  • Alter, G., & Ratheiser, A. (2019). A new model of literary competences and the revised CEFR descriptors. ELT Journal, 73(4), 377–386.
  • Gerrig, R. J. (1993). Experiencing narrative worlds: On the psychological activities of reading. Yale.
  • Stockwell, P. (2009). Texture: A cognitive aesthetics of reading. Edinburgh University Press.
Indigenous social justice through North American multimodal texts from Manitoba to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec 
  • Dolores Miralles-Alberola, University of Alicante, Spain

Part of the panel Multimodal children’s literature to promote social justice through critical literacy in teacher education

From an Indigenous critical literacy perspective, instructors willing to include representation of Indigenous peoples in the classroom should consider texts that are tribally specific, well-researched and written by Indigenous authors, and contain unbiased language and history (Reese, 2013, 2018). This presentation aims to discuss these principles and their connections with social justice in its redistributive, recognitive and representational dimensions (Fraser, 1997, 2005) whilst providing a selection of books and their affordances for an Action-oriented Approach in English language education addressed to student teachers.

The selection includes: the graphic novels A Girl Called Echo (2018-2021, vols. 1-4) and Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide (2018), with photographs from Graciela Iturbide herself; and the picturebooks Shi-shi-etko (2005) and Shin-chi’s Canoe (2008), and Joy Harjo’s For a Girl Becoming (2009). In the context of action-oriented scenarios that include reception, production, mediation, and the creation cooperative artefacts or events, these multimodal books can work as text ensembles (Delanoy, 2018) to foster deep reading and help unveil the unanswered questions other texts may leave in terms of sovereignty, memory, identity and women’s agency specifically of the Métis, Salish, Zapotec and Muscogee peoples in North America.

Keywords: Indigenous critical literacy, text ensemble, social justice, Indigenous children’s literature, action-oriented approach


  • Campbell, N., illus. K. LaFave (2005). Shi-shi-etko. Groundwood Books.
  • Campbell, N., illus. K. LaFave (2008). Shin-chi’s Canoe. Groundwood Books.
  • Harjo, J., illus. M. McDonald (2009). For a Girl Becoming. The University of Arizona Press.
  • Quintero, I., illus. Z. Peña (2018). Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide. The J. Paul Getty Museum.
  • Vermette, K., illus. S. B. Henderson, col. D. Yaciuk (2018). A Girl Called Echo: Pemmican Wars. Vol. 1–4. Highwater Press.


  • Delanoy, W. (2018). Literature in language education: Challenges for theory building. In J. Bland (Ed.), Using literature in English language education: Challenging reading for 8-18 year olds (pp. 141–157). Bloomsbury.
  • Fraser. N. (1997). Justice interrupts: Critical reflections on the “postsocialist” condition. Routledge.
  • Fraser. N. (2005). Mapping the feminist imagination: From redistribution to recognition to representation. Constellations, 12(3), 295–307.
  • Reese, D. (2013). Critical Indigenous literacies. In J. Larson, & J. Marsh (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of early childhood literacy (pp. 251–263). SAGE.
  • Reese, D. (2018). Critical Indigenous literacies: Selecting and using children’s books about Indigenous peoples. Language Arts, 95(6), 389–393.
The writer in the reader
  • Paul Morris, The Centre for Multilingualism, Västerås, Sweden

The seeds of creative writing are in reading (Morris, 2022). In this paper, I discuss this interwoven relationship and emphasise the idea of teacher as writer (Frawley, 2015). I describe tasks designed for English teacher education at a Swedish university: teacher students read Laurie Lee’s (1959/2011) account of his first school day, as recalled in Cider With Rosie. Empathy with the young pupil stimulated students’ own recollections of experiences and emotions, which they were asked to capture, evocatively, in writing. They were also asked to imagine a plan for a first school day activity. This thought and writing aims to foster identity formation as both teacher and writer. Also in this paper, I explain how, whether teaching university students or school pupils, I share my own writing to hopefully encourage all to write and share their texts, in the spirit of the literature of the class (Dixon, 1967). Finally, this paper’s title mirrors that of Myra Barrs’ (2000) article: The reader in the writer. It is a somewhat playful rejigging of word order, and a serious reminder of a cyclical reading, writing, reading process that flows and rolls, with the help of teacher pedal pressure and artfully chosen textual pathways.

