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Title: New Literacies and the English Curriculum: Multimodal Perspectives
Contributor(s): Unsworth, Len  (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: The advent of computer-based information and communication technologies and their rapid on-going evolution has emphasized the need for recognition at all levels of education of the complete interconnectedness of literacy pedagogy and the English curriculum. New Literacies do not simply make it possible to communicate meanings in new ways, they make it possible to make new kinds of meanings. So the impact of New Literacies cannot be considered merely as some new kind of utility for mediating the English curriculum. They have been recognized as fundamentally changing what have traditionally been considered core elements of the English curriculum such as the study of established and contemporary literature. It has been pointed out that ... Electronic media are not simply changing the way we tell stories: they are changing the very nature of story, of what we understand (or do not understand) to be narratives.(Hunt, 2000, p. 111) And that ... there needs to be an acknowledgement that textual practices surrounding literary texts are being affected by ICTs and that ICT-based technologies of production are impacting on the character of literary texts themselves (including the production of new forms). (Locke & Andrews, 2004, p.142) A major dimension of these changes is the increasingly multimodal nature of texts, particularly the increasingly routine inclusion of images. English teaching then needs to be concerned with the xvi Preface ways in which the meaning-making options of text are expanded due to their multimodality. The social semiotic nature of multimodal texts has been a growing area of research among scholars working in the tradition of systemic functional linguistics, now more broadly conceptualized as systemic functional semiotics. And a key feature of this research tradition and its ongoing practice is its close working relationship with literacy education researchers and with the teaching profession (Christie & Unsworth, 2005). The research communicated in this book reflects that relationship. This book derives from research papers presented at the National Conference of the Australian Systemic Functional Linguistics Association, Multimodal Texts & Multiliteracies: Semiotic Theory & Practical Pedagogy, conducted with the Australian Literacy Educators Association at the University of New England, in Armidale, Australia in September 2006. The contributors are in the main established scholars in education, linguistics and functional social semiotics, with some emerging researchers also reporting on their work. The research is contextualized within the range of practical issues concerning New Literacies and the English Curriculum from the early years of schooling to matriculation. The first chapter outlines the broad conceptual framework for the book and indicates the role of the subsequent chapters. These deal with multimodal materials for early literacy pedagogy, multimodal semiotics and the changing nature of picture books for children, multimodal authoring and digital narrative in the middle years of schooling, issues in senior secondary school English teaching and the need for rethinking assessment in the English curriculum at all levels of schooling. I would like to thank all of the contributors for their generosity and patience in helping to achieve the coherence in the book as a whole and for their willingness to publish their research in this volume. The support of Continuum Publishers has been outstanding in bringing this work to publication. I should also like to thank the University of New England for its sponsorship of the conference and ongoing support for the project, and particular thanks are due to Tamar Doff for her editorial assistance.
Publication Type: Book
Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
Place of Publication: London, Great Britain
ISBN: 9780826499455
Field of Research (FOR): 130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development
HERDC Category Description: A3 Book - Edited
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Extent of Pages: 369
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Appears in Collections:Book
School of Education

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