Teaching Visual Grammar and Social Issues in an English Language Course: An Example Using Multimodal Texts on Immigrant Minors from a Spanish Newspaper MARÍA MARTÍNEZ LIROLA 195
MARÍA MARTÍNEZ LIROLA Teaching Visual Grammar and Social Issues in an English Language Course: An Example Using Multimodal Texts on Immigrant Minors from a Spanish Newspaper 1. Introduction We live in a multimodal society in which visual texts are part of our daily lives. This makes it necessary that these kinds of texts become part of the teaching-learning process, which involves changes in communication and in the definition of literacy. Multimodal texts have been used in teaching practices intuitively for a long time. Knox (2008) states that: Multimodal perspectives on language and language education have only recently appeared in the literature on L2 teaching and learning. A brief consideration of the classroom practices of teachers and students shows very quickly, though, that multimodality is something that language teachers have understood intui- tively for a long time. (Knox 2008: 140) The theory of multimodality has developed through the work of Kress and van Leeuwen (2001, 2006), and other authors, like Baldry and Thibault (2006), Jewitt (2009), and Royce and Bowcher (2007) have contributed to our understanding of how different ways of communi- cation create meanings through language, image, graphs, sounds, gestures, etc. According to Kress (2010), Each mode does a specific thing: image shows what takes too long to read, and writing names what would be difficult to show. Colour is used to highlight specific aspects of the overall message. Without that division of semiotic labour, the sign, 196 María Martínez Lirola quite simply, would not work....
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