Multimodal and Digital Text in English 7-12

30 January 2020

Rosemary Henzell discusses why it is important for teachers to introduce a variety of texts (including Multi modal and digital) to their students in English in Years 7 – 12.

We have this term ‘digital natives’ that we apply to young people. We assume that they have been brought up with technology and, therefore, they are naturally masters of it. My experience often doesn’t bear that out. They actually don’t have a lot of the skills that we might assume. They do pick things up quickly. They do feel comfortable in those spaces but they still need the training and the development.

There is massive potential in multi-modality in our world in general and I think we have a responsibility as teachers to develop those skills in our students as responders and composers.

One of those things that we need to understand with multi – modality [is that] as long as at least two modes are combining to make something a whole, that is greater than the sum of its parts, we are doing multi – modal. So it doesn’t have to be technical; there can be no technology involved in multi – modality. Similarly, if you do a digital text that is all pictures, you are not really doing a multi – modal text.

Rosemary Henzell

Note for listeners: This episode was originally recorded for the JPL Podcast, hence the references to the JPL Podcast throughout.