Advancing L2 Composition through Socioscientific Issues

Project Directors: Blaine Smith, Jill Castek and Emily Hellmich (all University of Arizona)
In partnership with the College of Education at the University of Arizona.

The Advancing L2 Composition through Socioscientific Issues project provides a research-based pedagogical model for integrating multimodal composition around complex social issues in the L2 classroom.

Following a study to examine and analyze how students in K-12 FL classrooms engage with multilingual and multimodal compositions to develop socioscientific understanding in tandem with their FL abilities, the project has developed multi-week teaching units that integrate digital multimodal composing (e.g. video projects) and the exploration of socio-scientific issues in the FL classroom. The resources are available in a repository of materials with a “best practices” implementation guide presented with a webinar in June 2021, to train educators in the use of these materials.

➣ The repository of materials created for this project can be found here:

A webinar centered on this project took place in 2021. In this interactive event, participants learned: 1) about multimodality; 2) how socioscientific issues can dovetail with multimodal projects; and 3) strategies for designing, implementing, and assessing multimodal projects in their own teaching contexts. See the details here, including abstract, bios, and the participant interaction:



Some of the results of the research conducted by this project have been published in a chapter by Rachel Floyd and Jill Castek (both University of Arizona): Academic, Emotional, and Social Growth in the Second Language Classroom: A Study of Multimodality, in Multifaceted Strategies for Social-Emotional Learning and Whole Learner Education edited by Carissa McCray, IGI Global, 2021, pp. 163-188. This publication is based on work done with a local high school French class. It discusses how the use of an authentic text and the integration of commonly used, real-world social media tools (here Instagram) encouraged socioemotional learning and helped to lower language anxiety.