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Page history last edited by Richard Beach 6 months, 2 weeks ago

Welcome to the wiki supporting the book, Teaching Language as Action in the ELA Classroom, by Richard Beach and Faythe Beauchemin, published by Routledge Press and available on Amazon


Resources related to links, activities/units, and further readings for each chapter can be found by clicking on the chapters in the Sidebar to the right. 

See also teachers' activities and units on the Languaging and Relations PLC blog.


For a related book of research on languaging, see Richard's co-edited book Languaging Relations for Transforming the Literacy and Language Arts Classroom, Routledge Press.


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.



Review in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, March, 2021: It explores a number of themes across 10 chapters including diversity, power, relationships, and mind–body

connections, aiming to build trusting relations between teachers and students. The book largely hinges on the concept of language as a verb not a noun.

     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.


A five-star rating on Amazon: Review: Teaching Language as Action in the ELA Classroom by Dr. Beach and Dr. Beauchemin has been a wonderful accompaniment to my syllabus for the teacher education course Language and Learning, as it is a natural bridge between theory and practice. The book highlights that language can never be separate from a students’ identity and the relationality between students. The authors discuss the practice of language as actions, or the embodiment of language, or languaging to build relations with others. Languaging, then, is doing language, which offers a unique perspective to teaching language, moving away from teaching language in ELA classes as a set of discrete skills or grammar instruction. They authors suggest ELA teachers move away from the “knowing-that” focus (i.e. that words have a fixed meaning and grammar purpose) to a “knowing-how” focus in which teachers and students see language as actions for social purposes in specific contexts (p. 7).
          The book is theory-driven, but practical application sections are interwoven between theoretical discussions. The book offers specific activities teachers can use to foster languaging studies, from engaging students through reflection on how emotions act out relations with others (p. 47) to using languaging in response to literature by rewriting certain events in the texts (p. 121).


Directions for adding activities or units to the relevant chapter.







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