Multiliteracies in ELA Classrooms

Entries Tagged as 'multiliteracies'

Performance Poetry

July 20th, 2014 · 2 Comments

“You will write if you will write without thinking of the result in terms of a result, but think of the writing in terms of discovery, which is to say that creation must take place between the pen and the paper, not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting…It will come if it is there and if you will let it come.” Gertrude Stein

My second multimedia project for this course focuses on the process of poetic composition. I used Quicktime to screen capture my creative process as I wrote. When I showed this performance to my class they suggested that the poem might do well to be scored. I instantly thought of Mozetich’s “Postcards From the Sky” (look it up). So, as for my piece–watch it and consider having your ELA classroom experiment with their own performance poems. Don’t worry about a “rubric”. This is a process, remember? It’s all about feedback. Have a conversation about it. Have 3.

My performance can be seen here.

Incidentally, here is the process of an 8 year old in action writing about Minecraft and then drawing a picture inspired by her poem:

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

Tags: gaming · Media Project II · multiliteracies · Visual Literacy

An Education for Instability

July 16th, 2014 · 4 Comments

In his article “A Curriculum for the Future”, Gunther Kress writes that a radical shift in thinking and curriculum in ELA classrooms is due to occur in response to the different needs of the contemporary adult in 21st century society. He states that the world has changed so much that the 19th century model of education is just not applicable anymore. Kress calls for a shift in curriculum from an education for stability to one for instability:

“Associated with this are the new media of communication and, in particular, a shift (parallelling all those already discussed) from the era of mass communication to the era of individuated communication, a shift from unidirectional communication, from a powerful source at the centre to the mass, to multidirectional communication from many directions/locations, a shift from the ‘passive audience’ (however ideological that notion had always been) to the interactive audience. All these have direct and profound consequences on the plausible and the necessary forms of education for now and for the near future.” (138)

The notion of a multi-directional communication and a shift to an interactive audience is what stands out for me in Kress’ assertion. As such, I have designed an activity for use in an ELA classroom that allows students to be creators and participators in such a communication. Using a variety of online tools, students are able to work collaboratively to create a co-authored product. The product can be inspired by whatever you are currently studying in your class—it could have a thematic or topical connection to a literary text, or it could simply be a pre-writing exercise begun with a prompt. The only stipulation is that the activity be carried out in silence thus disturbing the notion of passivity and activity, telecommunication and proximity, and the product of the individual vs. that of the group. So far in this class we have explored the following topics:

• modes of representation in ELA classroom/21st century literacy
• visual literacy and rhetoric
• media literacy
• social media and the notion of participation
• new literary forms/e-literature
• computer mediated communication
• gaming

I also designed this activity to address pieces of all of the things we have discussed thus far in regards to these topics.

In a group setting, students will work in silence to participate in a back channel conversation while they co-author a textual document with a particular purpose. This purpose may be nebulous or fixed. The backchannel application I use is Today’s Meet and the document will be created in Google docs. Each student will be invited to share the document and simultaneous editing will be possible. Google docs also has a “chat” capability which may or may not be used. I will begin the class by explaining the task and the “rules” as well as work with the students to determine the loose direction of the task. Once we have a sort of trajectory, we will begin and allow the interaction to take us where we will. The backchannel and the doc will be projected on the screen for all to witness (though it occurs to me that maybe just the backchannel might be appropriate). After the time is up, we will take the product (the created text) and render it in a text visualization tool. A teacher could then take this one step further and have the students create a found poem from the word cloud that serves as their reflection on the task.

After I execute this today, I will post the products as an exemplar.

Works Cited:

Kress, G. (2000). A curriculum for the future. Cambridge Journal of Education, 30(1), 133-145.

The Products:


Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 3.45.43 PM

The Today’s Meet chat transcript was lost to the ether but, interestingly, the group chose to communicate via in-doc Google chat instead.

Tags: computer-mediated communication · e-literature · Lesson Plans · multiliteracies · Presentation · Seminar Prompts · Social Media · Visual Literacy · Weblog Activities

A Curriculum for the Future

July 15th, 2014 · No Comments

I find just as I am finishing my E-Portfolio I am finalizing my concepts on what I should include in my teaching philosophy. I found this article particularly appealing as it comments on that the “new arrangements seem to need to demand an education for a period of fluidity, of instability” (138). I find my own beliefs in teaching English are grounded in my hope that future citizens learn not necessarily thematic investigations into texts, but instead the ability to this logically and creatively on their own. The world is only constant in that it is continually changing and students need to be able to think flexibly. The ways students interact with each other is changing seemingly by the month, “in new communicational webs” (143).

