Literacy education primarily has been ruled by written language, which as a result has pushed the teaching of visual images and multimodal elements to the outskirts of the literacy curriculum. In today’s world it seems as though texts that focus primarily on written language are scarce in comparison to multimodal texts that include visual images and a variety of other design features. This is due to the rapid development in technology, which has impacted the way in which people communicate. Nowadays students are confronted with these sorts of texts more so than ever, which means that “continuing to view the world through linguistic and print-based sensibilities limits one’s experiences and narrows the forms of expression and interpretation…
The only difference is, is the boundaries of what text is.
Literacy involves a range or practises that are shaped by culture, society, and situation, the language mode, the roles and relationships of the participants, and the sources of knowledge brought to, or gained from, the interaction with texts within a given context.
An extension of visual literacy to include media literacy, that is an understanding of how media (including images) works to create meaning, provides a foundation for potential analysis. Markowitz (1998) suggests that there are three key components to media literacy which are:
1. Media Content Literacy – The capacity to understand what the communication is saying
2. Media Grammar Literacy – How the media is presented and the way it is made
3. Medium Literacy – How the mode of the media influences what it is trying to say.
From this foundation Buckingham (2003) expands upon Markowitz’s base study by presenting four components to base the analysis of media product on:
1. Production – an understanding that the media is constructed with…
Multimodal texts by definition show information across a variety of modes. Serafini describes a mode as “a system of visual and verbal entities created within or across a various cultures to represent and express meaning (Serafini, 12). Modes can come in a variety of different forms including photography, music, sculptures and written language to name but a few. Each mode has a different potential for expressing and communicating meaning, and was made to express meaning within a culture. Different modes express different meanings in different ways. Each mode offers a unique way for expressing and communicating meaning, and was created to express that meaning within a culture. Therefore, a multimodal text is made up of more than one mode. They are used to convey a message or communicate information to the audience. A multimodal text is complex, utilizing a variety of cultural and semiotic resources to communicate these concepts and information. The texts that students encounter nowadays are shifting primarily from print-based to digital-based, which means there are more possible modes that can be accounted for such as sound effects, moving images, and other digitally rendered…