Examining Multimodality in P1 English and Maths Lessons

Project Number
SUG 04/15 RS

Project Duration
August 2015 - June 2016


The purpose of this SUG application is to conduct an exploratory study of multimodalities in primary grade level English Language (EL) and Maths classes. The study is primarily descriptive as we will tap into existing data to investigate how teachers and students use multiple modes in teaching and learning in these two subjects at the P1 level. This study will lay a foundation for future classroom or intervention-based research on multimodalities, classroom teaching and student understanding. Understanding use of multimodalities in lower primary classrooms is important because there are differences in the affordances between various modes. For example, there are differences in the presentation, use and understandings of language and images: language is arranged temporally and sequentially whereas images are arranged spatially and simultaneously (Kress & Van Leeuwen, 2006). In the classroom context, these modes can be seen as resources available to teachers and students in the form of “visual, actional and linguistic communication” (Kress, Jewitt, Ogborn, & Tsatsarelis, 2001, p. 5). This study aims to contribute to the growing research on multimodality in classrooms with a focus on the various modes used by teachers and students in representing knowledge. The research questions are: 1. What are the different modes used by teachers during English and Mathematics lessons? 2. What are the different modes used by students in English and Mathematics lessons? 3. What are the similarities and differences in the way modes are used during English and Mathematics lessons? Our data and analysis, will allow us to describe and compare what is done. Based on the analysis, we will discuss possible implications for teaching, learning and future research.

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