Document Type


Publication Date



Studying art from the target culture and student creation of original artwork in the second language (L2) classroom have many benefits. Both provide a springboard for discussion of the culture(s) under study as well as one's own. These activities also positively change the classroom atmosphere, generating student curiosity and lowering the affective filter to language learning. Surprising as it may seem, little has been published about the visual arts and second language acquisition (SLA). This article surveys this limited research, briefly describes how brain research and language learning theories interact with art, ans presents the authors' observations of student response to art projects in college-level Spanish and French classes. Finally, it provides practical steps for the classroom, showing how works of art from the target culture as well as student-created pieces can be used to develop the four skills at all levels.


Originally published in Foreign Language Annals 38(2), 271-277.