Keywords: creative response, creative writing, literature of the class, teacher as writer, teacher education


  • Lee, L. (2011). Cider With Rosie. Random House. (Original work published 1959)


  • Barrs, M. (2000). The reader in the writer. Reading, 34, 54–60. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9345.00135
  • Dixon, J. (1967). Growth through English. Penguin.
  • Frawley, E. (2015). Oh! Who is me?: Conceiving of the writer in the English teacher identity. English in Australia, 50(2), 52–60.
  • Morris, P. (2022). Creative writers in a digital age: Swedish teenagers’ insights into their extramural English writing and the school subject of English (Licentiate dissertation, Mälardalen University).
Intercultural citizenship education through picturebooks in early English language learning: Practitioner competencies
  • Sandie Mourão, CETAPS, Nova University Lisbon, Portugal

Intercultural citizenship education (ICE) combines intercultural communicative competence in foreign language education with civic action in the community from citizenship education. Learning sequences for ICE in school contexts should thus encompass three interconnected learning objectives: linguistic, intercultural, and citizenship (Byram et al., 2017). Picturebooks are recognised as valuable vehicles for achieving these objectives. Nevertheless, educators often require comprehensive guidance (Bland, 2022) and well-planned professional development to effectively incorporate multimodal resources like picturebooks into their language classrooms.

The Erasmus+ project “Intercultural Citizenship Education through Picturebooks in Early English Language Learning” (ICEPELL) aimed to empower teachers of English and their learners to become competent and effective democratic citizens (Council of Europe, 2018). In this presentation I critically examine the structure of ICEPELL’s long-term professional development course, with a view to identifying essential teacher competencies for the successful selection, planning, and use of picturebooks for ICE. I will illustrate this discussion through the experiences of two Portuguese teachers who participated in the PD course and co-created teaching resources around the picturebooks Clean up! (Bryon & Adeola, 2020) and Me and my Fear (Sanna, 2018), implemented them in their classrooms and reflected on the experiences. The intention is to present an educational framework centered around picturebooks that offers clear guidance for competency development in English language teacher education for in-depth learning.

Keywords: English as a foreign language, picturebooks, teacher education, ICEPELL, intercultural citizenship education


  • Bryon, N., illus. D. Adeola (2020). Clean up! Puffin.
  • Sanna, F. (2018). Me and my Fear. Flying Eye Books.


  • Bland, J. (2022). Compelling stories for English language learners: Creativity, interculturality and critical literacy. Bloomsbury.
  • Byram, M., Golubeva, I., Hui, H., & Wagner, M. (2017). From principles to practice in education for intercultural citizenship. Multilingual Matters.
  • Council of Europe. (2018). Reference framework of competences for democratic culture. Council of Europe. 
Picturebooks as disruptors in early English language education
  • Sandie Mourão, CETAPS, Nova University Lisbon, Portugal
  • David Valente, Norwegian Study Centre, UK

Children’s literature can have a potentially catalyzing effect in the classroom especially as picturebooks, a multimodal literary format, combine visual potency with challenging topics. When well-selected and skilfully mediated, the disquieting moments in picturebooks and the interaction between the pictures and words offer opportunities for disruption, sparking child agency and authentic action (Short, 2011). Picturebooks are well-attuned to fostering intercultural learning goals (Morgado, 2019) for children learning English. In addition, the potential of such texts can be harnessed by teachers when creating picturebook-based materials for early English language lessons (Narančić Kovač, 2016).   

Underpinned by critical pedagogy, we share teacher-created materials (ICEKits) developed for using picturebooks in early English language education. These co-creations are the result of a professional development project, ‘Intercultural Citizenship Education through Picturebooks in early English Language Learning’ (ICEPELL). We address the research question, ‘What makes a picturebook disruptive in early English language education?’

Findings demonstrate that by disrupting the children’s literature canon in early English language education, teachers and researchers can usher in vibrant spaces for intercultural citizenship. In turn, the hegemonic position of English language coursebooks is destabilized, thereby, enabling an expanded notion of ‘culture’. Finally, we share ideas for similar projects which develop critical intercultural awareness and offer opportunities to take action – in and beyond early English education.

Keywords: picturebooks, early English language education, children’s authentic action, interculturality, disruptors


  • Morgado, M. (2019). Intercultural mediation through picturebooks. Comunicação e Sociedade, Special Issue 2019: 163-183
  • Narančić Kovač, S. (2016). Picturebooks in educating teachers of English to young learners. Children’s Literature in English Language Education, 4(2), 6-26.
  • Short, K. G. (2011). Children taking action within global inquiries, The Dragon Lode, 29(2), 50-59.


