The Extension


We have been learning a lot about each phase of the Biliteracy Unit Framework or BUF (Beeman & Urow, 2013). Today, we will talk about the extension.

What is the extension?

The extension is the final phase of the BUF (Beeman & Urow, 2013), which occurs in the other language (i.e. If the unit was taught in Spanish, then the Extension activity should be done in English). The extension does not focus on the content, but instead on the literacy standards. Then, the students use learned literacy skills within a different context.

What kind of activities can I include in an extension?

As students progress through the extension, they move through a gradual release of responsibility. At the beginning, you should include whole group or partner activities that promote oracy development. Then, the extension should include guided practice reading and writing activities. At the end, students should move to independent reading and writing learning experiences. Examples of those activities include the following:

Interactive reading & writing
– Shared reading & writing
Collaborative reading & writing
– Rigorous text discussion
– Content journals

-Short writing assignments

Why do we need to include an extension in our units?

The extension activities provide opportunities for students to listen, speak, read, and write using authentic literacy tasks in the opposite language.

What is not an extension?

It is not…

  • Re-teaching the same content you taught during the building background stage.
  • Using the same books you read previously.
  • Giving the students worksheets in the other language.

How do you create an extension?

The image below shows an example of an extension created for a second grade unit about economy at FPGB. The unit is taught in Spanish, and the extension is done in English.



*Template adapted from Beeman, K & Urow, C (2013). Teaching for biliteracy: Strengthening bridges between languages. Philadelphia: Caslon Publishing.

We hope this post has helped you better understand the extension in a Biliteracy Unit. Please feel free to contact us or comment below if you have any questions or special requests for our next post!

Claudia & Luz

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