Multimodal literacy: What does it mean for classroom practice

Changes to literacy pedagogy are gradually occurring in classrooms in response to contemporary communication and learning contexts. These changes are diverse as teachers and educational researchers attempt to design new pedagogy to respond to the potential of digital technologies within existing curriculum and assessment policies. This paper discusses evidence from recent classroom research where 16 teachers worked in teams in nine primary school classrooms to develop new ways of embedding technology for literacy learning. Data from the nine case studies provides evidence that teachers can combine the teaching of print-based literacy with digital communications technology across a range of curriculum areas. Findings from this research confirm that literacy needs to be redefined within current curriculum contexts, particularly in light of the emergence of a national curriculum. New descriptors of language and literacy criteria are proposed within the framework of multimodal literacy, the literacy that is needed in contemporary times for reading, viewing, responding to and producing multimodal and digital texts.

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