Literature for social justice and inclusion: Students’ learning and experience
  • Lamia Nemouchi, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

This study is based on empirical research that investigates the use of literature in EFL pedagogy in Algerian universities, to develop the students’ (as potential future teachers) intercultural competence by raising issues of social justice and inclusion in society. The evaluation of the pedagogy draws on the students’ learning, their experience as well as teachers’ reflections. This study is important because due to wars and economic crisis asylum seeking is increasing and people are constantly in interactions with refugees in different countries whereby interculturality and intercultural competence are becoming more crucial in society. Hence, this study explores the aesthetic experience (Fleming, 2012) of reading literature in combination with a dialogic approach to teaching literature (Delanoy, 2015; Gonçalves Matos, 2012) in education for active citizenship, social justice, and inclusion. The empirical study is framed by the savoir model (Byram, 2021) and complemented by the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (Council of Europe, 2018). This study contributes by providing an example of learning tasks, that encourage creativity, imagination, and critical thinking.  In addition to this, it demonstrates how literary texts helped to raise issues of social justice in an EFL classroom and students’ responses and perceptions of their learning and experience of the use of literature. The data collected and analysed through an interpretive paradigm of qualitative data collected through interviews, observations, and audio-recorded classroom discussions.


  • Byram, M. (2021). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence: Revisited  (2nd ed.). Multilingual Matters.
  • Council of Europe. (2018). Reference framework of competences for democratic cultures: Descriptors of competences for democratic cultures (RFCDC). Council of Europe Publishing.
  • Delanoy, W. (2015). Literature teaching and learning: Theory and practice. In W. Delanoy, M. Eisenmann, & F. Matz (Eds.), Learning with literature in the EFL classroom (pp. 19–47). Peter Lang.
  • Fleming, M. (2012). The arts in education: An introduction to aesthetics, theory, and pedagogy. Routledge.
  • Gonçalves Matos, A. (2012) Literary Texts and Intercultural Learning Exploring New Directions. Peter Lang.
Visual thinking strategies as a “meta-visual-lingual” activity for the support of a multi-modal critical literacy
  • Shaun Nolan, Malmö University, Sweden

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) is an inquiry-based pedagogical tool grounded in teacher-pupil discussions. It was created originally to improve a participant’s ability to interpret, describe, and analyze imagery and do this through active observation and collective discussion (Yenawine, 2013, 2018; Nolan, 2022). In this presentation, I will explore how VTS goes beyond the art museum experience and is a highly adaptable technique for developing critical literacy and in-depth learning for a fuller engagement with a text. VTS could be described as a “meta-visual-lingual” activity as it is the act of talking out load about the thinking inspired by a visual object such as a text, immersing student participants in the text and supporting them in their critical exploration of the focus text and thus explicitly developing a multi-modal critical literacy. The impact of adopting VTS with students and pupils of all ages but particularly those in primary school could be significant. It has proven very effective in nurturing participants’ abilities and skills in critical and creative thinking, critical awareness and intercultural sensitivity, and in developing an openness to new cultural contexts, new perspectives, and unfamiliar ideologies (Hailey et al., 2015; Yenawine, 2013, 2018).

Keywords: visual thinking strategies, critical literacy, intercultural sensitivity, critical and creative thinking


  • Hailey, D., Miller, A., & Yenawine, P. (2015). Understanding visual literacy: The visual thinking strategies approach. In D. Baylen, & A. D’Alba (Eds.), Essentials of teaching and integrating visual and media literacy (pp. 49–73). Springer, Cham.
  • Nolan, S. (2022). VTS in the English language classroom in Sweden: Visuality, paraphrasing and collective thinking in support of language learning. Educare, (4), 127–144.
  • Yenawine, P. (2013). Visual thinking strategies: Using art to deepen learning across school disciplines. Harvard Education Press.
  • Yenawine, P. (2018). Visual thinking strategies for preschool: Using art to enhance literacy and social Skills. Harvard Education Press.


