Teaching digital literacies in EAL/ESL classrooms: practical strategies

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It has been widely acknowledged that learners of English as an additional or second language need to develop rich repertoires of digital literacies to be able to read, write, and communicate in digital spaces in English. However, finding appropriate approaches is challenging for many practitioners, and teaching digital literacies often focuses on basic technical skills rather than catering for a wider range of students’ technological, language, sociocultural, pragmatic, and critical literacy needs. This article explains digital literacies from a sociocultural perspective, offered by Literacy Studies; describes how this theory promotes a situated problem-based learning approach to classroom practices; and provides a brief overview of the pedagogical model—the 3D model of literacy (Green, 2002). To illustrate theory in action, the article offers three examples of learning units: designing a webpage, information search, and creating and maintaining a digital presence that can be adapted by teachers or used as a model for developing resources. By designing these theoretically informed examples, the article makes a contribution to practice in the field of language education, which currently lacks explicit practical guidelines. This article can be useful to teachers at different career stages developing or refining their pedagogies for digital literacies in second language contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00458
Number of pages12
JournalTESOL Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • EAL teaching
  • digital literacies
  • Technology
  • Pedagogy
  • Digital
  • ESL
  • ICT

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