multimodal multiliteracy

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  • 1. Multiliteracies Complex Simplicity By Sheri Leeder EDUC 5436 October 11, 2013

2. From Literacy to Multiliteracies Singular literacy implies an autonomous skill set but has been pluralized as multiliteracies to allow for the consideration of historical, social and cultural differences.Multiliteracies go beyond standard writing and speaking to include nonlinguistic representations and ways of communicating that include, but are not limited to the use of technology. (adapted from Jewitt, 2008)While it may appear that this pluralization necessitates major changes for todays teachers, slight changes to traditional teaching combined with a genuine interest in the students interests and abilities may be all that are needed to embrace a multiliteracies approach. 3. Communication and Literacies Whether you consider communication from a behaviourist, cognitive or humanistic perspective, learning to communicate comes naturally.Even the earliest cries and coos of a new born baby carry meaning.Becoming literate, on the other hand, has traditionally been understood as the ability to read and write. While some societies such as Yoruba in South Africa, never did embrace such a narrow view (Thompson, p. 12), todays technological developments are helping us see that even reading and writing are not isolated skills.Communication, on paper, on screen, or by any medium, may actually be far more complex than we realize. 4. Teaching New Literacies In order for students to internalize new learning (through overt instruction) teachings must, at least in part, be connected to something a student already knows about (situated practice).One of the key elements of a multiliteracies approach is that students are able to realize new abilities and freedoms through a critical framing perspective. 5. The Multiliterate Learner As complex beings with emotional, physical, spiritual, and intellectual needs and strengths, the need to balance a variety of strategies and techniques is essential.What is required is,a comprehensive approach[that] acknowledges the importance of both forms (phonemic awareness, phonics, mechanics, etc.) and function (comprehension, purpose, meaning) of the literacy processes and recognizes that learning occurs most effectively in a whole-partwhole context. (Morrow & Dougherty, 2007, p. 9) 6. All Kinds of Minds To help teachers better understand the complexities of each learner, Mel Levine, author of A Mind at a Time, has identified over 70 different areas in which students can display strengths or weaknesses: Attention Control (which consists of 17 subskills) Memory System (which consists of 3 subskills) Language System (which consists of 6 subskills) Motor System (which consists of 5 subskills) Higher Thinking System (which consists of 26 subskills) Sequential and Spacial Ordering Systems (which consists of 5 subskills) Social Thinking System (which consists of 10 subskills). 7. The Learning System Combining Levines approach with current research, an examination of various learning therapy programs, and my own experiences as a resource teacher, I have created my own interpretation of the learning system.The map I have created is my artifact. Each area of learning, I think, is intricately involved in literacy development, especially in light of the pluralization of literacy toward a multiliteracies approach.Feel free to explore the different branches of the map, and then click the star in the lower right corner to continue the presentation. 8. * Click on the small stars to learn how each component relates to literacy and the new multiliteracies approach.*When you are finished exploring these links, click this star to continue the presentation: 9. Seeing Vision is one way we perceive input. Skills such as visual acuity, visual tracking and visual discrimination can all impact a students literacy development.In terms of multiliteracies, teachers must be cognisant of the need for students to be able to visually navigate and take in the elements of visual modes of communication. For example, [t]he structure of many digital texts opens up options about where to start reading a textwhat reading path to take (Jewitt, 2008, p. 259).Back to Map 10. Hearing Auditory acuity and perception is one way receive input. Not being able to hear instructions or distinguish between sounds in a word can have a tremendous impact on ones literacy development.With respect to multiliteracies in particular, even everyday speech is, intrinsically multimodal. Spoken language is closely associated with the audio mode in the use of intonation, inflection, pitch, tempo and pause (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009, p. 179).Back to Map 11. Smell/Taste Despite ongoing neuropsychological research into the relationship between our olfactory senses and learning (Verbeek, van Campen & Cretien, 2013), I dont think smell and taste have received much attention as of yet in the field of education.Back