Creating Multimodal Texts for Language Learning Purposes

Creating Multimodal Texts for Language Learning Purposes

Elżbieta Gajek (University of Warsaw, Poland)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5796-8.ch011

Abstract

The idea of creating short educational video clips oriented on the language, culture, or communication is well grounded in language learning pedagogy. They support comprehension and language skills of the students, intercultural competence, and digital skill. They change repetitive tasks such as rehearsal or rote learning into attractive and motivating activities well embedded in situated learning procedures making learning more personal. The study aims at analysis of the content of over 280 video clips made by pre-service language teachers between 2008-2014. The clips are intended for a variety of educational purposes (e.g., introducing new language, illustrating usage, enhancing practice, documenting performance, and assessment). Students used subtitles, intertitles, and narrative revoicing a story. They produced various genres. The results show that student teachers are able to produce multimodal texts to enhance various stages of learning and teaching processes (presentation, practice, and assessment) while developing six out of eight lifelong learning competences.
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Background

The idea of using various senses for learning and teaching appeared in Comenius’ Didactica Magna in 1657. Since then it has been discussed and applied in many pedagogical approaches. Recently two terms have emerged that is multimodal and multisensory teaching and learning. Both approaches refer to using more than one sense to enhance learning. In teaching languages usually the senses of sight and hearing (vision and auditory) are mainly used. However, other senses such as touch (tactile), smell (olfactory), taste (gustation), and movement (kinetic) can be also used. In this chapter multimodality related to two senses will be exploited that is sight and hearing as means of language acquisition with the use of home-made video materials.

On the one hand, the modern concept of multimodality helps to explain the role of texts, images, and spatial resources for the composition of messages (Murray, 2013). Multimodal messages convey meaning which is accessible to various recipients as mass media contribute to unification of the content and its grammar (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2006). Understanding the semiotic structure of the picture is essential for its use as language learning material. This is a shared area of multimodal linguistics research (Kress & van Leeuwen, 1996; Bateman, 2008) and educational research (Kalantzis & Cope, 2002; Bateman, 2008). What is more, multimodal resources represent the social and cultural values of societies (Kress, 2010). Bezemer and Kress (2008) claim that students understand texts in a different way if they are presented not only in alphanumeric format but also accompanied by sound and image. This explains the role of videos as multimodal texts in teaching languages.

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