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How to Boost Fluency and Vocabulary in a Spanish-and-English Speaking Classroom

How to Boost Fluency and Vocabulary in a Spanish-and-English Speaking Classroom

Navigating a multilingual classroom offers a unique set of challenges, but with the right strategies, educators can foster an environment that enhances fluency and expands vocabulary across multiple languages, such as English and Spanish. Here are 5 effective ways to achieve these goals.

5 Strategies For Boosting Spanish-and-English Fluency and Vocabulary  

1. Use of Enlarged, Engaging Texts in Spanish and English  

Create an immersive environment where students are exposed to English and Spanish regularly. One powerful way to really immerse students into language is through shared reading. What makes shared reading extremely powerful is the ability to see the text during a shared, supportive whole-group reading. During shared reading, activities such as choral reading, readers’ theatre, turn-and-talk, and whole-group discussion can be enjoyed and aid in increasing vocabulary and fluency. 

Download Free Spanish and English  Books and Lessons

Learn More about Shared Reading

2. Multilingual Reading Corner

Dedicate a space in your classroom to a diverse collection of books in English and Spanish. Encourage students to explore reading in both languages. Having the ability to choose from a variety of independent reading books not only supports language development but also helps to instill a love for reading.  

3. Language Partners

Create student partnerships within the classroom. Pair students who have different native languages, encouraging them to communicate in both languages during collaborative projects or discussions. This mutual exchange accelerates language learning and builds a supportive learning community.

4. Audio Books with Print Visibility

Audio books, such as in Shared Reading, are a great way for students to get more exposure to multiple languages. What makes this process even more effective is having the physical or digital book visible so they can read the text along with the audio. This practice is extremely beneficial for building fluency and vocabulary.

Download Free Spanish and English  Books and Lessons

5. Storytelling and Creative Writing

Integrate writing-about-reading, storytelling, and creative writing exercises that encourage students to express themselves in multiple languages. This practice not only enhances language fluency but also allows for a deeper exploration of vocabulary within various contexts.


By implementing these strategies, educators can create a dynamic and effective learning environment that promotes fluency and enriches vocabulary in a multilingual classroom. Consistent exposure, enlarged, engaging texts, interactive activities, and purposeful writing contribute to the holistic development of language skills across diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Topics: Digital Reading, English Learners, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom™, Gay Su Pinnell, Literacy Instruction, Reading, Reading Instruction, Skills, Books, Classroom Environment, Collaboration, Creative Writing, Fluency, Irene Fountas, Language, Language in the Classroom, Learning Communities, Learning from Classmates, Literacy, Primary Grades, Shared Reading, Student Texts, Vocabulary Knowledge, Classroom Libraries, Audiobooks, Spanish

Date Published: 02/23/24

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