Disney and Pixar on diverse intergenerational trauma narratives: A source of multiculturalism in EFL classrooms
  • Wafa Pathan, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway 

The present study aims to examine the contemporary English children’s films produced by Disney and Pixar themed on the intergenerational trauma narrative of diverse ethnic groups (Conroy, 2022; O’Neill et al., 2018). The term “contemporary” in this study has been used to associate film production in the 21st century based on the latest social issues concerning global communities and production houses’ initiative to diversify the ethnic and cultural representations, for example the Stories Matter Initiative which was introduced in 2020. The paper will explore Coco (2017), Encanto (2021), and Turning Red (2022) in an effort to deconstruct Disney’s and Pixar’s depiction of the intergenerational trauma narrative of diverse ethnic groups in relation to multiculturalism. Analysing the depiction of diverse ethnic groups presented in children’s films and the theme of intergenerational trauma will help in understanding the elements of “authenticity of culture and experiences” (Gopalakrishnan, 2010). Thus, it will not merely focus to celebrate the difference of culture but rather adding the complex element of power relation of representation of “others” (Gopalakrishnan, 2010). To do so, the dialogues of the child protagonists, songs and visual elements will be analysed. To analyse the film’s contents, the theoretical framework established in Intergenerational Theory of Trauma & Memory (Balaev, 2008) will be applied. Furthermore, the study will demonstrate that how these contemporary themes and the subject of intergenerational trauma can be applied in the classroom setting while teaching the critical media literacy (Share et al., 2019) via integrating Childrens’ films in EFL classrooms.

Keywords: Disney and Pixar films, intergenerational trauma narrative, multiculturalism, diverse representations, critical media literacy 


  • Bush, J., & Howard, B. (Directors). (2021). Encanto [Film]. Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar Animation Studios.
  • Shi, D. (2022). Turning Red [Film]. Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar Animation Studios.
  • Unkrich, L., & Molina, A. (Directors). (2017). Encanto [Film]. Walt Disney Pictures; Walt Disney Animation Studios.


  • Balaev, M. (2008). Trends in literary trauma theory. Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, 41(2), 149–166.
  • Conroy, S. (2022). Narrative matters: Encanto and intergenerational trauma. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 27(3), 309–311.
  • Gopalakrishnan, A. (2010). Multicultural children’s literature: A critical issues approach. Sage Publications.
  • O’Neill, L., Fraser, T., Kitchenham, A., & McDonald, V. (2018). Hidden burdens: A review of intergenerational, historical and complex trauma, implications for Indigenous families. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 11(2), 173–186.
  • Share, J., Mamikonyan, T., & Lopez, E. (2019). Critical media literacy in teacher education, theory, and practice. Oxford research encyclopedia of education. Oxford University Press.
Natural science and literature (We Are Water Protectors) to foster interculturality and social justice in English language primary classrooms 
  • Mercedes Pérez-Agustín, Complutense University Madrid, Spain

Part of the panel Multimodal children’s literature to promote social justice through critical literacy in teacher education

The United Nations (2015) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes water as one of the 17 sustainable goals, aiming to ensure access to clean water for all. The picturebook We Are Water Protectors (2020) written by Carole Lindstrom of Ojibwe heritage, illustrated by Michaela Goade, is a call for environmental justice as a response to the construction of an oil pipeline that is polluting the water.

This pedagogical proposal for upper primary students in the subject of natural science follows a read-aloud structure (Ellis & Mourao, 2021) to help students explore their thoughts and feelings (Rubin & Wilson, 1995). The students are expected to broaden their intercultural competence (Byram et al., 2002), their attitude and interest in learning about people’s beliefs, values, traditions and worldviews. Social justice will be addressed because the students will be expected to reflect critically on the risks associated with environmental damage, on the need for responsible consumption and in the ways in which citizens and governments can contribute to environmental sustainability. The primary students are expected to acquire language and content from a distant culture on the importance of preserving the environment and taking part from a local to a global perspective, helping them expand their intercultural competence.

Keywords: sustainability, interculturality, Native Americans, picturebook, reading aloud


  • Lindstrom, C., illus. M. Goade (2020). We Are Water Protectors. Roaring Brook Press.


Dragons, knights and princesses: Pupils and student teachers explore fairy-tale motifs in children’s literature
  • Barbara Prusse-Hess, Zurich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland
  • Michael Prusse, Zurich University of Teacher Education, Switzerland

Humans enjoy stories because they help “to make sense of the world” (Coats, 2017, p. 199), they stimulate our imaginations, and they support learning (Armstrong, 2020). Whereas consuming any media format is frequently perceived as a solitary, individual matter, storytelling originally used to be a communal affair (Gottschall, 2012). Conversations about what we have read or seen are inspiring and, hence, it makes sense for teachers to introduce reading and creative responses to texts regularly into ELT classrooms to engage learners actively.

