Children’s Literature in ESL: The impact of literature-based instruction on young ESL learners’ literacy development

University essay from Malmö universitet/Lärande och samhälle

Abstract: This research synthesis looks at how literature-based instruction with children’s literature impacts young ESL/EFL learners aged 5-12. The paper focuses on how the students’ linguistic, cognitive and sociocultural ability (literacy) is affected by this type of instruction. The studies show that the literature-based instruction had positive effects on the learners’ reading and writing skills, as well as on their storytelling abilities. The instruction also created opportunities for social interaction, reflection and critical thinking. The results presented in this research synthesis should encourage ESL/EFL teachers to include children’s literature in their teaching often and systematically to improve literacy among students. The research also suggests that teacher training in literature-based instruction can enhance pupil’s cognitive and social skills. However, to better evaluate the efficiency of literature-based instruction and its effect on literacy, more studies comparing literature-based instruction using children’s literature to second language instruction with textbooks is recommended. Studies comparing different types of literature-based activities are also needed to determine whether some activities are more effective than others when it comes to developing literacy in ESL.

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