Teaching Multimodality in Greek Elementary School Language Arts

By Anna Fterniati.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The digital era requires new approaches to the development of literacy through multimodal media of communication. It also requires a rethinking of the ways that research data can be used in the teaching practice, so as to support the students’ efforts to enhance multimodal communication skills. From very early on, children develop a variety of cultural experiences, by dealing with texts combining words, symbols, images, movement, graphs and sound, as well as with new types of printing and digital technology (e.g. newspapers, advertisements, magazines, movies, television and radio shows, the web, etc.). The school subject of Language Arts cannot ignore these developments, if it is to meet the actual communication needs of contemporary people. In order to meet these needs, schools should implement systematically designed practices, featuring a variety of modes and media of communication for the elaboration of multimodal texts.
The present aims to investigate the degree to which Greek Language Arts textbooks attempt to develop the students’ multimodal communication skills through the elaboration of multimodal texts. More specifically, this research attempts to investigate whether the choice of texts and the activities of text comprehension-analysis and written discourse production fall under the concept of multimodality in multiliteracies. The findings indicate a great effort towards in-class elaboration of multimodal texts, in terms of both rates and different types of multimodal discourse, through varied medium site of display. However, this bears no homology with the study and use of varied modes and media, so as to provide students with sufficient means to develop multimodal experiences in Language Arts .

Keywords: Multimodality, Multimodal Texts, Multiliteracies, Language Arts Textbooks, Elementary School

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp.299-326. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.933MB).

Dr. Anna Fterniati

Lecturer, Department of Elementary Education, University of Patras, Rio, Patras, Greece

Dr. Anna Fterniati (Bachelor in Letters, D.E.A. in Linguistics, D.E.A. in Educational Psychology, PhD in Language Teaching) has been employed as a teacher in secondary education since 1987 and as a researcher at the Hellenic Pedagogical Institute of the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs between 1997-2005. In 2006 she has been elected to the position of Lecturer in the Department of Elementary Education, Division of Pedagogy, of the University of Patras. She has participated in various research projects and has published papers and books in the field of Language Education and specifically in the field of instruction and assessment of written discourse . She also has experience and publications in curriculum design and development. She has served as a member of the board of designers of the new National Curriculum for Language Arts in the Greek Primary School (2003) and was a member of the board of editors of the new teacher manuals for Language Arts for elementary education (2003-2005). She has also participated, since 1993, in initial and continuing in-service teacher training.

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