Multimodality, literacy and school English

Authored by: Carey Jewitt , Gunther Kress

The Routledge International Handbook of English, Language and Literacy Teaching

Print publication date:  February  2010
Online publication date:  February  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415469036
eBook ISBN: 9780203863091
Adobe ISBN: 9781135183141


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The approach to multimodality taken here derives from the linguistic and semiotic work of Michael Halliday, which sees language as the product of the constant shaping in its use by people realizing their social purposes (Halliday, 1978; Hodge and Kress, 1988). Social semiotics has built on the semiotic aspects of Halliday’s theory and extended them to a range of ‘resources for representation’ and their uses in communication. It views them as socially organized sets of resources that contribute to the construction of meaning. This brings the modes of image, sound, dynamic representation, gesture, gaze, body posture, spatial orientation and movement into the analytical domain for a discussion of English (for a fuller discussion see Kress, 1996, 2009; Kress and van Leeuwen, 2001; Norris, 2004; Jewitt, 2008, 2009).

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