The traditional fairy-tale triangle of a princess, a knight, and a dragon that can be found in the Grimm Brother’s tale “The Two Brothers” (and in further stories), resurfaces in multiple guises and variations in children’s and young adult literature. In a local research setting, both pupils from a secondary school and student teachers at university react creatively to the established pattern and this process of exploring potential plots prepares them for the ensuing critical discussion of modern reworkings. By means of deep reading (Bland, 2022), critical thinking skills and an awareness of multiliteracies are developed. The project refers to texts such as Donaldson and Scheffler’s Zog (2010) and its eponymous television adaptation or Dragon’s Green (2017) by Scarlett Thomas. 

Keywords: fairy tales, creativity, deep reading, critical thinking, teacher education


  • Donaldson, J., illus. A. Scheffler (2010). Zog. Scholastic Ltd.
  • Thomas, S. (2017). Dragon’s Green: Volume 1. Simon & Schuster.


  • Armstrong, P. B. (2020). Stories and the brain: The neuroscience of narrative. Johns Hopkins University Press. 
  • Bland, J. (2022). Compelling Stories for English language learners: Creativity, interculturality and critical literacy. Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Coats, C. (2017). The Bloomsbury introduction to children’s and young adult literature. Bloomsbury Academic.
  • Gottschall, J. (2012). The storytelling animal: How stories make us human. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.


From stories to action: A model of social change
  • Susanne Reichl, Department of English and American Studies & Research Platform #YouthMediaLife, University of Vienna, Austria

Part of the panel English for social change: Learning from literature and beyond

This panel presents results from a project entitled “English for social change: what literature can and can’t do”. Our framework is inspired by critical pedagogy’s vision of “schools as democratic public spheres, teachers as public intellectuals, and students as potential democratic agents of social change” (Giroux, 2020, p. 3), and while such a vision is still a long way off, we want to discuss what can be done to bring learners closer to being those “change agents” (Green, 2016, pp. 2-3), with a focus on EFL teachers at secondary level in Vienna, Austria.

Initial results of our quantitative survey suggest that teachers believe in the power of literature to broach topics of social injustice in EFL classrooms, and our qualitative research supports this view, adding details on the mapping processes (e.g., Jenkins et al., 2020) that teachers need to support learners in translating the fictional situation (e.g., racism in a US-American novel) into a context that is more local and/or more relevant to them. 

The first presentation will introduce an aggregated model that sketches some of the mapping processes that teachers rely on to make sure their learners understand social injustice and develop critical literacy (Luke & Woods, 2009) when faced with a fictionalised social injustice in an EFL classroom context. 

Keywords: critical pedagogy, social change, literature in the EFL classroom, mixed methods research


  • Giroux, H. (2020). On critical pedagogy (2nd ed.). Bloomsbury Academic. 
  • Green, D. (2016). How change happens. OUP.
  • Jenkins, H., Peters-Lazaro, G., & Shrestovha, S. (Eds.). (2020). Popular culture and the civic imagination. NYUP.
  • Luke, A., & Woods, A. F. (2009). Critical literacies in schools: A primer. Voices from the Middle, 17(2), 2009. 9–18.
Ecocritical dialogues to enhance environmental awareness
  • Hege Emma Rimmereide, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway

How can reading and engaging in ecocritical literary dialogues about picturebooks in initial teacher education enhance student teachers’ environmental awareness? This paper presents a case study involving teacher students’ dialogues about literary texts and it highlights the potential role literary studies may play in becoming environmentally aware. Being environmentally aware means developing an understanding of how our behaviour impacts the environment and perhaps also committing to making changes to our activities to protect the planet. The paper draws on theory from ecocriticism (Braidotti, 2019; Haraway, 2016) and dialogic teaching and learning (Alexander, 2020). Dialogic teaching and learning is one way to be involved in developing one’s own thinking and in creating knowledge and understanding. 

The data in the project are tape recorded dialogues where the participants engaged in literature circles, discussing the literary texts The Savage (Almond, 2008) and The Rabbits (Marsden, 1998). Literature circles are learner-centred discussion groups with pre-assigned roles for each participant, potentially enhancing dialogic competencies and critical thinking. The dialogues were tape recorded and subsequently transcribed and analysed qualitatively. Findings show that the students developed environmental awareness while engaging in explorative talks with peers. 

Keywords: ecocritical dialogues, literature circles, higher education, environmental awareness, dialogic teaching and learning


  • Almond, D., illus. D. McKean (2008). The Savage. Walker Books. 
  • Marsden, J., illus. S. Tan (1998). The Rabbits. Hodder Children’s Books.


