Teaching and learning multiliteracies: changing times,
changing literacies (Book)
Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2006). Teaching and learning multiliteracies: changing times,
changing literacies (pp. 56-81). Newark, Delaware: International Reading
This article serves as a guide for teachers and provides specific aims for teaching for
multiliterate students. It suggests teachers to reflect upon their pedagogy and explains
the place and principles of a relevant, and multiliterate curriculum in the classroom.
Anstey and Bull (2006) provides for teachers, specific guidelines for lesson planning
inline with a multiliteracy pedagogy. Both Cazden (1967) and Gee (1992) are analysed
for their role in multiliteracy development.
The characteristics of both literate and multiliterate people are identified and
examined. It is stressed that to be multiliterate, you must recognise certain qualities
and be able to use both different and new practices in literacy.
Multiliteracies : new literacies new learning (Journal)
Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). Multiliteracies : new literacies new learning,
Pedagogies : an International Journal, 4 (3), 164-195.
This paper examines multiliteracies
and asks what constitutes as appropriate literacy pedagogy
after evaluating why and how the communication environment is changing.
The communication environment has (and continues to,) change causing people’s citizenship, work and personal lives to be
drastically altered aswell. This has prompted for changes to literacy teaching and learning. In a world of new technologies and
globalisation literacies can be divided into two parts. Multimodal, meaning the different modes to literacy. These are the linguistic,
visual, audio, gestural and spatial modes of meaning used in our everyday lives and media. The second part is Multilingual, which
refers to the globalisation and the fact that our everyday experiences of meaning making is increasingly one of negotiation across
Education, particularly literacy education, has responded to these changes with what Cope and Kalantzis (part of The New London
Group) call a Multiliteracies pedagogy. The new pedagogy includes a range of “moves”. These include “situated practice,” “overt
instruction,” “critical framing” and “transferred practice.”
Since the initial idea of Multiliteracies in 1996, things have continued to drastically change. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone,
complete with a camera, internet connection and social media access and text message options. As mentioned above, these impact
people’s citizenship, work and personal lives. Education lead to better employment, personal growth and an enhanced capacity to
participate in a civic life. Therefore, teachers, cannot ignore these impacts and must work to “promote a culture of flexibility,
creativity, innovation and initiative.” (p.170).
Since the original New London Group article in 1996, there has been intellectual continuity aswell as change in pedagogy of
multiliteracy development. The pedagogy has been implemented in various ways across primary, secondary and tertiary educational
institutions around the world.
Teaching Multiliteracies Across the Curriculum: Changing
contexts of text and image in Classroom Practice
Unsworth, L. (2001). Teaching Multiliteracies Across the Curriculum: Changing
contexts of text and image in Classroom Practice. Philadelphia: Open University Press.
Unsworth (2001) provides a framework for use in classrooms that includes traditional literacy
And multiliteracy pedagogies for children in preparation for the twenty-first century.
The framing perspectives chapter states that while the fundamental language-based literacy
pedagogies are still useful, they are not sufficient. The new millennium demands a literacy
pedagogy suitable for an evolving age of information.
Children already engage with both electronic and conventional format texts outside of school and
Unsworth claims these are rarely acknowledged as part of school literacies.
It is suggested that students need to understand how the resources of the language, image and
digital rhetoric's can be deployed independently and interactively to construct different meanings.
“In the twenty-first century the notion of literacy needs to be reconceived as a plurality of literacies
and being literate must be seen and anachronistic. If schools foster the developments if these
changing multiple literacies it is first necessary to understand the basis of their diversity.”
Language and learning: An introduction for teaching
Emmitt, M., Komesaroff, L. and Pollock, J. (2006). Language and learning: an
introductory guide for teaching (4th ED). New York: Oxford University Press.
Emmitt, Komesaroff and Pollock (2006) address information, communication and
technology in chapter eleven where they adopt the view of Beavis (2005) in
accepting that technologies are a part of everyday life. Technologies are a
sociocultural practice and not just a separate part of a school’s literacy curriculum
and can be embedded as such.
They address the technology disadvantaged and the ‘digital divide’ to continue on to
cover the ‘digital natives’ opposed to the ‘digital immigrants’ from Prensky, 2001. The
digital immigrant instructors, teach in an outdated language while the new
generation speak an entirely new language.
As a future educator, this implication can be addressed with teachers facilitating
open-ended lessons where both teachers and students are able to learn through
exploring and sharing.
