THE NEED FOR MULTILITERACY
IN THE 21ST CENTURY
PRESENTED BY: PAMELA JORY
STUDENT NUMBER: 006 1015667
Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2006). Teaching and learning multiliteracies: changing times, changing literacies 56-
81. Newark, Delaware: International Reading Association.
Anstey & Bull, explore the implications for pedagogical change which will assist students in
developing multiliterate skills. Principles of a multiliterate curriculum and pedagogies that
promote, support and develop teaching and learning strategies are reviewed. Student
diversity, the need for flexible, strategic practices and the ability to cope with change is
Anstey & Bull make a strong case for the offering of
a dynamic pedagogy, teaching the thinking,
behavioral and social skills required to become
active citizens. How classroom practice shapes
learning and the value of positive and inclusive
classroom management is identified. As a future
educator I see the need for a multiliterate curriculum
that offers flexibility, and diversity of pedagogical
practice are key components of classroom
This article captures how multimodal text such as picture books, web pages and live
performances support student learning, and how teachers can exploit the pedagogy to
facilitate multi-modal literacy. Multimodal texts are described as text that combines two or
more semiotic systems, which include; linguistic, visual, audio, gestural and spatial.
Knowledge of these semiotic systems and metalanguage skills, must be supported through
explicit teaching pedagogy processes. The recognition of a positive and balanced school-
wide approach to the teaching of literacy and multimodal texts is explored. As educators it
is vital to offer empowering pedagogical practices that offer students the ability to
understand, interpret, reflect and create multimodal texts.
Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2010). Helping teachers to explore multimodal texts. Curriculum &
Leadership Journal. 8, 1-5. Retrieved from
Borsheim, C., Merritt, K., & Reed, D. (2008). Beyond technology for technology’s sake: advancing
multiliteracies in the twenty-first century. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational strategies, Issues and
Ideas, 82(2), 87-90. Retrieved from http://cfritts.pbworks.com/f/Beyond+Technology.pdf
Borshiem, Merritt & Reed, state that the nature of literacy is changing and teachers must offer
multiliterate pedagogies prepare students, for the realities of life in the 21st century. There is a
monumental shift from traditional literacy teachings to multiliteracy teachings, reflecting on
communication technologies and multimedia texts.
To be an active member of the community, one must be social, and culturally aware of literacy
and literate practices. Borsheim, Merrit & Reed believe that technology enhances a student’s
ability to understand the global community.
Therefore, in order to meet the demands of the 21st century educators today must offer
pedagogy that extends their students learning, offering diversity and inclusion within the
classroom and school environment.
Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). Multiliteracies: new literacies new learning, Pedagogies: an International
Journal, 4: 164-195.
Multiliteracies: New Literacies, outlines the social and technological changes in learning
and communication styles. They suggest education as a key source of social equity,
where diverse communities can be catered for and active citizenship can be achieved.
The modalities of meaning and the changes in literacy teaching methods over time are
reviewed. Finally the diverse impact, on 3 groups of educators are examined as core
concepts of a multiliterate pedagogy are explored.
The findings of this study note that the old literacy methods of teaching, such as copying
from a blackboard and reciting work, is no longer adequate. Educative practices must
change to suit modern society, utilizing computer technology and collaborative curriculum
Dastgoshadeh, A., & Jalizadeh, K. (2011). Multiple intelligences-based language curriculum for the third
millennium. International Conference on Education, Research and Innovation. IPEDR 18, 57-62.
Retrieved from http://www.ipedr.com/vol18/13-ICERI2011-R10021.pdf
Dastgoshadeh and Jalilzadeh (2011), discuss the influence of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple
Intelligences as a basis for eclectic teaching pedagogy’s. The 21st century is described as
the third millennium, an ear of multi; where multiple intelligences theory thrives as
multiple methods of learning can be enhanced and supported.
The philosophical foundations of
Gardner’s theory and how curriculum development
can be supported using this framework are identified.
Assessment policies and practices that incorporate
multiple intelligences into the curriculum are
recognised. The findings of this study argue the
notion that multiple intelligences based language
curriculum offers diverse learning opportunities. As a
future educator, I believe that it is important to cater
for individual abilities, to nurture student cognitive,
social and emotional abilities.
