Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL) National Convention
March 12-15, 2019
Title: Rhetorical Value of Multimodality in L2 Writing in the Age of Digital Literacy
Presenter: Undraa Maamuujav
The landscape of literacy is continuously evolving in the 21st century digital age; so are the needs of the new generations. In fact, Yancey (2004) asserts that “literacy today is in the midst of tectonic change,” and urges writing instructors to move beyond the alphabetic writing or the print-only textual production to better serve the digital generation (p. 298). The use of digital technologies and integration of different semiotic, visual, and audio elements in composition hold promise for increasing the writing achievement of L2 learners, but little is known about the process of multimodal composing and its impact on improving writing skills and fostering rhetorical knowledge in the L2 classroom. Understanding if and how multimodal composition might foster rhetorical knowledge and improve writing skills without diverting language learners from building their linguistic skills is crucial. My research project seeks to explore two major questions of pedagogical import: (1) how might the affordances of multiple semiotic features complement alphabetic writing? and (2) how can writing instructors harness multimodal tools, without diverting L2 learners from building their linguistic skills, to improve the rhetorical knowledge and writing development of L2 learners?