  • Alexander, R. (2020). A dialogic teaching companion. Routledge.  
  • Braidotti, R. (2019). Posthuman knowledge. Polity Press.
  • Haraway, D. (2016). Staying with the trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene. Duke UP. 


Creating spaces for interdisciplinarity in the English subject: Reading literary texts about history
  • Torunn Skjærstad, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway

Part of the panel Creating spaces for reading across the educational span

This paper addresses how literary texts about the First World War engage learners in the English language classroom and create interdisciplinary spaces contributing to purposes of the Norwegian National Curricula LK20. It reports on an empirical study conducted in a 9th grade class in Norway, where learners read and responded to an illustrated book, two poems and an excerpt from a novel about the First World War, a war that has been described as “the greatest moral, spiritual and physical catastrophe in history” (Merriman, 2010, p. 926). There is a widely held recognition of the positive affordances literary texts offer for interdisciplinary purposes (Eco, 2004; Langer, 2011; Rosenblatt, 1994/2005), particularly its value “for young people in their growth into mature human beings in society” (Aase, 2011, p. 124). 

This paper investigates learners’ individual responses to the texts using Langer’s (2011) ideas of envisionment as a theoretical starting point. She advocates for reading and responding to literature “to help us sort out our own lives” (pp. 19-20), and I explore how the learners make meaning of the texts and which issues they transform to their own lives. 

Keywords: interdisciplinarity, adolescents, envisionment, literary texts, transformative learning 


  • Aase, L. (2011). Reflection on literature teaching: A Norwegian perspective. In P.-H. van de Ven, & B. Doecke (Eds.), Literary praxis (pp. 123–135). Sense Publishers. 
  • Eco, U. (2004). On literature. Vintage  
  • Langer, J. (2011). Envisioning literature: Literary understanding and literature instruction (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press. 
  • Merriman, J. M. (2010). A history of modern Europe: From the renaissance to the present (3rd ed.). W.W. Norton & Co. 
  • Rosenblatt, L. M. (1994/2005). Making meaning with texts: Selected essays. Heinemann. 
Learning for justice through a critical gaze in the foreign language classroom
  • Concepción Soler Pous, University of Alicante, Spain

Part of the panel Multimodal children’s literature to promote social justice through critical literacy in teacher education

This paper aims to promote social justice through critical literacy and to present the need for a communicative and real approach to the study of English as an L2 in the secondary classroom (Healy, 2010) that encompasses a communicative, global, intercultural and integrative (Mendoza Fillola, 2007) perspective based on a new study of literary (Arafah, 2021) and multimodal texts. We will propose an ensemble of works on social justice with the book of The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis (2004) compared to a photographic work by Gervasio Sánchez called Vidas minadas (2023). Both are based on the topic of women living in a country without freedom. Verbal and visual language will allow the student to discover a cultural context or region different from their own, and develop a sensitivity to appreciate their multiple meanings and interpretations. Proposals are presented with new teaching practices to capture the scenes in a non-verbal mode and provide visual details that would otherwise be lost in a dialogue-focused account (Oziewicz, 2018) for a topic that raises open questions and allows students to learn the foreign language as well as critical reading abilities (Prusse, 2018).

Keywords: literature, multimodal texts, photographs, semiotics, social justice



  • Arafah, B. et al. The Idol: An Innovative Model for Designing Literature-Based ELT Materials. Linguistica Antverpiensia, 2021 Issue-1. ( ISSN: 0304-2294)
  • Healy, S. (2010). Literature in the EFL Classroom – From theory to practice. Kyoto Sangyo University essays. Humanities series (42), 178-191.
  • Mendoza Fillola, A. (2007). Literature in the FL classroom. In: Literary materials in foreign language learning. (pp. 13–52). ICE University of Barcelona. Pérez Cabello, A.M. (2013).
  • Oziewicz, M. (2018). The graphic novel: Brian Selznick’s THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, WONDERSTRUCK and THE MARVELS. In Bland, J. (Eds.), Using Literature in English Language Education. Challenging Reading for 8-18 Years Old (pp. 25-40).
  • Prusse, M. (2018). Transmedia reading: Tim Winton’s LOCKIE LEONARD trilogy. In Bland, J. (Eds.), Using Literature in English Language Education. Challenging Reading for 8-18 Years Old (pp. 121-137).
Strange pasts and intercultural encounters in On midnight beach
  • Heidi Støa, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

