Contents & Editorial

Download PDF


Janice Bland, Christiane Lütge and Sandie Mourão


Every Story Tells a Story That Has Already Been Told: Intertextuality and Intermediality in Philip Pullman’s Spring-Heeled Jack and in Kevin Brooks’ iBoy

Michael C. Prusse


The Hunger Games: An Ecocritical Reading

Janice Bland and Anne Strotmann


What Do You Do With Hands Like These?  Close Reading Facilitates Exploration and Text Creation

Lindsey Moses


From Flat Stanley to Flat Cat: An Intercultural, Interlinguistic Project

Teresa Fleta and Elizabeth Forster


To Read or not to Read: Does a Suitcase Full of Books do the Trick in the English Language Classroom?Annika Kreft and Britta Viebrock


Intercultural Education, Picturebooks and Refugees: Approaches for Language Teachers

Anne M. Dolan


Book Review

Michael C. Prusse



Janice Bland, Christiane Lütge and Sandie Mourão


We are delighted to welcome you to the May 2014 issue of CLELEjournal, the second issue of this open access ejournal, which brings children’s literature scholarship, teacher education and language education together.

In the global field of English language teaching there exist a number of different learning contexts. Many children worldwide are plurilingual even before starting school, and ESL (English as a Second Language) and EAL (English as an Additional Language) can both refer to the English language support needed by children from non-English speaking backgrounds in an English-speaking education system. In this issue of the CLELEjournal, two articles focus on such contexts – Lindsey Moses writing about young learners in the US and Anne Dolan about young learners in Ireland. In both these contexts, children frequently learn their lessons in multicultural, multilingual classrooms. The need to harness this enriching multicultural potential for the classroom as a whole, as well as support minority-language students, is a theme that is echoed in many CLELEjournal contributions.

TEFL, on the other hand, refers specifically to the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language in non-English speaking countries. Three articles in this issue are from this context, from Germany (Janice Bland & Anne Strotmann and Annika Kreft & Britta Viebrock) and German-speaking Switzerland (Michael Prusse). Anther article, by Teresa Fleta and Elisabeth Forster, represents a bilingual, Spanish-English context in Spain.

The general theme of the May 2014 issue of CLELE, most notably in the articles from the German-speaking contexts, is getting students to read, where all three articles stress the importance of choosing texts that are highly popular with young adults. Particularly the authors of the articles that concern themselves with secondary-school adolescent readers seem to sense a crisis situation.

In Prusse’s ‘Every Story Tells a Story That Has Already Been Told: Intertextuality and Intermediality in Philip Pullman’s Spring-Heeled Jack and in Kevin Brooks’ iBoy’, young adult novels are examined that are highly suitable for acquainting EFL students and their teachers, as well as student teachers, with the ‘repetitive and adaptive nature of fiction’. Prusse details how the novels allude to and echo, in quite different ways, ever-popular adventure and action narratives, and, with their superhero protagonists, are able to ‘entice teenage boys into reading’.

In ‘The Hunger Games: An Ecocritical Reading’, Bland and Strotmann describe Suzanne Collins’ popular trilogy, The Hunger Games, as fulfilling  ‘an aesthetic or ethical criterion’, which is important when selecting meaningful literary texts for the language classroom, where the teacher is concerned with broadening students’ horizons as well as enticing them to read. This article outlines an ecocritical approach and includes ideas for ecopedagogy in the EFL/ESL-literature classroom. 

Moses’ ‘What Do You Do With Hands Like These? Close Reading Facilitates Exploration and Text Creationconsiders the picturebook What Do You Do With a Tail Like This? (Jenkins & Page) in the ESL classroom. The author exemplifies teaching affordances through work carried out with young Spanish-English bilinguals in the US, and illustrates how to employ the informational picturebook as a mentor text to teach her young learners to ‘read like writers’.

Starting with the concept of CLIL, and referring to the benefits of creativity and storytelling for raising intercultural awareness, Fleta and Forster’s article, ‘From Flat Stanley to Flat Cat: An Intercultural, Interlinguistic Project’ describe their contribution to an international project. Beginning with the picturebook Flat Stanley, the authors show how they successfully enabled their learners ‘to understand, respect and learn from other cultures’ through a number of different curricular activities.

Kreft and Viebrock in their article ‘To Read or not to Read: Does a Suitcase Full of Books do the Trick in the English Language Classroom?’ refer to the lack of foreign language reading skills and reading motivation as a ‘still a prevalent issue in German society today’. They suggest the method of extensive reading (ER) as a solution and detail the results of a project that confirms the motivational value of ER programmes for adolescent girls and boys, and ‘emphasizes the urgency to provide access to literature and specific reading suggestions for students’.

Dolan begins her article, ‘Intercultural Education, Picturebooks and Refugees: Approaches for Language Teachers’ with an exploration of multicultural picturebooks on refugee experiences, which can be ‘a powerful vehicle in the classroom in terms of intercultural education for all learners, including those working through the medium of a second language’. Despite their potential for critical multicultural analysis, these books remain marginal in school libraries and teachers’ planning. Dolan employs the picturebook Gervelie’s Journey: A Refugee Diary (Robinson, Young & Allan) as an exemplar to demonstrate her framework ‘Respect-Understanding-Action’ for promoting critical multicultural analysis in practice.

With a view to highlighting research that can already be accessed in the fast emerging field of children’s literature and language education, in addition to these six articles, we are including a book review section in this and forthcoming issues of the CLELEjournal. This issue shares a review by Michael Prusse of Kinder- und Jugendliteratur im Fremdsprachenunterricht (O’Sullivan & Rösler, 2013).

We are delighted to announce that we have two partner journals: the first is a bilingual journal based in Croatia that publishes research on children’s literature, Libri & Liberi, Journal of Research on Children’s Literature and Culture, The second is a TEFL journal based in the UK, Humanising Language Teaching Both journals are available in an open-access electronic version, and publish several issues annually. We are glad of their interest and support.

Finally, we would like to thank our dedicated advisory board for their continued and invaluable support in providing essential peer reviews to guide the CLELEjournal contributors. The peer reviews are blind – yet metaphorically eye-opening. Many thanks also to our diligent webperson Ina Batzke and, last but not least, we wish to thank a new supporter of the CLELEjournal, whose contribution has already become indispensable – our copyeditor based in Bulgaria, Bill Templer.


The Editors

Dr Janice Bland is Visiting Professor of English Language and Literature Teaching at the University of Vechta. She researches children’s literature, language development with young learners, creative writing, drama in TESOL, visual and critical literacy, intercultural learning, ecopedagogy and global issues in literature, stories/storytelling and cognition.


Prof. Christiane Lütge holds the Chair of Teaching English as a Foreign Language at the English Department of Münster University, Germany. Her main areas of interest include literature and culture in the EFL classroom, media literacy, children’s literature in language education, teaching Shakespeare and foreign language teacher education.


Dr Sandie Mourão is a freelance teacher educator, author and educational consultant based in Portugal. Her research interests include early years language learning, picturebooks for language learning with all ages and classroom-based investigation.