1st Edition

Teaching Language as Action in the ELA Classroom

By Richard Beach, Faythe Beauchemin Copyright 2019
    216 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores English language arts instruction from the perspective of language as "social actions" that students and teachers enact with and toward one another to create supportive, trusting relations between students and teachers, and among students as peers. Departing from a code-based view of language as a set of systems or structures, the perspective of languaging as social actions takes up language as emotive, embodied, and inseparable from the intellectual life of the classroom. Through extensive classroom examples, the book demonstrates how elementary and secondary ELA teachers can apply a languaging perspective. Beach and Beauchemin employ pedagogical cases and activities to illustrate how to enhance students’ engagement in open-ended discussions, responses to literature, writing for audiences, drama activities, and online interactions. The authors also offer methods for fostering students' self-reflection to improve their sense of agency associated with enhancing relations in face-to-face, rhetorical, and online contexts.

    Chapter 1: Introduction: Language as Action in the ELA Classroom

    Chapter 2: Languaging Actions to Enact Social Relations in Social Worlds

    Chapter 3: Enacting Emotions and Embodied Actions as Languaging

    Chapter 4: Relational Framing of Classroom Spaces and Time

    Chapter 5: Relational Framing of Classroom Talk-in-Interaction

    Chapter 6: Relational Responding to Literary Texts

    Chapter 7: Relational Writing for Audiences

    Chapter 8: Use of Relational Drama for Enacting Languaging Actions

    Chapter 9: Relational Framing of Online Interactions

    Chapter 10: Fostering Growth in Languaging Actions and through Professional Development


    Richard Beach is Professor Emeritus of English Education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA.

    Faythe Beauchemin is Assistant Professor of Childhood Education, University of Arkansas, USA.

    "This book makes a new and unique contribution to scholarship on the teaching of English language arts. It will be an essential book in my ‘Language and Learning’ course for pre-service and in-service ELA teachers."

    --Amanda Haertling Thein, The University of Iowa, USA

    "Teaching Language as Action in the ELA Classroom fosters growth of both students and teachers through a languaging as action approach and philosophy. The strategies and descriptions of many classroom activities provided throughout the text are practical and easily transferable to the classroom context. At the heart of every chapter is how we should value every individual’s experience and voice—teachers and students alike."

    -- Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy Vol. 64(4), Jan/Feb 2021