CERCLL offered a series of professional development webinars for language educators over the course of the 2022-2023 academic year, in which presenters brought newer, multiliteracies approaches to address traditional topics in language teaching.


Click on the titles below to access the recordings, slides and resources for the webinars in this series.

You can also view all the recordings in our YouTube webinar playlist


Kate Paesani

Kate Paesani

(University of Minnesota)

Using Language Forms to Communicate About Texts: A Multiliteracies Perspective


This webinar challenges the common misconception that multiliteracies pedagogy and the instruction of language forms are incompatible. To do so, we consider grammar and vocabulary as textual resources that prepare learners to work with texts, help them understand how texts are constructed, and improve their ability to communicate about texts. Using the four knowledge processes of multiliteracies pedagogy as a framework, we discuss how to adapt and enhance your existing toolkit of grammar and vocabulary activities to infuse language forms throughout text-based lessons.

Some of what attendees told us they found most beneficial about this webinar:

I found the aspect of how to communicate meaning to engage learners really useful. In addition, building knowledge, doing interpretative analysis and how knowledge processing can be used in the class caught my attention in the webinar.

The clear distinction between language forms needed for interpretation vs. language forms used within the text to communicate meanings was really helpful. I also appreciated the explicit focus on what those forms could look like for the two texts presented. And, I just loved the comparison between what we currently tend to do in language classrooms and what small tweaks we need to make in order to be working toward developing multiliteracies. That was so helpful and I’m going to use this with teachers.

The structure, the interactive elements, Paesani is knowledgeable and engaging.

In this webinar, Dr. Shufflebarger shares multiliteracies approaches to incorporating poetry and creative texts into any classroom. Drawing from K-12, university, and community-based adult language contexts, she will review the theoretical underpinnings of incorporating poetry into language classrooms, share a variety of instructional activities, and discuss strategies for organizing activities within a broader course curriculum. Participants will be invited to share ideas and practices they incorporate into their own teaching contexts.

Amanda Shufflebarger

Amanda Shufflebarger

(Indiana University East)

Poetry and Creative Texts in Any Language Classroom


I liked the presenter’s examples of poetry use in the classroom. They demonstrated how poetry can be about the form, content, and connections to the world.

Amanda is so erudite! Her samples of actual work with students, coupled with her detailed understanding and explanation of the theory and philosophy of pedagogy made me confident to make steps in this direction. I’ve been yearning to use poetry in my classes but have not felt confident to do so. After this webinar, I have some ideas!

The redesigning of poetry in the classroom. Also, how students will be exposed to different topics at the same time while focusing on one single text.

Bruna Sommer-Farias

Bruna Sommer-Farias

(Michigan State University)

Genre Pedagogies in the World Language Classroom


This webinar discusses ways to implement genre pedagogy in world language classes to develop genre awareness across languages. It includes: an introduction of genre pedagogies and the concepts of genre awareness and genre-specific knowledge as tools to scaffold writing instruction; and discussion of pedagogical materials designed for multiple languages, including Portuguese, Japanese and Spanish. These examples illustrate the use of genre as a concept to select relevant texts for reading and writing, to scaffold language and writing instruction, and to leverage learners’ background knowledge to support writing development in additional languages. These practices challenge the teaching of genres as templates and argue for genre knowledge development across languages as a way to recognize, leverage and expand learners’ multilingual repertoires in the world language classroom.

The concrete examples provided really took the discussion to another level by showing how something could actually be done. I’ve seen this same element in other CERCLL webinars, and I really appreciate the connection between theory and praxis.

I’m familiar with genre-based writing instruction, but I was interested in how Bruna’s applies it in her classroom. It will be helpful for the course on L2 writing research and instruction I teach (TESL program) and in my French language class (a form of content-based language instruction).

I appreciated Dr. Sommer-Farias’ description of strategies for designing genre-informed language tasks. I often enjoy these kinds of practical teacher-to-teacher techniques.

This webinar connects with the material, creative, and embodied dimensions of L2 learning and teaching, by examining what we can learn from, at, and with the art museum. Participants engage with the following questions: ‘What is a museum?’, ‘How do museum-based and pedagogies of multiliteracies intersect?’ and ‘How can I engage L2 learners with (art) museum texts across sites of practice?’ The webinar provides answers to these questions with a specific focus on the PreK-16 world language classroom, using texts from diverse museums, as well as instructional and experiential strategies drawn from research and from various collaborative projects.

Christelle Palpacuer-Lee

Christelle Palpacuer-Lee

(Rutgers University)

Learning at, from, and with the art museum: A multiliteracies perspective.

The webinar reminded me of the unlimited possibilities of using resources outside the classroom for enhancing L2 learners’ multiliteracies. The clear demonstration and the activities were thought-provoking, and of course the resources that have been shared will also allow me to explore further.

I really enjoyed the webinar. For me the most beneficial of the webinar was: the multiliteracies bibliography, some activities on how we can apply multiliteracies in the classroom for “genre awareness, visual literacy and critical intercultural thinking in a new language”

Aside from English, I also have teaching loads for Social Sciences subjects. The webinar has encouraged me to think of an interdisciplinary approach in certain language lessons such as on global citizenship, critical thinking, and culture. I would also like to explore effects of multiliteracies and museum learning on the contextualization of learning English.

Elyse B. Petit

Elyse B. Petit

(Santa Rosa Junior College)

Nurturing Creativity and Agency in L2 through Digital Storytelling Projects

Digital Storytelling (DS) is a textual narrative embedded with other modes of communication. It consists of a “short, two to three-minute mini-film usually based on still photos brought into a multimedia format with a textual narrative read with the narrator’s voice (Lundby, 2008, p.366). Many studies have examined the integration of digital stories in educational settings. Still, studies have yet to explore DS in Foreign Language/L2  learning contexts and the beneficial impact on students’ cognition, language learning, and technology and media skills. Inspired by the Story Center’s movement and mission to “create spaces for listening to and sharing stories” and to provide “skills and tools that support self-expression, creative practice and community building” (https://www.storycenter.org), Dr. Petit uses the Center Story’s steps into the curriculum to help students to produce personal and unique digital narratives in L2.

It was extremely rich, detailed and organized with great examples. I also appreciated the presentation of her underlying theoretical approach.

I thought more about what digital storytelling means, and what it might look like. Because of my scholarly and personal background, I was anticipating this to involve more interactive media, e.g. video games and visual novels. Instead, I spent time appreciating and considering the value of simpler digital storytelling formats. These formats are much more accessible to students than gaming is, which enables them to assess and create those stories in ways that are more beneficial to students than I had realized.

The resources that Elyse gave us and the examples she showed. Most of the stories she showed reminded me of my Design’s teacher classes where, in the first week, made us write, shoot and edit a Digital Story, only he called it a Multimodal Composition.