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English Teaching and New Literacies Pedagogy

Interpreting and Authoring Digital Multimedia Narratives


Edited By Len Unsworth and Angela Thomas

English Teaching and New Literacies Pedagogy: Interpreting and Authoring Digital Multimedia Narratives is about the fusion of media and narrative, and explores theoretical and practical dimensions of young people’s engagement with contemporary forms of text. It showcases a range of critical interpretative approaches for integrating multimedia narratives into English teaching contexts, including animated films such as Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing, digital novels such as Inanimate Alice and 5 Haitis, and a virtual treatment of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. English teachers across grade levels will recognize the valuing of literature and will appreciate the practical pedagogy and fostering of creativity as students are encouraged to explore new forms of narrative. In the context of developing expertise in knowing how multimodal texts work, students can apply that knowledge in their own authoring of digital multimedia narratives.
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Chapter 1: Toward a Metalanguage for Multimedia Narrative Interpretation and Authoring Pedagogy: A National Curriculum Perspective from Australia



A National Curriculum Perspective from Australia

In the current and evolving digital multimedia communication age a fundamental challenge for the English curriculum, and for teachers, is to embrace, as a pedagogic priority, the development of students’ understanding of new forms of multimodal grammar. Developing students’ explicit understanding of how meanings are made within distinct semiotic systems such as language, image, movement, music and sound, as well as their understanding of how these resources are articulated in making complex meanings in multimodal texts, is a crucial aspect of a socially responsible English curriculum and pedagogy concerned with equity and effectiveness in preparing students for the constantly changing communication contexts they are living in. This metasemiotic understanding of multiple, integrated, meaning-making resources is fundamental to effective new literacies pedagogies. What we are concerned with here goes beyond simply using or comprehending language (and/or images and other semiotic resources) effectively. It concerns building students’ conscious awareness of why particular linguistic or visual semiotic choices are effective in different contexts through developing their knowledge of the systems of meaning-making options within language or images or other semiotics. This metasemiotic understanding requires a metalanguage that describes how linguistic forms and visual features of images and aspects ← 1 | 2 → of other semiotic systems relate to meaning, both within and across the different semiotics in multimodal texts (New London Group, 1996, 2000). The chapter seeks to further promote the development of an intermodal metalanguage, such as that proposed by...

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