A part of our own understanding of how our students communicate is rooted in the realization that they will always be finding new means. It is near impossible for us as teachers to stay ahead of the curve of our student’s technologies. Instead, I see it as imperative that students learn how to adapt to any textual resources that they come into contact with. Kress articulates a difference of exposure results between two siblings and how their perceptions of the media can be so different (143). I find this to be a perfect example of how different even two of our students can be from each other. It is not important then for us to be “hip”, using Instagram, Snapchat or Tumblr to try and keep up with our students, but to instead present to them a variety of literacies and allow them to adapt them to their needs. Honestly I can’t imagine myself in my 50’s caring about what the new fads and technologies are. What will be necessary at whatever time will be an ability to teach students to understand materials presented to them and to clearly articulate and defend their ideas.

Kress goes into detail that the structure of education in the past does not fit well with what our students need today (134). I find this particularly invigorating, as I agree that the old molds and factory processing of students is not our future. What I find disheartening though is our very own teacher education program should so reflect exactly what we should be moving away from. We have a strict order of what is required of us, a rigorous schedule, and (nearly ritualistic in their repetitiveness) reflections. Interestingly enough, what we praise is not what we practice.

Kress, Gunther. “A Curriculum for the Future.” Cambridge Journal of Education 30.1 (2000): 133-45.

Tags: multiliteracies · Social Media · Uncategorized

Principles of Gaming and the Classroom

July 15th, 2014 · No Comments

Anyone who has ever had a Candy Crush addiction will tell you that the game is a major time sink. The game seemingly never stops, and even if you beat all available levels at some point, more are shortly added. What keeps people coming back? The game does feature many of the principles of games identified by Gee, however the real appeal of the game seems to be that it takes an activity that is “hard, long, and complex” (Gee 34) and makes it seem like it is shorter and much simpler. The time needed to play a single level is deceptively short, and it is only when factoring in level after level that the true time drain is apparent. Also, the game is a seemingly simple match-three game that anyone could master, but through the addition of bonuses, power-ups, obstacles, and game challenges it becomes far more complex. Rather than try to memorize every one of the principles that Gee outlines, I opted to focus on the key goal of “get[ting] someone to learn something long, hard, and complex, and yet still enjoy it?” (Gee 34), and use a little Candy Crush inspiration for techniques to reach that goal, namely reducing the perceived time or energy investment involved, and making things seem more simple by breaking down complex tasks into smaller chunks. For example, if the purpose is to have the students create a writing portfolio, rather than assign it all at once as a large project, instead do a number of smaller short term projects that they accumulate and edit along the way, and then at the end select a few pieces that they are proud of to submit for the final portfolio. In this way the class could learn “how to play the game” (Gee 34), in this case become familiar with a number of strategies for writing in different genres, in response to a number of prompts, and so on, without being overwhelmed by a long, complicated project all up front. The time commitment and difficulty of any one writing activity would be fairly small, and also this example includes many of the other principles of gaming, including encouraging risk taking, agency, exploration, cross-functional teams (if you do peer reviews, for example), and performance before competence (Gee 35-37), and likely others. While this might seem like a bit of a trick, to trick students into doing a fairly large volume of complex work by breaking it into smaller pieces, it is a very effective tactic to help keep students engaged with a “hard, long, and complex” (Gee 34) process of learning, while keeping the risks low and preventing them from feeling overwhelmed by the scale or difficulty of the project.

Works Cited

Gee, James Paul. “Good Video Games and Good Learning.” Phi Kappa Phi Forum 85.2 (2005): 33-37. Web. 14 July 2014.

~ Amanda Cameron

Tags: gaming · multiliteracies · Weblog Activities

OMG srsly wrting dis way = hrd!- Seminar Lead on Computer Mediated Communication

July 13th, 2014 · 1 Comment

OMG srsly wrting dis way = hrd! By Justin Bolivar

In response to Baron and Carrington’s articles surrounding the idea that texting is destroying “the Queen’s English” both articles cite that shorthand communication between adolescents threatens the state of the English language. However, both articles speculate that shorthand could have a negative impact on English language, but fail to produce, at least in my opinion, a concrete example of how this is happening. When I first approached writing this post, I was going to write it in text-speak, however, to code the post into that language would have taken me much longer than if I were to write it “properly,” as per our sources.

