A substantial percentage of students in U.S. schools speak languages other than English at home, yet very few are enrolled in educational contexts that seek to develop their bilingual and biliterate skills and identities, despite the fact that research continues to show the importance of creating space for bilingual and biliterate practices in the classroom in order for students to progress academically. This paper explores the literature on biliteracy development with a focus on Spanish/English bilingual students in the early elementary grades. Several classroom activities are then presented that have been found by educational researchers to be effective in fostering biliteracy development in emergent bilinguals and that can be implemented in any classroom by bilingual or monolingual teachers. The potential for such activities to foster positive biliterate identities and expand bilingual students’ future options are discussed.
- Emergent bilingual
- English learner