Greek Students’ Familiarity with Multimodal Texts in EFL

By Polyxeni Manoli and Maria Papadopoulou.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study investigates Greek-speaking, elementary students’ familiarity with multimodal texts in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and compares students’ ability to retrieve information from multimodal texts before and after a small-scale teaching intervention. We constructed an informal reading comprehension test, which incorporated a multimodal text, that we administered to twenty-three sixth grade students in the provincial city of Trikala, Greece, during the students’ EFL lessons. The reading comprehension test was used to explore students’ performance both before and after the intervention. We assumed that students’ performance would be lower before their exposure to the intervention because of their unfamiliarity with the specific types of texts during their courses. Our initial premise was verified by the results of this study—students received lower test scores before the intervention compared to their scores after the intervention. While some multimodal texts appear in the students’ course books, the results indicate that Greek elementary students are not used to working on multimodal texts in EFL. The pedagogical implications that emerge from this study are further discussed in this paper, and the need for further research to substantiate these specific findings is highlighted.

Keywords: Multimodality, Reading in EFL, Reading Strategies

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp.37-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 235.612KB).

Dr Polyxeni Manoli

PhD Candidate, Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

Polyxeni Manoli has graduated from the School of English Language and Literature of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics with state scholarship at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. At the moment, she is a PhD candidate at the department of Early Childhood Education of the University of Thessaly. The dissertation has been co-financed by the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF)-Research Funding Program: Heracleitus II. Investing in knowledge society through the European Social Fund. She has participated in seminars and conferences regarding theories and approaches to second language learning and teaching. She has published in Hellenic and International conferences as well as journals. She has taught the English language in Greek primary and secondary Education. Her research interests focus on English language learning and teaching, reading in EFL, reading strategies, strategy instruction and multimodality in EFL.

Dr. Maria Papadopoulou

Associate Professor, Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

Maria Papadopoulou is Associate Professor in Linguistics and Literacy, Head of the Laboratory for ‘Language and Culture’ in the University of Thessaly and Head of the Department of Early Childhood Education. She has served as researcher for European Programs on Literacy and Language Teaching and as a second language teacher in Greek secondary Education. As member of several teams, she developed curriculum and educational material (textbooks and software) for mother tongue and second/foreign languages learning. Her current research interests focus on multimodal texts analysis, production and evaluation of teaching material for literacy, language curriculum and syllabus design, second language learning and children’s perception of verbal and visual texts.