Reading in the Primary School Years
Harris, P., Turnbill, J., Fitzsimmons, P. and McKenzie, B. (2001). Reading in
the primary school years (2nd ED). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Chapter six in Harris et al. addresses the
challenges for young readers and implications for teachers
that are caused by the technological changes which were covered in chapter three.
Regardless of the media children are exposed to, they need to be able to code break when using written
language. Harris et al. uses the comparison of using a physical library opposed to the internet to source
information. Both the code breaking exercise of navigating library shelves and book and researching on the
internet require specific coding orientations.
Children need to learn different concepts of print, decode the print and understand it.
The added computer skills required include mouse clicking, curser control, recognising icons, opening and
closing programs, searching and scrolling.
Children born into this digital age are divided into two groups, the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.’ Teachers must not
make assumptions about children’s access and abilities in regard to various media. The chapter goes on to
recommend strategies to support young readers from diverse backgrounds. The variations in home
experiences mean that children bring different amounts and kinds of ‘capital’ to school. The challenge for
teachers is to work with, rather than against, these differences. It is suggested for teachers to provide
contexts where code breaking, the reading practice, is valued, used and made explicit. (p. 137-138). Classroom
recommendations include using real life languages, books that are personally and culturally relevant, clear
font styles and exercises that develop the knowledge of letter/sound relationships.
Teaching activities could include shadow reading and cloze activities that include guided process of predicting
Cyber-schooling and technological change: Multiliteracies for new times
Luke, C. (2000). Cyber-schooling and technological change: Multiliteracies for new
times. In Bill Cope & Mary Kalantzis, (Eds.), Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the
design for social futures (pp. 69-84). New York: Routledge.
In this article, Luke addresses the Information revolution
and its impacts and issues in relation to literacy education in schools.
“Today, the internet is generating profound changes in the way we communicate,
and how we access, produce, and distribute information and knowledge.” (p.70). The Multiliteracies of digital texts are based on
the notions of hybridity and also, intertextuality. The technology user must use a variety of knowledges about both traditional and
the newly blended genres, conventions, cultural and symbolic codes. Icon symbols used in computer software and online can easily
become lost in a translation across cultures.
In a world of icons, animations, print text, photographs and movie clips across hotlinks, sites and buttons, the user is immersed in a
multimodal and nonlinear universe. Luke recognises that users must be able to think linear and seek relevant information across
connecting and relevant pieces of information. They must interact with others conscious of their culturally divergent backgrounds
and also understand the political and material consequences of technological change, because some benefit while others are
disadvantaged by new technology.
“Literacy requirements have changed and will continue to change as new technologies come onto the marketplace and quickly
blend into our everyday lives.” (p. 71). Software developers and internet website creators have been given the power to decide
what and how we learn. And therefore, we as educators must be aware of the many issues which are at stake. Educators need to
react to these radical and continuous changes by developing pedagogies that are appropriately. As a pre-service teacher, I must
know where and how to intervene with both critical and positive multiliteracy teaching strategies.
Much of us no longer have to leave the screen or house in order to conduct daily business in our everyday private and professional
lives, and do so in a much faster time frame. Luke explains that simultaneously, these rapid changes are occurring in education. Luke
predicts that the industrial model schooling will soon be outdated. “The industrial-model, print-and book-based practices will
become less relevant in the age of virtual classrooms, hypertexts, and online communities of learners.” (p.88).
Using the four resources model across the curriculum (Book)
Santoro, N. (2004). Using the four resources model across the curriculum. In A.
Healy, & E. Honan (Eds.), Text next : new resources for literacy learning (pp. 51-67).
Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association
This paper assists in developing subject-specific literacies in students for the
transition between primary and secondary schools (the middle years).
New age literacy is defined by Santoro as a way of operating with a variety of texts
within a particular set of social situations. These are accessible in student’s everyday
lives, on the computer, in school, out of school and socially. We interact with written,
spoken, visual, digital and multimodal texts.
Literacy is not only taught in literacy lessons but is taught in a multitude of contexts
across subject areas.
Using the Four Resources Model as a pedagogical tool, Santoro explains how
students are aided in deconstructing multimodal texts critically and develop the
multiliteracy skills required in a changing and technologically-advanced global world.
A pedagogy of multiliteracies: designing social futures (Journal)
The New London Group (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: designing social futures. Harvard
Educational Review, 66 (1), 60-93. Retrieved from EJS database.
The New London article is the first of the
Multiliteracy-related papers and covers the connections between
changing social environments and the resulting new approach to literacy pedagogy- Multiliteracy.
Today’s changing social environment demands a new, vast and complex view to literacy, beyond a
limiting traditional language-based literacy approach.
