Multimodal Translational Research: Teaching Visual Texts


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Image from by McmScience Mediterranean Center of Medical Sciences

The emerging field of multimodal research has yielded rich insights on the complex meanings in multimodal texts. There have also been many analytical frameworks and tools developed to understand the multisemiotic phenomena.

This presentation describes the translational research efforts made to apply the theories and understanding developed in academia to inform teaching and learning in the K-12 setting. Specifically, it describes the journey to develop instructional strategies for teaching visual texts in the Singapore Secondary School context that is informed by research in multimodality and Systemic Functional Theory.

Drawing the multimodal discourse frameworks developed by O’Toole (1994/2010), Kress & van Leeuwen (1996/2006), and later extended by Lim-Fei & O’Halloran (2012) and Tan, Marissa and O’Halloran et al (2010), we develop an approach to the teaching of visual texts pitched at secondary school students in Singapore. This presentation describes the translational efforts in developing the instructional strategies for the teaching of multimodal texts (in this case, print advertisements). A mixed-method research method is applied in studying the usefulness of the systemic approach in a Secondary School.

The systemic approach scaffolds the understanding of the multimodal texts through explicating the system choices which realises the Ideational, Interpersonal and Textual metafunctions. It supports students to cite textual evidences for their interpretation of the text and develop students’ critical reasoning faculty and discourse analysis skills as they are able to explain the choices made in the text and present an argument for their interpretation.

BREMEN CONFERENCES ON MULTIMODALITY Combining Multimodal Analysis from International Perspectives





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