Schwarzer, D., Haywood, A., & Lorenzen, C. (2003). Fostering mulitiliteracy in a linguistically diverse
classroom. National Council of Teachers of English. 80, 453 - 460. Retrieved from
The article offers insight into a classroom where students are from diverse cultural backgrounds,
speaking many different native languages. The empowering role that multiliterate pedagogy
provides for diversity, in a teacher’s classroom practice is outlined. It is suggested that children's
home languages should not be ignored, as they play a key role in a language development. The
notion that community members should become partners with teachers in the development of
multilingual/multiliterate approaches is explored. I would like to acknowledge the high, placed on
the role of the teacher offering cultural and linguistic awareness to her students and will strive as
an educator to foster sensitivity, tolerance and language development through a multiliterate
Mills, K. (2006). Discovering design possibilities through a pedagogy of multiliteracies. Journal of Learning
Design. 1(3), 61 - 73. Retrieved from http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6710/1/6710.pdf
Mills identifies that contemporary educational
practice requires a multiliterate approach due to a
dynamic internal and external environment, in a
diverse learning environment. Mills employs the
New London Group pedagogy of situated practice,
overt instruction, critical framing and transformed
practice. Mill notes the importance of multimodal
text, being a combination of visual, audio, spatial
and gestural modes, and how the text provides
As a teacher I will employ a multiliterate pedagogy
to offer positive learning experiences, however I
am acutely aware that effective learning requires
an understanding of the impact of culture and
language on the ability of the student to engage in
The New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: designing social futures. Harvard
Educational Review. 66(1), 60 – 92.
The authors argue that as educators we need to overcome
the limitations that traditional literacy teachings offered,
focusing on a multiliterate approach that will recognize the
diversity in modern society. Educators and Students must see
themselves as active participants in the social changes that
occur in our society, as they are makers of the future. This
article also details the four components of multiliterate
pedagogy of situated practice, overt instruction and critical
framing and transformed practice.
This article supports the notion of students being active
participants in their learning as they transfer social and
cultural learning into meaning-making as discussed in Mills.
Therefore the implications of traditional teaching methods
need to be renewed through a multiliterate approach offering
culturally diverse learning experiences for all students.
Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2010a). Learning to read: The primary
school years. In V, Somerset (Eds.), Literacy reading, writing, & children’s literature. (4th ed. pp. 197-219).
Victoria. Oxford University Press.
Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl and Holliday
state, that the more students engage with text that
offers complex reading tasks the easier it is for
them to develop empowering literacy skills.
Reading and literacy sessions are discussed in full
and various teaching strategies for specific literacy
sessions are considered. These include; guided
reading, the building of semantic knowledge,
grammatical knowledge, and phonological–
graphological knowledge. As children develop the
literacy skills offered to them must become more
complex and varied, through both explicit and
systematic teaching pedagogy’s.
As an educator I will strive to integrate pedagogical
practices that integrate a growing range of skills
and knowledge, enabling my students to
understand text effectively.
Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2010b). Managing classroom literacy. In
V, Somerset (Eds.), Literacy reading, writing, & children’s literature. (4th ed. pp. 220-243). Victoria. Oxford
Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl and Holliday (2010), recognise the importance of managing the
literacy classroom. It is suggested that, grouping and learning strategies are an essential part of good
teaching practices. Student diversity is discussed a literacy session is presented and how resources
can be used successfully to support the learning needs of the students. A plan for the structure of a
literacy session is offered, showing that through a well-rounded and achievable program, students can
As a teacher it is important to understand the requirements of a literacy classroom and utilize skills,
showing the ability to co-ordinate a range of learning experiences.
Do your students use Multiliterate ICT practices?
