Module 5: Working with written and visual texts

Reading 1:


  • point one
  • point two


  • point one
  • point two
  • language environment and support provision are critical
  • attitudes, family competence and expectations also factors



Reading 2: Multiliteracies in literate futures

What do we need to know about tests to be multiliterate?

  • readers need to know about the structures, codes and conventions of texts
  • also need to know that texts are social
  • need to study texts in context and as social artefacts
  • need to be aware of intertextuality and increasingly hybrid nature of texts as technology impacts on the production and consumption of texts

Texts are consciously constructed

  • whatever purpose (personal, political, economic, entertainment, etc etc) texts are deliberately created to be used
  • influenced by cultural, social, structural and linguistic conventions, and creator consciously chooses how to apply elements of these influences to suit the purpose
  • texts may be further influenced by other factors involved in publication (eg constraints of online publishing, processes of print publishing, marketing etc)
  • may use techniques to manipulate reader experience such as omission of information, bias, visual trickery

 Meanings are actively constructed

  • readers actively build meaning as they interact with text
  • personal background knowledge, culture, language and current context are influences
  • different readers thus have a different experience of the same text
  • lack of necessary prior knowledge, culture, language etc may exclude some readers from understanding texts


  • parody, visual structure, mixing recognisable characteristics of various texts
  • for the reader to make the intended meaning from a text they need to be able to understand the references to other texts whether it is through style, language, visual or audio allusion (eg the Jaws DA-dum means nothing to someone who has never heard of the scary shark movie – it is just a silly noise with no connotations of fear)

A text may have several possible meanings

  • dependent upon how the author constructs the text, and the interpretation brought by the reader

Texts are constructed from a variety of semiotic systems

  • make meanings “using codes and conventions of oral, written and multimedia texts”
  • may rely upon codes such as auditory, gestural, linguistic, spatial, visual
  • hypertext, multimedia or context-dependent texts may require use of multiple codes at the same time

Texts can be multimodal and interactive

  • texts may require use of several modes of communication at the same time eg listening, speaking, reading, viewing and writing – for instance a blog may host pictures, videos, podcasts as well as text, and invite reader commentary
  • may be able to be used in a non-sequential, non-linear way (Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books; onlien hypertext)

Texts will continue to change

  • texts will change as social conventions and available technology change
  • readers will need to be increasingly flexible to deal with changes
  • print-based literacy will not die, but will need to be applied as part of a fluid toolkit


Something I knew:

  • Intertextuality – something I encounter a lot when working with picture books; many writers are influenced by traditional tales or genre conventions

Something I hadn’t considered:

  • that the environmental context is sometimes necessary to understand a text. Working in a library I forget that signage, plaques outside display areas, PA announcements are all examples of texts that make more sense in a particular physical environment

Something to investigate further:

  • ways in which we can leverage the diversity of cultural and linguistic backgrounds in our classes to enrich our students’ experiences of reading – especially in my role of helping students to read for pleasure and to read for information-finding.

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