In Carrington’s article “Txting: the end of civilization (again)?” she takes on the story of a student who wrote about their summer using shorthand language. Now, what we do not get to see in the article or in the news story she covers is if this student who used this language was consistently using it throughout her course work. For all we know, it could have been a joke that she was attempting to play on her teacher, or, she was bored of her summer vacation, and simply wanted to act out. The article ends rather anticlimactically when Carrington states that “I doubt very much that her actions signal the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it and suspect that ‘standards’ will survive for some time.” Therefore, we have parents, administrators, and teachers getting up in arms about textspeak in the classroom, however, I propose that bringing in the idea of textspeak can actually help in a classroom setting!

On practicum, the final assessment task, as mandated by IB for my grade 10’s was to write a letter using Shakespearian language. Now, Shakespearian language is hard enough for them to understand, but to write a letter seemed daunting. In addition, who writes letters anymore? Thus, what I set out to do is make the assignment more tangible for the class, and something that they could relate to. What I did is create an assignment where students would write text messages between the characters, so that they could practice Shakespeare speak in a safe environment, but also so that they could revisit some of the key plot lines of the play. I introduced the assignment as a fun assignment, and marked them rather liberally. My learning objective was to have them become more comfortable using a medium most of them are used to, so that I could help to build other skills for another assessment. I have attached the assignment below, as well as some student examples:


In preparation for the final assessment task of the unit, where you will write a letter to any character from the play or be yourself, but in Shakespearian language, “Shakespeare Text Message” will be your first step!

Individually, your task will be to write six text messages of appropriate length (three sent and three received) using Shakespearian language. These responses will be shared with the class for collaboration and feedback, so that you have some information for your final assessment.

Student example:

Mercutio: Romeo! Romeo! Hast thou hithered the tidings?

Romeo: Nay Mercutio I hast nought

Mercutio: Young Juliet hath a baby upon her bosom!!

Romeo: What wretched sirrah hath done this to my

Juliet?!?! I shall dispatch of his soul!!

Mercutio: Hahaha peace gentle Romeo, peace. Doth thou not see the date? ‘Tis Aprils Fooling!!

Romeo: I bite my thumb at thee

Mercutio. Plague on you! Plague on you a thousand times!!


Works Cited:


Carrington, V. (2005).Txting: the end of civilization (again)? Cambridge Journal of Education, 35(2), 161CCC175.


Tags: computer-mediated communication · multiliteracies · Social Media

Robb, Rahela, Justin, Peter, and Brian’s Media Project One: Visual Media Literacy

July 8th, 2014 · 1 Comment

For our “Media Project: One”, we  decided to experiment with using images to respond and represent an iconic and canonical English language poem: W.B. Yeats’ ” the Second Coming”. The process of creating this product is described in the below .pdf:

Media Project One – Visual Media Literacy

To view the film that we produced, please visit Youtube and leave a complimentary comment!

Tags: multiliteracies · Visual Literacy

Multiliteracy Practice as Relationships not Representation

July 8th, 2014 · No Comments

In “Rereading ‘A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies’: Bodies, Texts, and Emergence” (2013), Kevin Leander and Gail Boldt refreshingly challenge an aspect of education that often receives little criticism. Rather ironically, this overlooked element is precisely the privileging of critical thinking in education and the admonition to educators of producing a generation of critical thinkers. Leander and Boldt argue that examples of “disciplined rationalization of youth engagement in literacies” like that contained in the New London Group’s seminal article “A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures” (1996) is a “vision of [literacy] practice involv[ing] a domestication that subtracts movement, indeterminacy, and emergent potential from the picture” (23, 24). According to them, the danger of such a model is its conformity to a one-dimensional linear educational project: guided practice supervised by the teacher fostering the attainment of prescribed criteria for intellectual development, which can then and only then lead to independent criticism and transformative production by the students in their own right. Leander and Boldt note that this pedagogical formula corresponds to the notion of history as teleological time – a steady and inexorable progress towards a predetermined ideal of political or social life – which implicitly represents the new society as one created after not during education (28). While not wanting to jettison the critical element of literacy education, they ask educators to consider the possibilities that might emerge if we stop exclusively asking our students and ourselves “what does a text mean” and instead explore questions like how do they work, what can they do, and how can they be used? (25).