Overview of Essay –
The nature of literacy pedagogies is changing as we move through
the 21st century, characterised by a rapidly changing technological
world. This paper will explore the changes in literacy teaching
practices across the curriculum, showing an understanding of
language learning and the need for multiliterate pedagogies in
modern technological classrooms. Teaching strategies and
resources that support literacy and language development for
students from diverse backgrounds will be reflected upon critically
evaluating the importance of a wide repertoire of positive
Borsheim, Merritt and Reed (2008) state that in order to prepare
students of the 21st century, a powerful shift has occurred from
traditional literacy teachings, to 21st century teaching practices that
are reflective of technologies’ evolving nature.
The Australian Curriculum defines 21st century literacy
as, “a flexible, sustainable command of a set of
capabilities in the use and production of traditional
texts and new communications technology using
spoken language, print and multimedia”
As cited in Bull & Anstey (2010, p. 59). higher order thinking is applied to multiliteracy
pedagogy as; “learning about literacy and literate practices, how paper, live, electronic
texts and the five semiotic systems work in social, cultural, economic, and political
Vygotsky’s theory of scaffolding, is critical to a multiliterate approach as the learning
process can be offered in a variety of stepped way (Mills, 2006).
Through the effective use of Gardner’s multiple intelligence theories, to accommodate
multiliterate practices, teachers can transform pedagogic styles to develop multiple
teaching strategies that enhance social emotional and cognitive abilities (Dastgoshadeh &
Project-based learning and problem-based activities enhance active learning, providing
students with the opportunity to build on independent learning styles. Students can be guided
through literacy sessions that involve a number of group tasks.
A guided reading session, could begin with students reading a text with the teacher, relaying
the story, dramatising the events in the story and rewriting the story in their own words using
a visual clue as a prompt (Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl & Holliday, 2010a)
Fostering multiliteracy in diverse classroom environment is one of the many challenges of
teachers in the 21st century. Schwarzer, Haywood and Lorenzen (2003), offer strategies that
foster multiliteracy in diverse classrooms, as a student’s native language is nurtured in a
For example, using multiliterate print, illustrating alphabets of the native languages spoken
and learning simple words and phrases, in the student’s first language, are positive strategies
that build upon multiliterate skills in a bilingual classroom (Schwarzer et al. 2003).
According to Howell (2012), one of the strongest reasons for digital literacy skill to be
developed is the impact they have on student engagement and motivation.
Howell (2012), suggests a shift in the outcomes of education from; where schooling was once
focused on learning outcomes to where schooling focus’s on developing students’ abilities as
As computer technology continues to evolve in the 21st
century, multimodal/multiliterate practices will continue
to revolutionise literacy educative practices.
Self-Reflection on ICT Learning
Employing a wide range of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in my
classroom pedagogy is my goal, as a future educator. Davis et al. (as cited in Academy
Publisher, 2012), states that the integration of ICT in classrooms highlights student
interest, and attainment of tasks. A deep knowledge of ICT’s is fundamental to education
in the 21st century and it is my aim to familiarize and extend my knowledge of ICT’s in
order to establish an eclectic teaching pedagogy, where I can extend and transform
During my study as a future educator, I have used Wix, Prezi, Powerpoint, Glogster,
Moviemaker and many social networking and resource development sites. Engagement
with these websites has challenged me, however through persistence I have overcome
my fears, adding to my technological repertoire. A Power Point offered the visual
aspects I required to present this assignment and provided a clear, communicative digital
platform. This presentation has been customised, using a design template and then
adding to each slide using images that represent the information.
Good learning in my experience is immersing students in new and exciting learning
experiences, where they gain higher order thinking skills. Kopfer, Osterweil, Groff and Haas
(2009), recognise that ICT practices engage students, supporting learning styles in the
technological world. Through this task, I have learnt about many varied pedagogical strategies
used in a multiliterate pedagogy that will undoubtedly assist with the building of my personal
My future goal as an educator is to implement a variety of ICT practices that support and
engage students, through the implementation of a powerful and eclectic teaching pedagogy.
Flip Video CamcordersDesktop Computers
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Dastgoshadeh, A., & Jalizadeh, K. (2011). Multiple intelligences-based language curriculum for the third millennium. International Conference on
Education, Research and Innovation. IPEDR Vol 18, 57-62. Retrieved from http://www.ipedr.com/vol18/13-ICERI2011-R10021.pdf
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