Multimodal Instructional Practices

Authored by: Pippa Stein

Handbook of Research on New Literacies

Print publication date:  March  2008
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9780805856514
eBook ISBN: 9781410618894
Adobe ISBN: 9781136650864


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Multimodality as a field of study is concerned with how human beings use different modes of communication, like speech, writing, image, gesture, and sound, to represent or make meaning in the world. The study of multimodality within the social sciences and linguistics has been developed in different ways: in discourse analysis (Norris, 2004; Scollon & Wong Scollon, 2003), sociocultural paradigms (Lemke, 2000) and Systemic Functional Linguistics (O’Halloran, 2004). This chapter looks at the relationship between multimodality, learning, and teaching in relation to a particular theoretical perspective—multimodal social semiotics (Kress and van Leeuwen, 1996, 2001; Kress, 1997, 2003; van Leeuwen, 2005). It explores how certain key ideas from multimodal social semiotics have been taken up in educational research and applied to aspects of teaching and learning, across curriculum subjects and academic disciplines, and in formal and informal educational environments. The majority of these studies investigate multimodality in relation to literacy and literacy education.

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