To my mind, Leander and Boldt’s framework is an aesthetic intervention that reconfigures subject-object relations in a radical fashion. I see it to be useful for sketching a connection to commodities that is difficult to imagine in the virtual and consumerist economy of our contemporary neoliberal moment: if I have trouble theorizing a different relationship from that of owner, consumer, critic, or reader to objects like novels, films, or videogames, the affective and embodied perspective of Leander and Boldt’s “user”offers alternative values and insights that can be helpful in resituating my engagement with narrative. Instead of charting or locating the effect/affect, purpose, or meaning in a particular work, I can experiment how cultivating a relationship with a textual object can influence my perception of narrative as well as my link with others. It seems to me then that the fundamental notion that Leander and Boldt are proposing in their article is a shift in literacy practice from representation to relationships through a focus on embodied affect. But what is affect?

In Parables of the Virtual (2002), Brian Massumi posits affect as that which slips out of our grasp, as the remainder that lingers and disturbs representational forms instead of something that instills the represented image with emotion. For him, affect can only be registered as that which escapes cognition: emotion as a trace that preserves an echo of the affect that produced it. He writes, “Affect is synesthetic, implying a participation of the senses in each other: the measure of a living thing’s potential interactions is its ability to transform the effects of one sensory mode into those of another” (35). Can affect be represented then or only embodied through relationships? If the representational form of emotion is merely the shorn husk of affect or, conversely, affect is the always already inexpressible excess of represented emotion, it would seem that we are trying to represent rather than relate. As Massumi reminds us, we lose sight of the fact that affect is a social property, transmitted and produced by actual bodies through their relations with their senses and with each other. Why, then, isn’t the focus on exploring the social relationships produced through and by affect? As Leander and Boldt argue, perhaps it is far more productive to consider the practice of literacy as a unique performance that engenders a change in human relations rather than a subject that seeks to enlighten personal attitudes. Our relationship to objects is indicative of our relationship to other human beings. As such, a pedagogical methodology should be less concerned with locating and charting the effect and influence of meaning in literacy texts and more interested in exploring the types of affective relations with literacy texts that we hope to cultivate with each other in the present.







Works Cited


Leander, Kevin and Boldt, Gail. “Rereading ‘A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies’: Bodies, Texts, and

Emergence.” Journal of Literacy Research 45.1 (2013): 22-46. Print.


Massumi, Brian. Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham: Duke UP,

2002. Print.




Tags: multiliteracies

Seminar Lead Response – I See, I Do: Persuasive Messages and Visual Literacy

July 6th, 2014 · No Comments

With an article devoted to “addressing persuasive visual messages” (Farmer 33), and which opens with the line that “if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a few images can constitute a persuasive argument” (Farmer 30), I found myself taking a closer look at the image presented at the beginning of the article, and generally paying more attention to the visual layout of the article, in an attempt to analyze it in the same ways that it suggests that teachers should train students to analyze advertizing and other media. The article suggests that what makes an image persuasive is “content, context, and connotation”, so with that in mind, I delved deeper into the article’s visual presence.

The initial image content is of a young woman in a blue shirt, with crossed arms and a skeptical expression on her face. At first glance, we might take the contextual meaning that she is a visual model for the championed stance of skepticism and critical thinking. Looking deeper at context and connotation, and applying some of the analysis techniques recommended by the article, such as considering “who created the message”, “why was the message created”, and “what values, lifestyles, and points of view are represented or omitted” (Farmer 32), I took time to think about why the image was included, why that image was specifically chosen, how it influenced me, and whose values and intentions were being communicated. I was certainly struck by the use of colour, as my second look prompted me to realize that the young woman’s shirt was the same cool azure as some of the accent text, bullet point markers, and dividers between sections. I questioned the effect of the colour scheme, and also questioned whether the young woman’s photo was changed to make her shirt match the scheme, or whether the colour scheme was matched to her actual shirt colour as photographed. The colour scheme of azure, rust red, white, and a much paler azure used in some of the charts, not only granted a coherence and cohesiveness granted by the continuity of the colour scheme, but it also had aesthetic and emotional effects. It is a non-threatening and visually appealing colour scheme, which created an emotional feeling of calm, stability, and authority, that I feel encouraged me to take on a trusting demeanor. The colour scheme connotated an environment of comfort and trust, and helped convince me of the textual argument. Taking a cultural perspective and trying to further understand their “visual coding system” (Farmer 31), I also suspect that as this article was produced in the United States of America that there may have been a subtle connection to their flag, whether it was a conscious or unconscious decision, and that the basic red-white-blue colour scheme would be likely to evoke an American’s patriotic sensibilities and cause them to feel an ethical responsibility to their students and by extension, a responsibility to the wellbeing of the country as a whole, in an endless feedback loop.

