School and Immigration: Welcoming Literature


  • Teresa Colomer Martínez Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


This article outlines the advantages of using literature to aid the transition into the host country for newly arrived children and to help establish a bridge between their identities and their reading skills, communicative capacities and the demands of school. Criteria are offered on the best books to be shared with classmates that will help them join in with the school work while shared intercultural education. The article discusses activities that are especially suitable in the classroom, such as ones based on orality and interpretation of narratives, supported by strong visual components. It highlights teacher-guided group discussions as a means of scaffolding linguistic and interpretative skills for beginners as well as for the literacy education of all the students in the classroom.



Children & youth literature, literacy, immigration

Author Biography

Teresa Colomer Martínez, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Teresa Colomer Martínez is professor at the Department of the Didactics of the Language, Literature and Social Sciences at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She directs the GRETEL research group, which studies the relationship between reading, contemporary books for children and youth, and literacy learning in compulsory education. She has a B.A. in Spanish and Catalan Philology and a PhD in Educational Sciences. Professor Colomer is the author of approximately 200 publications concerning these themes. Dr. Colomer is currently directing the international M.A. on Books and Literature for Children and Youngsters (organised by the UAB, the Banco del Libro from Venezuela, and the Germán Sánchez Ruipérez and Santa María foundations), as well as the official interuniversity M.A. on School Library and Reading Promotion (UAB-UB). She has promoted pioneering initiatives in Spain such as the first network of university research on children’s literature in Spain (1999-2006), for which she has received several awards. She is a member of numerous councils for educational magazines and holds various courses and conferences on teacher training both in Spain and abroad, particularly in Latin America.




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