Critical Multimodal Literacy in Classroom Practice: Comics as Mediating Tools for the Interpretation and Construction of Cross-modal Representations of Social Reality

By Efi Papadimitriou, Maria Emmanouilidou and Artemis Katsiaflaka.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: October 7, 2015 $US5.00

In the present study we attempt, through the design and implementation of a teaching intervention, to investigate the ways in which the acquisition of an image-text relations metalanguage may contribute to the development of critical multimodal literacy skills to primary education students for the negotiation and construction of intermodal resources of meaning aiming at questioning and transforming their ideological and cultural content. The materials used in the study consisted of picture books, comic books, as well as the comics produced by students during the teaching intervention. The qualitative analysis of the students' comics shows that students have become aware both of the ways in which the various semiotic modes are interlinked to construct meanings which highlight or suppress particular aspects of the social world and of the ways in which intra- and inter-semiotic complementarity is manifested. This entails the development of a metalanguage that facilitates the meta-textual awareness of the image/text relations. These findings highlight the need for reframing the monomodal character of communication, as this is realized through the suggestions of the curriculum for the teaching of literacy, a fact which necessitates the renegotiation of considerations related to meaning-making processes in the light of the multimodal literacy pedagogy.

Keywords: Critical Multimodal/Visual Literacy, Comics,, Meta-textual Awarennes of Image/Text Relations

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 22, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.27-43. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: October 7, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 870.485KB)).

Efi Papadimitriou

Assistant Professor, Department of Primary Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Maria Emmanouilidou

PhD Student, Department of Primary Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

Artemis Katsiaflaka

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece