Speaking out for change: using a dialogic approach and diverse, multimodal texts to enhance critical literacy




Nixon, Jennifer

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This project explores how diverse, multimodal texts and a dialogic approach can be used to enhance adolescents’ critical literacy. The project consists of a middle years’ instructional unit, entitled Speaking Out for Change, which aims to enhance adolescents’ critical literacy as they read, view, and discuss diverse, multimodal texts linked together by the common theme of contemporary social and environmental issues. Students will undergo a transformative, social action process by creating their own multimodal productions which seek to inform and educate others about contemporary social issues. The review of the literature outlines the research around critical literacy pedagogy and the dialogic approach and highlights principles of effective literacy instruction for adolescents. The instructional resource includes a unit matrix, suggestions for text selection, an overview of all lessons, and several appendices which provide the instructional and assessment resources needed to implement this unit. It aims to foster the growth of active, socially responsible, global citizens and encourage adolescents to speak out for change. Finally, the reflection discusses the personal, professional, and theoretical influences that inspired me to create this resource.



critical literacy, dialogic, multimodal, diverse texts, adolescents, middle years, instructional unit, social issues, student agency, information circles, inquiry, social responsibility