These visuals were subtle, yet had a powerful impact of the article’s effectiveness. My own education in visual literacy, possibly augmented by the approaches recommended by this article, have equipped me to unpack the article at both textual and visual levels, and to better understand the meaning being communicated. These skills assist me in assessing visual and textual messages every day, and while I am able to recognize the techniques being used to persuade me in this article, I am the one who has carefully weighed and considered, and decided that the argument has merit, rather than being passively led to agree with Farmer’s conclusions.

Question to Consider:
Visual literacy extends beyond the critical analysis of illustrative or photographic image, and includes all of the visuals included in a given product: the colours, shapes, fonts, and layout. What conventions of this layer of communication do you consciously understand and interpret, and how much of it is interpreted on a subconscious level?


Farmer, Lesley S.J. (2007). I See, I Do: Persuasive Messages and Visual Literacy. Internet @ schools, 14(4), p. 30-33.

By Amanda Cameron

Tags: multiliteracies · Presentation · Seminar Prompts · Visual Literacy · Weblog Activities

Adapting the Adaptations– A Fair Comparison?

July 6th, 2014 · No Comments

Adapting the Adaptations– A Fair Comparison? By Justin Bolivar.

Daniel Radcliffe is Harry Potter, Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss Everdeen, Leo is Romeo, Gregory Peck is Atticus Fitch, but there is no way in hell that Rooney Mara is Lisbeth Salander.

Why is it imperative in our roles as readers and viewers that we have specific bonds with characters? Do we feel violated when a film adaption casts someone in a role that is not what meets our mind’s eye? Do we also feel cheated when a character is adapted that does meet our expectations?

In Bortolotti and Hutcheon’s article “On the Origin of Adaptations: Rethinking Fidelity Discourse and “Success” — Biologically,” they discuss the idea that “[a]s a biologist and a literary theorist, [they] decided to look to the possibility of new questions and answers for narrative adaptation theory by investigating the relevance to cultural adaptation of the insights about adaptation in post-Darwinian biology.” (444) In the work, they establish that there is a homogenous relationship between Darwinian biology and how we culturally adapt texts. The key question that the article asks is “how useful is this kind of reductive judgmental discourse in determining either the artistic significance of a work or its cultural impact or even its vitality?” (444)

When considering that an adapted text “stands on its own as an independent work, and can be judged accordingly” (444-445), I think back to Wolfgang Iser’s text “Interaction Between Text and Reader.” Iser states that every “literary work has two poles, which we might call the artistic and the aesthetic: the artistic pole is the author’s text, and the aesthetic is the realization accomplished by the reader.” (391) If a text is presented to the reader or viewer, and they adapt the text to their own meaning. If we split a text into the artistic and aesthetic poles, then every time we read or view a text we adapt it to our own lens, and impose a personal adaptation. So even if a text is adapted from folklore or a book to a visual representation, as a reader or viewer we then adapt the text again. Since we are in a mode of constantly adapting, I agree with Bortolotti and Hutcheon’s idea that adaptations need to stand alone as independent works, and that it is not a fair to either text to look at them in unison.

When we think of literary adaptions in the classroom, we tend to favour print texts over visual texts. Why is this the case? Looking at the example of “Romeo and Juliet,” my school advisor was adamant that the 1996 Baz Lurman film be shown at the end of the unit, and that we should stick to reading the play as a class. However, if we are studying the text as a play and not a community reading activity, then are we really teaching it effectively? When approaching the unit, I first started with the community reading approach, but found that our classroom “adaptation” was not conducive to learning, so I sought out several visual versions of the play, and as a class, we discussed the differences in film, stage, and oral adaptions of “Romeo and Juliet.”

Works Cited:

Bortolotti, G. and Hutcheon, L. (2007). “On the Origin of Adaptations: Rethinking Fidelity Discourse and “Success” — Biologically.” New Literary History, 38(3), pp. 443-458.

Iser, Wolfgang. “Interaction Between Text and Reader.” Book History Reader. Eds. David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery. Oxon: Routledge, 2006. 391-396.

Tags: adaptations · multiliteracies · Visual Literacy

Revisiting the Multiliteracies Manifesto

July 3rd, 2014 · 4 Comments

To begin our discussion on the blog I’d like to resurrect a post I made a year ago today, on 3 July 2013. I hope my observations below will serve as a catalyst for discussion of our readings, and I encourage you to join the conversation in this collaborative writing space by commenting or posting yourself.

