“Should you read this text?” Young students negotiating meaning from digitally mediated multimodal texts

Start: Oct 17,   2018 17:00 PM
End:  Oct 17,   2018 18:30 PM

Location: Room 803,UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL

This seminar focuses on eight-year-old students’ meaning making, as they engage with digital multimodal instructional texts -comprising video, image and writing- created by their fellow students within the subject of Swedish in primary schools in Sweden. Drawing data from the Wallenberg Foundation funded project ‘Digital Arenas in Literacy Practices in Early Primary School’, Dr Sofkova Hashemi attends to the semiotic choices students make when designing and using texts which instruct others how to make handicrafts, bake a cake or play a game.

Using multimodal social semiotic perspectives, the seminar presents video data featuring a pair of students interacting with a digital instructional text about making a hand puppet out of gloves. Drawing on multiliteracies and the grammar of visual design, Dr Sofkova Hashemi analyses the design of the digital text, and the actions, talk and meaning making strategies of the students as they direct their attention to particular features of the text. The study demonstrates the complexity of reading digitally mediated multimodal texts, as the blend of semiotic resources involved and the teachers’ mediating role afford the students a range of possibilities for meaning making. The findings foreground the need for a holistic approach to literacy teaching that involves an understanding of the multimodal design and hybridity of texts as well as the semiotics of technology.

About the speakers

Dr Sylvana Sofkova Hashemi is Associate Professor in Educational Science at University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Her recent research is on technology-mediated literacy practices and multimodal social semiotic approaches to teaching and learning.


The Visual and Multimodal Research Forum is a research hub for academic discussion on multimodality run by the UCL Centre for Multimodal Research. For information about future events visit: https://multimodalforum.wordpress.com/  For any enquiries, please contact sophia.diamantopoulou@ucl.ac.uk







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