Multimodal literacy is an emerging area of importance in the literacy curriculum as everyday communication practices are increasingly shaped by information and multimedia technologies.
It is no longer possible to think about literacy solely as a linguistic accomplishment (Jewitt, 2008, p. 241). Students now need to be able to comprehend, respond to, and compose multimodal texts in diverse forms, where meaning is communicated through dynamic combinations of two or more modes.
The common modes used in our culture to convey meaning are: spoken language, written language, visual (still and moving-images), audio, gestural, and spatial modes (Cope and Kalantzis, 2009; New London Group, 2000). Each mode offers different possibilities for how meaning can be created and understood.
Multimodal texts can be paper-based, live, or digital. However, the capabilities of contemporary digital technologies make it possible for many different modes to ‘be configured, be circulated, and get recycled in different ways’ (Jewitt, 2009, p.1) in diverse text forms.
EAL/D learners are able to create multimodal texts in one, two or multiple languages. For more information, see:
Multilingual multimodal texts and EAL/D students