The changing technology, and therefore the organisational shape of working life, provides some
people with access
The New London group also asks “How do we ensure that differences in culture, language and
gender are not barriers to educational success?” (p.61).
Stakeholders include females, immigrants and indigenous people, and this needs to be catered for
by teachers for a greater local and global connectedness.
It is proposed that students develop a metalanguage, the what (design process and elements) and
the how (situated practice, overt instruction, critical framing and transformed practice).
Write Ways: Modelling Writing Forms
Wing Jan, L. (2009). Write ways: modelling writing forms (4th ED). South Melbourne:
Oxford University Press.
Literacies and language are embedded
in everyday contexts. Wing Jan acknowledges
technological literacy’s rapid growth and its impact on the way we communicate in integral
life within and beyond school. There is a forever growing range of formats in the way content
is published and presented.
The book begins by explaining how literacy practices are shaped by culture, society and
situation, the language mode, roles and relationships of the participants and knowledges
which are brought to or taken from text interactions.
Multiliteracies are addressed from chapter one, where the need to effectively communicate
across cultural and social settings is mentioned. Wing Jan briefly explains how multimodal
texts are constantly changing because our information and communication technologies are
Students need to be able to understand linguistic, visual, spatial, audio and gestural elements
so that they can gain meaning from multimodal texts. This is achieved when students are
immersed in, and use technology to use, create and change texts for a variety of purposes
Ludoliteracy: Defining, Understanding and Supporting Games
Zagal, J.P. (2010). Ludoliteracy: defining, understanding and supporting games education. Pittsburgh:
Zagal (2010) justifies the idea of gaming as a new form of literacy by associating it with
visual literacy (television), computer literacy, information literacy and digital literacy.
Cope and Kalantzis (2000) is quoted in stating that “Gaming requires new forms of
cultural and communicative competencies.”
Literacy is now more than just coding and encoding, or reading and writing and this is
explained by asking and answering the question “Are games distinct enough to
warrant its own literacy.”
Playing video games requires an ability to decode in that the player is asked to access
the game and play it. The player is asked to understand semiotic meanings in games
and, when creating games, asked to produce semiotic meanings.
Online gaming demands participation in social and communicational play,
and is complete with a specialised language.
Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2006). Teaching and learning multiliteracies: changing times, changing literacies (pp. 56-81). Newark,
Delaware: International Reading Association
Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). Multiliteracies : new literacies new learning, Pedagogies : an International Journal, 4 (3), 164-
Emmitt, M., Komesaroff, L. and Pollock, J. (2006). Language and learning: an introductory guide for teaching (4th ED). New York:
Oxford University Press.
Harris, P., Turnbill, J., Fitzsimmons, P. and McKenzie, B. (2001). Reading in the primary school years (2nd ED). South Melbourne:
Luke, C. (2000). Cyber-schooling and technological change: Multiliteracies for new times. In Bill Cope & Mary Kalantzis, (Eds.),
Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design for social futures (pp. 69-84). New York: Routledge.
Santoro, N. (2004). Using the four resources model across the curriculum. In A. Healy, & E. Honan (Eds.),
Text next : new resources for literacy learning (pp. 51-67). Newtown, NSW: Primary English
Slide 5 image: retrieved from
http://multiliteracyrevolution.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/picture-6-tkr9k7.png on August 25, 2013.
Slide 7 image: retrieved from http://www.sinclair.edu/about/locations/englewood/pub/images/computer-classroom.jpg on
August 25th, 2013.
Slide 10 image: retrieved from http://www.backgroundsy.com/file/preview/pencil.jpg on August 25, 2013.
Slide 12 image: retrieved from http://www.futurity.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/gamepad_1.jpg on August 25, 2013.
Slide 13 image 1: retrieved from http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-
images/Guardian/About/General/2012/3/14/1331741366300/Encyclopedia-Britannicas-007.jpg on August 25, 2013.
Slide 14 image 2: retrieved from http://staff.ee.sun.ac.za/~gvrooyen/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/0506-scholarlrg.gif
retrieved on August 25, 2013.
The New London Group (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66 (1),
60-93. Retrieved from EJS database.
Unsworth, L. (2001). Teaching Multiliteracies Across the Curriculum: Changing contexts of text and image in Classroom
Practice. Philadelphia: Open University Press.
Wing Jan, L. (2009). Write ways: modelling writing forms (4th ED). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Zagal, J.P. (2010). Ludoliteracy: defining, understanding and supporting games education.
Pittsburgh: ETC Press.