The Beneficial Effects of Genre-based Instruction in Second Language Spanish Classes

Recent anniversary issues of influential journals in the field of instructed second language (L2) acquisition (e.g., "The Modern Language Journal" and "Foreign Language Annals") have advocated teaching practices that free L2 students from the limitations on language use imposed by constrained methods such as communicative language teaching (Allen & Paesani, 2010; Byrnes, 2006). L2 scholars now propose the implementation of a more comprehensive L2 teaching approach, one that “embraces multiple modes [of communication, including reading and writing] and media, [which incorporate] the many new literacy practices enabled through digital communications” (Warner & Dupuy, 2018, p. 123, emphasis in original). One way of realizing this type of instruction in the L2 classroom is through genre-based pedagogy grounded in the tenets of "Learning by Design" (Kalantzis et al., 2005, 2016). This study explores the role that this kind of instructional approach can play in the development of L2 Spanish students’ writing and their production of multimodal ensembles. Twenty students in an intermediate-high Spanish class in an American public university participated in this case study. The presentation will offer a comprehensive analysis of the participants’ production of written and multimodal hybrid texts throughout the course of a semester. In addition, we will discuss the students’ overall opinions of genre-based instruction and its instructional benefits. Recommendations for future research and pedagogical interventions will also be addressed.

Multiliteracies, Genre-based Pedagogy, Learning by Design, L2 Spanish

Pedagogy and Curriculum

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

  • Dr. Gabriela Zapata
    • Associate Professor, Director of Lower Division Spanish Instruction, Hispanic Studies, Texas A&M University, United States TX, United States
  • Patrick Bolger
    • Instructional Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University, United States United States