This paper considers whether working with older texts might advance student teachers’ intercultural competence. While theories of intercultural communicative competence (ICC), such as Byram’s (1997), seldom engage explicitly with past cultures, Jauss and Bahti (1979) and others (Burrow, 1979) have argued that reading older texts requires the reader to decentre their own perspective in ways suggestive of Hild E. Hoff’s (2014) work on bildung and ICC. What happens when we expose student teachers to literature engaging with the radical alterity of past cultures? In this paper, I look at how encountering Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick’s novel for young adults, On Midnight Beach (2020), alongside its Old Irish source text (The Táin) can both frustrate and deepen the students’ reading of a contemporary Irish novel. In particular, the medieval source complicates the novel’s representation of gender roles and animal-human relationships. The strangeness of the Old Irish text produces the novel’s often perplexing characters and events, which the reader must puzzle through. To understand the novel’s engagement with its source means understanding a cultural product that plays by entirely different rules. As the saying goes, the past is a foreign country, and critically reading older literature constitutes a textual encounter expanding the students’ interpretive and intercultural abilities. 

Keywords: alterity, young adult, Irish literature, gender, ICC


  • Fitzpatrick, M.-L. (2020). On Midnight Beach. Faber & Faber.
  • Carson, C. (2007). The Táin. Penguin.


  • Burrow, J. A. (1979). The alterity of medieval literature. New Literary History, 10(2), 385–390.
  • Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Multilingual Matters. 
  • Hoff, H. E. (2014). A critical discussion of Byram’s model of intercultural communicative competence in the light of bildung theories. Intercultural Education, 25(6), 508–517. 
  • Jauss, H. R., & Bahti, T. (1979). The alterity and modernity of medieval literature. New Literary History, 10(2), 181–229.


EFL learning in elementary school by means of digital storytelling: The StoryTimE-project 
  • Caroline Theurer, Würzburg University, Germany
  • Katharina Kindermann, Würzburg University, Germany
  • Julia Fromm, Würzburg University, Germany
  • Nadine Krüger, Würzburg University, Germany
  • Maria Eisenmann, Würzburg University, Germany
  • Sanna Pohlmann-Rother, Würzburg University, Germany

Digitalisation impacts society as a whole, but also teaching and learning processes: In addition to subject-specific content, modern (English) teaching requires offering students opportunities to build critical media literacy as early as in elementary school, as they are key to succeed in modern societies (Godaert et al., 2022). Meta-analyses show that digital devices, when integrated in a smart way, can enhance the quality of teaching by providing more adaptive learning arrangements or improving feedback (Stegmann, 2020). Consequently, the teacher and instructional processes are at the centre of research on technology-enhanced teaching (TET; Scheiter, 2021). Nevertheless, there is a need for further research on digitally enriched learning with a focus on instructional quality in the area of media and foreign language pedagogy.

This is where the interdisciplinary research project StoryTimE comes in, which investigates if, when and how teachers integrate a digital device in feedback situations in the elementary classroom. The context is an EFL project in which fourth graders both receptively interpret multimedially enhanced fairy tales and produce their own digital stories.

During its pilot phase, the project has gained first insights into the applicability of the learning materials and feedback processes. Those results will be presented at the conference.

Keywords: feedback, foreign language pedagogy, primary teaching, StoryTimE, technology-enhanced teaching (TET)


  • Godaert, E., Aesaert, K., Voogt, J., & van Braak, J. (2022). Assessment of students’ digital competences in primary school: A systematic review. Education and Information Technologies, 27(7), 9953–10011.
  • Scheiter, K. (2021). Lernen und Lehren mit digitalen Medien: Eine Standortbestimmung [Technology-enhanced learning and teaching: An overview]. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 24(5), 1039–1060.
  • Stegmann, K. (2020). Effekte digitalen Lernens auf den Wissens- und Kompetenzerwerb in der Schule: Eine Integration metaanalytischer Befunde. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 66(2), 174–190.


Ridl: A framework for integrating children’s literature in English education 
  • David Valente, Norwegian Study Centre, UK and Nord University, Norway  

Part of the panel The ELLiL Project: An agentic and creative approach to children’s literature in university-school teaching practice

The English Language and Literature for in-depth Learning (ELLiL) project (2020–2024) is funded by the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills. Anchored in an international cooperation between Bishop’s University, Canada and Nord University, Norway, the ELLiL project is organized as teacher exchanges between each context. The first paper in the panel focuses on the Reading for in-depth learning or ‘Ridl’ framework, co-created by the ELLiL teacher educators (ELLiL Project Partners, 2023). This framework fuses concepts from Lau’s (2013) critical literacy work and Bland’s (2022) work on children’s literature in ELT.

