Dealing with multiliteracies in literacy pedagogy II Focus on multimodality Ulla Lundqvist, Birgit Orluf, Uffe Ladegaard & Helle Pia Laursen This paper is the second of two interconnected papers dealing with multiliteracies in literacy pedagogy. Ten years ago the Multiliteracies Project (Cope & Kalantzis, 2000) reflected on the changing semiotic landscape of literacy teaching and learning and asked the question how these changes could be taken into account in designing literacy pedagogies. The notion of Multiliteracies combined a focus on the multiplicity of representational modes (multimodal literacies) and on the increasing linguistic diversity (multilingual literacies) in the communicational environment. The plural form of the term literacies highlighted the hybridity of literacy practices in different sites. This paper and a preceding paper address the challenge of dealing with the two ‘multi' dimensions of literacies in a Nordic educational context ten years after the introduction of the concept of multiliteracies. In this paper we especially focus on the multimodal dimension. It draws on an ongoing research study Signs of language. The overall purpose of the study is to examine the children's explorations of the written language as a meaning-making tool and to examine and develop literacy practices in multilingual classrooms. Further, it aims to contribute to a broadening and reconceptualizing of literacy pedagogy in multilingual settings. The research project is a longitudinal study (2008-2014) and involves five classes, which are followed from preschool class until sixth grade. In each class a number of focal children are picked out, and the literacy use and development of these children will receive special attention. All classes and schools are characterized by a considerable degree of linguistic diversity among the pupils and in the surrounding community. In each of the five classrooms, research assistants collaborate with teachers and other relevant pedagogical professionals in order to develop and analyze the children's literacy acquisition and forms of pedagogical practice in relation to literacy teaching in multilingual classrooms. It applies a social semiotic approach to literacy learning and teaching in multimodal and multilingual contexts (Kenner et al 2004, Hodge & Kress 1988, Kress 2001). This approach focuses on the acquisition of sign systems as a process, whereby children make meaning from the information available to them in their social environment. In this paper, we discuss the relevance of a multiliteracies approach to literacy pedagogy and present some preliminary observations and considerations from our research study with special attention to the challenge of multimodality. Among other things we are concerned with the children's multimodal constructions in relation to the materiality of the literacy artefacts in use.
Active Citizenship: Nera's 38th Congress. Abstracts, 2010, p. 194-194
multiliteracies; flersprogethed; multimodalitet; sproglig mangfoldighed; socialsemiotik; multilingualism; language diversity; social semiótics