AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Multimodal Communication in an Eighth Grade History Classroom

by Michael Parry

Institution: Stockholm University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Multimodality; multimodal communication; multimodal transcription; semiotics; social-semiotics; meaning making; prompts; design learning sequence; design; modes; representations; affordances; signs; sign-making.; Social Sciences; Educational Sciences; Didactics; Samhällsvetenskap; Utbildningsvetenskap; Didaktik; Social Sciences; Educational Sciences; Pedagogy; Samhällsvetenskap; Utbildningsvetenskap; Pedagogik
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2118655
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126795


The following essay was written in Stockholm, Sweden in the autumn of 2015 at Stockholm University. The purpose of this study is to explore the forms of multimodal communication that are used in the classroom as meaning making prompts. The study is from a multimodal and design theoretical perspective and uses the model Learning Design Sequence as a framework for collecting and analysing data. A qualitative method is being used for collecting data from video observation, from two eighth grade History classes. Video Observation and multimodal transcription produce rich data from a multimodal perspective, for seeing what modes of communication are being used. However, to observe what modes of communication functioned as meaning making prompts, other methods could be employed. The results show that speech, gesture and tone of voice are used in the foreground as modes of communication. Gaze, image, text, posture and movement can fluctuate between the background and foreground depending on their use. Social practices such as turning the lights off, or turning the overhead projector on can function as meaning making prompts, as can hand gestures such as pointing, clapping and enacting. Speech, gesture, tone of voice, movement, image and sound can all work as a meaning making prompts individually or combined together.