NW 31 Network on Language and Education: Multiliteracies in multilingual societies

Multiliteracies in multilingual societies

This special call addresses the educationally relevant yet still largely unexplored issue of multiliteracies in multilingual societies. We would like to encourage discussion on the complex phenomenon of multiliteracies from multiple perspectives which include, but are not limited to: teaching and learning of multiliteracy in contexts of diversity, multiliteracy as linguistic and communicative practice, digitalization & multiliteracy as a resource for language learning, as well as consideration given to multiliteracies in formal education.

The Call
Due to growing linguistic and cultural diversity in the context of globalization, mobility, and the digital turn, the concept of literacy has undergone a remarkable transformation in the last decades. The traditional view of literacy as the ability to read in write a standard language has evolved into a multidimensional concept of multiliteracy (New London Group, 1996; Cope and Kalantzis, 2009), which encompasses multilingual and multimodal dimensions (Cope and Kalantzis, 2009). These two dimensions reflect the increasing importance of multilingualism and the multimodality of current forms of representation for educational success (Cope and Kalantzis, 2009).
Be it digitally or language-centered, multiliteracies have certain common features. They appear as multifaceted, multimodal, and non-static phenomena, which are emerging and changing in relation to a particular social context (Mills, 2016). Especially the dynamics of their appearance may puzzle educators and policymakers, leaving them rather unprepared to integrate a multiliteracy pedagogy into educational settings. Furthermore, both the linguistic and media skills of young people, viewed in their broadest context, may represent crucial prerequisites for students’ educational attainment across different subject areas and may influence their future career prosperity.
This special call aims, therefore, to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion on the role of multiliteracies between educational researchers across different subject areas. The overall purpose is to foster the exchange of ideas amongst educational researchers to promote collaboration on investigating multiliteracies in national and international contexts. Therefore, we call for research studies on multiliteracies, evidence of their impact (or not) on students’ educational attainment and their integration into the learning process across different subjects.

In line with the general conference theme for ECER 2020, “Educational Research – (Re)connecting Communities”, we invite symposia, research workshops, panel discussions, individual papers or posters that address the potential benefits and barriers of teaching, developing, and practicing multiliteracy from early childhood to adulthood in both school and out-of-school settings.

Contact person(s)
Joana Duarte (j.duarte(at)rug.nl)
Mirjam Günther-van der Meij (mirjam.gunther(at)nhlstenden.com)
Sarah McMonagle (sarah.mcmonagle(at)uni-hamburg.de)
Irina Usanova (irina.usanova(at)uni-hamburg.de)

Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). “Multiliteracies”: New Literacies, New Learning. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 4(3), 164-195. doi:10.1080/15544800903076044
Mills, K. A. (2016). Literacy Theories for the Digital Age: Social, Critical, Multimodal, Spatial, Material and Sensory Lenses. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66, 60–92.

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Interview with Link Convenor 2019