Considering Primary-Aged English-Language Learners’ Peripherality and Legitimacy in Multimodal Literacy Lessons

Date

2013-05-03

Authors

Bomphray, Alexandra

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Abstract

This dissertation presents findings from a six-month qualitative case study that carefully examined the use of a multimodal literacy approach (anchored in graphic novels) in a 3rd grade classroom made up of Spanish-speaking English language learners (ELLs). The multimodal teaching approach (anchored in graphic novels) served as a focusing lens in which to investigate the larger complexities of ELLs’ classroom membership and participation. The focus of the study was examining whether a multimodal literacy approach (anchored in graphic novels) can be used as an instructional tool to enhance ELLs’ perceptions of belonging and acceptance through enhanced participation. Multiple, multimodal opportunities were provided to ELLs to express their sense of belonging, sense of agency, and overall perceptions of acceptance. The findings indicate that multimodal literacy practices can increase ELLs’ peripherality in cognitively and socially complex tasks and that this enhanced peripherality can lead to successful participation and engagement in cognitively demanding and socially complex tasks. Additionally, findings suggest that ELLs’ successful participation and engagement in cognitively and socially demanding tasks, as a result of the use of multimodal literacy practices, leads to increased legitimacy and peripherality for these ELLs. The findings also provide insight into the best practices for implementing a multimodal literacy approach (anchored in graphic novels) into multilingual classrooms.

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Keywords

English language learners, Classroom Membership, Multimodal Literacy, Elementary Literacy, Peer Acceptance

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