Why have multimodal and digital
texts become such a focus in the
Think of a couple of literacy activities you have
participated in over the last 48 hours.
Use Table 1 to record some details of the
Discuss your personal audit with a partner or in
a small group.
What are Multimodal Texts?
• Multimodal texts convey meaning through a
combination of elements that draw upon several
• They draw upon and across the boundaries of the arts,
performance and design disciplines, their knowledge,
understandings and processes.
• The role of language in multimodal texts varies, is not
always dominant and is only one part of the whole.
• In a multimodal text meaning is distributed across all
elements (parts) and each element has a role in
contributing to the overall meaning of the text.
Semiotic System Some examples of signs and symbols that
create meaning within them
Linguistic: oral and written language Vocabulary, generic structure,
punctuation, grammar, paragraphing
Visual: still and moving images Colour, vectors, line, foreground,
Gestural: facial expression and body
Movement, speed, stillness, body
Audio: music and sound effects Volume, pitch, rhythm, silence, pause
Spatial: layout and organisation of
objects and space
Proximity, direction, position in space
Look at the activities you have already recorded.
Try to choose one that uses a traditional means
of communication and one that chooses a new
means of communication.
Use the table to record the semiotic systems
a) your literate behaviour
b) the text itself
What changes need to be made to the way we
teach English to address this?
What range of text types do you actively
investigate with your students? Does the
balance reflect the range of text types and
semiotic systems that your students come
across in their everyday lives?
Code Breaker Practices
• How do I crack this text?
• How does the text work?
• What do I know about texts like this that will
help me crack the code?
• Is there more than one mode here? How do
• What are the conventions of the text?
• How is the text organised?
Meaning Maker Practices
• How will the purpose and context of my
reading influence my meaning making?
• What social, cultural, literacy and technology
knowledge and experiences do I have to help
me make meaning from this text?
• How are the ideas sequenced and connected?
How does this affect the way I make meaning?
• Are there other possible meanings and
readings of this text?
Text User Practices
• What is the purpose of this text and what is
my purpose in using it?
• How have the uses of this text shaped its
• What should I do with the text in this context?
• What will others do with this text?
• What are my options or alternatives after
Text Analyst Practices
• What kind of person/people produced this text?
• What are its origins?
• What is the producer of this text trying to make
me believe or do?
• What belief and positions are dominant or
silenced in the text?
• What do I think about the way this text presents
these ideas and what alternatives are there?
• Having examined this text what action am I going
The activity that occurs when students produce written,
spoken or visual texts. Composing typically involves:
• the shaping and arrangement of textual elements to
explore and express ideas, emotions and values
• the processes of imagining, organising, analysing,
drafting, appraising, synthesising, reflecting and
• knowledge, understanding and use of the language
forms, features and structures of texts
• awareness of audience and purpose.
Communications of meaning produced in any
media that incorporate language, including
sound, print, film, electronic and multimedia
Texts include written, spoken, non-verbal, visual
or multimodal communications of meaning.
They may be extended unified works, a series of
related pieces or a single, simple piece of
Types of Texts
Classifications according to the particular
purposes texts are designed to achieve. These
purposes influence the characteristic features
the texts employ. In general, texts can be
classified as belonging to one of three types
(imaginative, informative or persuasive),
although it is acknowledged that these
distinctions are neither static nor watertight and
particular texts can belong to more than one
Imaginative texts – texts that represent ideas, feelings
and mental images in words or visual images. An
imaginative text might use metaphor to translate ideas
and feelings into a form that can be communicated
effectively to an audience. Imaginative texts also make
new connections between established ideas or widely
recognised experiences in order to create new ideas
and images. Imaginative texts are characterised by
originality, freshness and insight. These texts include
novels, traditional tales, poetry, stories, plays, fiction
for young adults and children, including picture books
and multimodal texts such as film.
These are texts that have the primary purpose of
providing information through explanation,
description, argument, analysis, ordering and
presentation of evidence and procedures. These
texts include reports, explanations and descriptions
of natural phenomena, recounts of events,
instructions and directions, rules and laws, news
bulletins and articles, websites and text analyses.
They include texts which are valued for their
informative content, as a store of knowledge and
for their value as part of everyday life.
These are texts that have the primary purpose of putting
forward a point of view and persuading a reader, viewer
or listener. They form a significant part of modern
communication in both print and digital environments.
Persuasive texts seek to convince the responder of the
strength of an argument or point of view through
information, judicious use of evidence, construction of
argument, critical analysis and the use of rhetorical,
figurative and emotive language. They include student
essays, debates, arguments, discussions, polemics,
advertising, propaganda, influential essays and articles.
Persuasive texts may be written, spoken, visual or