Welcome to the Association for Language Learning wiki to support learning languages through literary texts.

The wiki features the generous contributions of UK Language teachers – case studies focussing on the uses of Literature and Texts with 7 – 14 year-olds in the Language classroom.

You can read their suggestions and contributions freely below. If you have a contribution to make, you need to create an account with 'wikidot' and join this site. Click on the grey button in the top right corner.
To contribute please click below ‘ Click here to make a new entry ’

Further content is listed on the right-hand bar of this Home Page.

Related books

Bloomsbury Academic : Teaching Literature in Modern Foreign Languages including a chapter on this wiki .

Encore! With a song in my scheme of work’ by Steven Fawkes for the benefit of ALL on the ALL website.

The features on Songs (Spring 2019), Culture (Summer 2019) , Grammar (Autumn 2019) Creativity (Winter 2019-20) and a report on an ALL Roadshow have been moved into the section on the right-hand bar called 'Multilingual sources' as a group of attached documents

My favourite format
The List Poem is so versatile ! Useful for reading for language (because short lines), for reading aloud, for listening (listen and put lines in order) as a writing frame to borrow and adapt another theme.
Examples on the wiki : Casa in Spanish, Gracias in Spanish, ' Pour Faire Le Portrait D’un Oiseau' - Jacques Prévert, in French.

Authentic texts and strategies for exploitation

ALL’s Languages Today magazine (February 2022) includes an article describing common strategies teachers apply to the exploitation of authentic texts.

The main strategies seem to be :
1. Personalising / Reviewing
2. Extending
3. Transposing
4. Adapting
5. Interpreting / Translating
6. Recycling
7. Performing

Here are more examples. All of the texts mentioned are on this wiki.

Strategy 1: Personalising
Reviewing short clips of songs
Expressing opinions
German book box / Texts from song lyrics
(also in other language boxes)

Strategy 2: Extending
Learners use the text as a writing frame to add more lines :
Spanish book box /Texts from poems

Todo está en su sitio

Strategy 3: Transposing
Borrowing language from this poem learners rewrite the narrative as stage directions and dialogue
German book box / Texts from poems

Der Asra

Strategy 4: Adapting

Edit a piece of highly structured original text by changing key linguistic items: the verbs, the category of nouns.
Edit one or more of the monthly / seasonal dictons
French book box / Texts from poems

Le calendrier

Strategy 5: Interpreting / translating
Read a story/ narrative text and then invent the actions / mimes for the story. Perform the story with one person reading it and another doing the actions, for a younger audience / on video.

Strategy 6: Recycling
Note the language features in a text which are useful for the genre

German book box / Texts from songs

Keine Maschine

Strategy 7: Performing
Read a story/ narrative text and then invent the actions / mimes for the story. Perform the story with one person reading it and another doing the actions, for a younger audience / on video.

Spanish book box / Texts from poems

Los reyes

Choose a scene from a strip cartoon story and enact the scene, using the dialogue in the speech bubbles, adding anything necessary at the beginning or the end to round it off. (If using a cartoon in English, create new dialogue.)

Song as tongue twister -
Teacher presents the lyrics, revealing each line slowly and asking the class to read it aloud rhythmically and chorally.
Class then reads aloud in pairs - first a full line, then a couplet, then the verse.
Then, match the original.
(Phonics focus)

French book box / Texts from songs /


Superactivity :
Play with text

This text invites Language work with particular focus on :
The four skills
And an observation of Grammar

Spanish bookbox / Texts from poems

Un hombre sin cabeza

Display the first lines of the poem
Un hombre sin cabeza
no puede usar sombrero.
Pero éste no es
su mayor problema:
no puede pensar,
no puede …..

Show enough examples for them to see the structure
read aloud and read chorally the lines on screen
brainstorm one or two ideas for the next lines (ie infinitives of verbs)
ask them to write the next few lines of the poem themselves, using reference.

If you find a Superactivity text, or any other text your learners really respond to, please share it!

To get the most out of the wiki please join it, via the button at the top right of screen - you will be guided to create a wikidot account first, and then have the option to join this particular wiki.
Joining gives you access to attached files on many pages which are not available to casual visitors. If you do not see the attachments, then click on the Files button at the foot of the screen.

Once you are registered you can click on the large button on this home page to create an entry .
This will take you to a pro forma page where you should give your contribution a name; this is often the name of the text you are exploiting, but you may need to invent a variant name if others have already made a contribution with the same text.
Please fill in as many of the sections as you wish. You do not have to answer every question.
When the entry is complete please Save it. You can return to edit if you need to.

If you have resources to attach to your contribution (e.g. a presentation) please Save first;
then click on the Files button at the foot of the page, which will offer you the choice to Upload; click on Upload; then click on Browse , select your file and click on Upload again.

The second part of this article looks at features of Literary texts with potential for language activity and my hope is that teachers wishing to develop a curriculum which includes authentic texts may find here some ideas of specific aspects of literary texts that lend themselves to a language-learning focus.
Authentic texts can be seen as useful, normal and interesting elements of language lessons (rather than luxurious add-ons) which offer learners of different ages
• Cultural interest and knowledge
• Opportunities to build confidence in handling ‘real’ texts
• Age-appropriateness
• Contemporary and historical references
as well as language content which is more ‘nuts and bolts’.