to Map 12. Touch/Feel In order to benefit from the spacial, gestural and tactile modalities of learning students must be able to receive the appropriate proprioceptive and vestibular inputs (awareness of their position, orientation, movement and balance).Back to Map 13. Short term Memory In order to be able to manipulate or think about something, the mind must be able to hold onto what is being perceived long enough to make any sense of it. Otherwise our perceptions are, as the expression goes, going in one ear and out the other.Any mode of communication requires being able to remember what you would like to communicate or what someone else is sharing/has communicated during an exchange.Back to Map 14. Visual Memory One reason the multimodal approach to literacy is essential is because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. For some students, being able to engage with a visual representation may make learning and/or literacy development easier.From a multiliteracies perspective, the expression, a picture is worth a thousand words, has never rung so true.Back to Map 15. Kinesthetic Memory One reason the multimodal literacies approach is essential is because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. From basic kinesthetic learning styles to concentrated Brain Gym activities, movement has long been associated with greater brain activity and enhanced memory ability. (Kaplan et al., 2012)From a multiliteracies perspective, movements such as gestures and body language are important modes of communicating.Back to Map 16. Auditory Memory One reason multimodality is essential is because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. For some students, being able to sequentially and spatially grasp sounds can provide greater opportunities for receiving and responding to audio representations of meaning.Jewitt references van Leeuwens (1999) work on the materiality of the resources of sound (e.g., pitch, volume, breathing, rhythm, and so on) in explaining new potentials within multiliteracies (Jewitt, p. 246).Back to Map 17. Working Memory Working memory, as Levine explains, is the ability to, retain the beginning of an explanation while listening to the rest of it[and] hold multiple immediate plans and intentions (2002, p. 100).Research continues to show, high working memory capacity students are very good at acquiring, processing and integrating all types of new information before moving it to storage (Learning Disabilities Association of Minnesota 2007) and are thus very capable learners (Kyndt, Cascallar & Dochy, 2011, p. 293)Back to Map 18. Long term Memory In order to engage in the creating and reconsidering of ideas, long term memory is essential. In order to construct, deconstruct and reconstruct meaning within multiliteracies, learners need to be able to efficiently and effectively file and retrieve layers of ideas, experiences and ways of thinking.Back to Map 19. Manipulating Ideas and Thoughts Put simply, this is our thinking ability.Some people prefer making sense of things in a linear way while others engage in more divergent or dynamic ways, all of which involve an ability to make sense of things through our own individual experiences.Consequently, any given mode is contingent on fluid and dynamic resources of meaning (Jewitt, 2008, p. 247).Back to Map 20. Linear Thinking Linear thinking is similar to what Mel Levine calls, rule-guided thinking (Jewitt, 2008, p. 207). This type of thinking is typically taught through overt instruction. It includes being able to do things like multiplication or long division.The idea of checking your thinking can be interpreted as a type of a linear critical thinking step in which the learner checks their answer against the rule or pattern that they have learned.The false concept of common sense is also included in this area of thinking. Unfortunately, when an idea or thought is checked against ones social and cultural experiences, a common sense exists only among those within your social or cultural community making the inclusion of a more global perspective key to the multiliteracies approach. Back to Map 21. DynamicThinking This area of the learning and/or literacy process could be considered conceptualizing.The great question: Where do our thoughts come from?Dynamic thinking is very much realized within multiliteracies in several ways. For one, following hyperlinks and creating our own paths of thought are a materialization of our dynamic thinking.Back to Map 22. Experience: Funds of Knowledge The thinking process is unequivocately linked to our experiences.Regardless of the nature versus nurture debate, a learners funds of knowledge makes a tremendous impact within multiliteracies.The ways in which people use language and make sense is inextricably linked to the beliefs and values of particular communities and the sense of self (Jewitt, 2008, p. 260).Back to Map 23. Selecting Meanings In the process of thinking, I believe studen

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