The Ridl framework proposes four dimensions for teachers’ planning and teaching of multimodal texts in the English classroom: textual, personal, critical, and creative-transformative. Central to the framework are criteria to guide teachers’ text selection with consideration of their learners’ heads (cognitive engagement), hearts (affective appeal) and hands (social justice potential), and to support their literary apprenticeship. As the project’s goal is to experientially immerse participants in the deep reading for in-depth learning approach, examples from blended learning workshops held in both Norway and Canada are shared. These shine some light on how each cohort operationalized the Ridl framework and may offer insights for parallel English teacher education contexts.

Keywords: blended learning, literary apprenticeship, pedagogical framework, text selection, transnational project



Encouraging critical literacy in English literature classrooms through the video game Night in the woods
  • Georg Wendt, Research Platform #YouthMediaLife, University of Vienna, Austria

Part of the panel English for social change: Learning from literature and beyond

For young people, video games and their surrounding cultural forms (e.g., Let’s Play videos, live-streaming, or TV-adaptations) are nearly ubiquitous in their lives. Even as video games have seen increasing use as respectable instructional material in the language classroom through digital game-based learning applications and serious games, the medium remains a particularly rare choice for discussing literature in the EFL classroom, and especially as part of critical media literacy projects. This despite considerable scholarly efforts of theorizing video games as (also) a medium for fostering critical thinking that challenges a wide range of social injustices (e.g., Gray & Leonard, 2018; Schrier, 2021).

This paper offers an example of how video games can be used as a medium to cultivate “a critical consciousness in students that […] help them analyze their social, historical, and economic conditions” (Jennings & Lynn, 2005, p. 17) through the story-centric independent game Night in the Woods (Infinite Fall, 2017). This qualitative study presents methods to engage students in the game’s themes of mental health and economic immobility and is supported by the results of our project, as well as research into video game literacy more broadly (e.g., Burn, 2022; Zagal, 2010).

Keywords: literature in the EFL classroom, Night in the Woods, critical media literacy, video games


Infinite Fall. (2017). Night in the Woods (PC version) [Video game]. Finji.


  • Burn, A. (2022). Literature, videogames and learning. Routledge.
  • Gray, K. L., & Leonard, D. J. (Eds.). (2018). Woke gaming: Digital challenges to oppression and social injustice. University of Washington Press.
  • Jennings, M. E., & Lynn, M. (2005). The house that race built: Critical pedagogy, African-American education, and the re-conceptualization of a critical race pedagogy. Educational Foundations, Summer-Fall, 15–32.
  • Schrier, K. (2021). We the gamers: How games teach ethics and civics. Oxford University Press.
  • Zagal, J. P. (2010). Ludoliteracy: Defining, understanding, and supporting games education. ETC Press.


Spoken word poetry: Engaging, embodied empowerment
  • Anke Zondag, Nord University, Norway

Young people need to express themselves, says the Norwegian curriculum. In spoken word poetry there is room for everyone to express themselves through embodied performance. Performance poetry has been welcomed by diverse and politically engaged young people, including Australian indigenous and Maori teenagers (Stavanger & Te Whiu, 2019). In Auckland schools, Spoken Word workshops are taught to help pupils make meaning of themselves and explore their identity. Spoken word poetry encourages young people to “engage in identity construction, resist oppression and construct counternarratives” (Curwood & Jones, 2022, p. 50). These actions relate to topics from the Norwegian curriculum such as identity development, and health and life skills. 

Written poetry appears to be studied more than spoken word poetry with its multimodality and paralinguistic features. Spoken word demystifies poetry as a genre and brings language to life for young people, according to Vazquez (2023). In this presentation, I will present which opportunities spoken word as performance poetry provides for young Aucklanders to express themselves, based on a qualitative case study. Throughout this presentation, I will draw on how composing spoken word can support the development of English learners’ language proficiency and genre awareness through applications of poetical devices.

Keywords: spoken word poetry, identity, empowerment, youth literacies


  • Curwood, J. S., & Jones, K. (2022). A bridge across our fears: Understanding spoken word poetry in troubled times. Literacy, 56(1), 50–58.
  • Stavanger, D., & Te Whiu, A. (2019). Solid air: Australian and New Zealand spoken word. University of Queensland Press.
  • Vazquez, A. (2023). Coming home: A reflection on the gift of poetry. English Journal, 112(4), 51–57.

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