Specific features : Characters in narratives or plays

Look for distinguishing features of a character in the original language – what do they look like?
Are they associated with particular adjectives / epithets?
Do they have interesting foibles or identifiable speech habits?
Make a word portrait.
Create an ID card or a Wordcloud graphic for the character.

Spanish book box / Texts from novels

Don Quijote

French book box / Texts from novels



Research some biographical details of an author who interest you in the original language.
Write a Wikipedia-style entry.

French book box / Texts from letters

Marie Curie

Invent a magazine interview with an author / famous person who interests you, using questions and answers.
German book box /Texts from historical documents

Role models

Research photos of streets, buildings, public places which have the names of famous writers from the Language culture.
Example of French:
According to La Poste, the 20 most popular characters to adorn street signs in France are, in order of decreasing popularity, de Gaulle, Pasteur, Hugo, Jaurès, Gambetta, Jules Ferry, Lamartine, Clemenceau, Zola, Voltaire, Briand, Carnot, Anatole France, Rousseau, Roger Salengro, Jean Monnet, Léon Blum, Mendes-France, François Mitterrand and Thiers. Every one of these heroes is both male and dead.
According to Bouvier, only around one per cent of French streets are named after women. Jeanne d’Arc, the resistance fighter Danielle Casanova, the singer Edith Piaf and the writer Simone de Beauvoir, plus a whole host of female saints, are among a handful.

Option for editing

Edit a text by changing the name of the main character and the concomitant details, e.g. change a ‘Mr. Man’ story to a ‘Little Miss’ story.

Film texts

Who said what?
Select quotations for learners to march to the characters
e.g. one of the video versions of a famous story
French book box / Texts from novels

Le comte de Monte Cristo

Culture Quiz

Practise use of question forms by inventing a Literature Quiz in your chosen language. Subject matter could include famous writers, completing the titles of famous books, trivia about characters; learners could develop this through some online research. Supply answers also!

 Famous bellringer at Notre-Dame
 Famous knight who fought windmills
 Famously threw herself in front of a train
 She pricked her famous finger on a spinning wheel
 The famous prisoner in the Chateau d’If
 Her tiny hand was famously frozen

Write questions about a text you have chosen.

Cross-curriculum research

Use the Library, Internet etc. to make a display of Famous …. Things from Literature.
This could be limited to a particular language or left wider depending on the context.
Learners could be guided to a category or given a choice.
The display could include image and multilingual text / bullet points etc.

Famous … Animals in Literature
… Dogs …
… Boys…
… Girls …
… items of clothing …
… places …
… monsters…
… first lines …
… quotations …

Look at interpretations
… different performances / readings

French book box / Texts from poems

Chanson pour les enfants l'hiver
has multiple versions online .

Bilingual texts

Extract names of characters / places in a famous book for a comparison display: - compare and work out rationale

Harry Potter proper names in different languages


Textual analysis questions

What sort of text is it?
How can you tell?
What is it about?
Which are the significant words?
(Wordle activity)
Which words look like English?
Which words are important for this sort of text? (e.g. for narrative, for description, for a news story)

Choose a topical news text. The point is to use knowledge from real life to help interpret a text.
This will involve looking at the context of the writing (images, headline, paragraph headings etc.)
Looking for key words
Spotting cognates, near-cognates (and saying them to confirm phonic issues)
Spotting false friends.
Translating significant phrases
Working out common language for this sort of text e.g. Job titles, place names.
Spotting typos.
Comparing details with the same story in the British press.
French book box / Texts from historical documents

Alerte à la pollution à Londres

A report on 'Strictly in Isolation' appears on the ALL website, as do reports on the following:
ALL and British Council's national 'Express Yourself in Lockdown' recital competition online
British Council's Arabic Speaking Competition pilot online.

A new feature in the Primary Zone is called Bookcorner with recommendations from Primary colleagues linked to blogs.

Remember to visit the other ALL wikis:
ALL Grammar Wiki [http://all-grammar.wikidot.com/]
ALL Writing & Translation Wiki [http://all-writingtranslation.wikidot.com/]
ALL Progression & Transition Wiki [http://all-progressiontransition.wikidot.com/]
ALL Speaking wiki [http://all-speaking.wikidot.com/]

Click here to make a new entry for the wiki.

Once you have created and saved a page, click on the 'files' button at the bottom of the page to attach any sort of file. You also use this button to view files already attached.

Use the search box in the side bar to search for particular topics.

Latest texts

Dix petites graines (Contributor: Nathalie Paris)

T'choupi cherche les œufs de Pâques (Contributor: Nathalie Paris)

Le livre (Contributor: Nathalie Paris)

Dave (Contributor: Steven Fawkes)

Make a voiceover (Secondary) (Contributor: Steven Fawkes)

Click here to see list of French texts French Click here to see list of German texts German Click here to see list of Spanish texts Spanish Click here to see list of other texts Other texts
Click here to see list of available French texts Click here to see list of available German texts Click here to see list of available Spanish texts Click here to see list of available other language texts

ALL cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the references on this wiki, although links were checked at the time of their contribution.

The editorial group has tried to acknowledge any copyright issues. If there are others, please advise us at ku.gro.segaugnal-LLA|ofni#ku.gro.segaugnal-LLA|ofni and we will attempt to rectify or remove any offending material.
In relation to contributors' suggestions about the exploitation of texts, the copyright for those ideas remains with the original author, and not with ALL. We are grateful for the sharing of these ideas.

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