Playful designs: Multiliteracies and literariness in the beginning language classroom

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3 Scopus citations


Over the past two decades, many scholars and practitioners in foreign language teaching have advocated for multiliteracies approaches, which envision language learning as the development of an expanding repertoire of linguistic and other semiotic resources for making meaning. Despite the attention to the role of learners as active designers of meaning inherent in this framework, creative literacy activities such as literary language use and their potential role in language learning remain under-theorized. Grounded in a study from two collegiate German as a foreign language classes, this article uses a meta-language for conceptualizing creative literacy activities based on play to show students’ complex engagements with literary texts in a beginning language classroom. An analysis of learner compositions from the classes suggests that the playful stance afforded by literariness may enable learners with an opportunity to notice and tinker with elements of design that are often neglected and suggests preliminary connections between design play and the selection of texts and corresponding instructional activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-724
Number of pages21
JournalForeign Language Annals
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • L2 reading
  • design
  • literariness
  • multiliteracies
  • play
  • poetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language


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