Excerpt from new Language Arts article

Serafini, Frank. (2015). Multimodal Literacy: From Theories to Practices. Language Arts. 92(6),
p. 412-423.

Using the above mentioned tripartite framework as a lens for investigating the nature of the multimodal ensembles that our students are exposed to in contemporary classrooms, multimodal ensembles are conceptualized as: 1) visual objects, 2) semiotic events, and 3) cultural artifacts (see Figure 1). This reconceptualization of the nature of multimodal texts from three different perspectives provides a foundation for the instructional approaches used to expand students’ interpretive repertoires. It is through these various lenses that we can begin to move beyond the literal or denotative aspects of written text and visual images to consider the semiotic and ideological dimensions of the multimodal ensembles encountered in today’s classrooms.

Three Perspectives on Multimodal Ensembles
Multimodal Ensembles
Instructional Approaches

Perceptual Analytical Perspective

Multimodal Ensemble as Visual Object
Noticing and Naming Visual Elements
Creating Perceptual Inventories
Attending to Peritextual Elements
Considering Basic Art Elements
Considering Design

Analytical Perspective

Multimodal Ensemble as Semiotic Event
Considering Visual Grammars
Ideational, Compositional, and Interpersonal Metafunctions
Vectors, Actors and Objects
Composition and Spatial Relations

Analytical Perspective

Multimodal Ensemble as Cultural Artifact
Considering Sites of Production
Considering Sites of Reception
Critical Lens: Gender
Critical Lens: Race
Critical Lens: Power


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