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Multimodality, "Reading", and "Writing" for the 21st Century

DSCPE Volume 26, Number 3, ISSN 0159-6306


As words fly onto the computer screen, revolve, and dissolve, image, sound, and movement enter school classrooms in "new" and significant ways, ways that reconfigure the relationship of image and word. In this paper I discuss these "new" modal configurations and explore how they impact on students' text production and reading in English schools. I look at the changing role of writing on screen, in particular how the visual character of writing and the increasingly dominant role of image unsettle and decentre the predominance of word. Through illustrative examples of ICT applications and students' interaction with these in school English and science (and games in a home context), I explore how they seem to promote image over writing. More generally, I discuss what all of this means for literacy and how readers of school age interpret multimodal texts. (Contains 1 note and 6 figures.)


Jewitt, C. (2005). Multimodality, "Reading", and "Writing" for the 21st Century. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 26(3), 315-331. Retrieved April 3, 2020 from .

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