The New London Group is a collective of 10 researchers who met in 1994 to discuss what they perceived to be a fundamental societal problem:

that the disparities in educational outcomes did not seem to be improving. We agreed that we should get back to the broad question of the social outcomes of language learning, and that we should, on this basis, rethink the fundamental premises of literacy pedagogy in order to influence practices that will give students the skills and knowledge they need to achieve their aspirations. (NLG, 1996)

In their “programmatic manifesto,” they outline a number of changes that demand corresponding changes in instructional methodologies. These include the following:

    – Changes in Technology for Knowledge Mobilization
    – Changes in Workplace (e.g., PostFordism and Fast Capitalism)
    – Changes in Public Lives (e.g., privatization, deregulation, corporatization of education — market logic)
    – Changes in Political Logic (e.g., Old World [standardization] / New World [assimilation] logic)
    – Shifts in cultural and linguistic diversity

In contemplating how to move forward, they introduce the notion of design, which “recognizes the iterative nature of meaning-making, drawing on Available Designs to create patterns of meaning that are more or less predictable in their contexts” (NLG, 1996). Designing, they argue, “always involves the transformation of Available Designs; it always involves making new use of old materials” (NLG, 1996). They also note that Available Designs are varied, identifying the following: Linguistic Design, Visual Design, Audio Design, Gestural Design, Spatial Design, and Multimodal Design. For students to be successful, they argue, they invariably require a metalanguage to describe and reflect on their design process.

Finally, the New London Group observes

pedagogy is a complex integration of four factors: Situated Practice based on the world of learners’ Designed and Designing experiences; Overt Instruction through which students shape for themselves an explicit metalanguage of Design; Critical Framing, which relates meanings to their social contexts and purposes; and Transformed Practice in which students transfer and re-create Designs of meaning from one context to another. (NLG, 1996; bold added)

The above-summarized document is one of the most cited in contemporary literacy research. Although the authors describe it as “open and tentative,” and welcome debate and elaboration, there has been little critique of the ideas espoused. Rather, as Leander and Boldt (2013) observe, “More than any other document, ‘A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies’ streams powerfully through doctoral programs, edited volumes, books, journal reviews, and calls for conference papers, as the central manifesto of the new literacies movement,” and is the dominant conceptual paradigm in new literacy studies. A design paradigm, they posit, is not the only way to conceptualize literacy studies and has some key limitations.

Contemplating the NLG article and the above discussion, here are some questions for your consideration:

    1. What appears to be the premise, or purpose, of education in the NLG’s view? Are there other valid purposes of education that might productively be considered?

    2. In 1994 the NLG were concerned that “the disparities in educational outcomes did not seem to be improving.” In your estimation has there been any advancement in terms of erosion of such disparities? If not, why not?

    3. To what extent are students availing themselves of the gamut of “Available Designs”? If they are not doing so, what might be the main barriers?

    4. Look up the definition and etymology of design in multiple sources, including the OED. Do you feel the paradigm introduced — learning as design — is a useful one? Are you able to propose any other productive approaches?

    5. The NLG notes that they are from disparate parts of the world; however, the ten researchers represent only 3 countries: Australia, Britain and the United States. Expanding on question 3, what approaches might have emerged in a meeting of a more diverse group of researchers?

    6. A key challenge identified in education is that young people appear to shift from an innate desire to learn in preschool and non-formal settings to recalcitrance in formal settings. Some claim, in keeping with the NLG manifesto, that this is because content and instructional approaches are too far removed from students’ diverse experiences and interests. Would you agree and, if so, is the approach identified by the NLG one way to ameliorate this challenge?

    7. Finally, contemplate the two images at the bottom of this post. These images, as you likely know, are “Wordles,” essentially simple visualizations of the word frequency in two different documents, where larger words represent greater instance of that term in the document (“stop words” — common English words — are omitted here so that the focus can be on “content” words). The texts visualized are the NLG article (1994) and Leander and Boldt’s response (2013). Which is which? Can anything be gleaned about the nature or focus of these texts from simply examining word frequency in these two documents?

If possible, upload your group’s thoughts on these questions as a comment to this post.


Leander, K., & Boldt, G. (2013). Rereading “A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies” Bodies, Texts, and Emergence. Journal of Literacy Research, 45(1), 22-46. (UBC Electronic Holdings)

New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92.

Tags: multiliteracies