Doctoral student Undarmaa Maamuujav shared her research at CATESOL's 50th Annual Meeting, held in San Jose on October 8, 2019. Founded in 1969, CATESOL (California Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) is a nonprofit organization concerned with the teaching of English as a second or foreign language, standard English as a second dialect, or bilingual education.
Maamuujav is a second year Ph.D. student specializing in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Improvement (TLEI). Her research interests include writing and rhetoric, critical reading, genre analysis, academic writing, composition, second language writing and acquisition, and technology in writing and literacy development. She is advised by Professor Carol Booth Olson.
The title of Maamuujav's presentation was "Moving Forward: Rhetorical Value of Multimodality in L2 Writing."
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. This research study 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? In this presentation, I will discuss the general scheme of my research and provide pedagogical tips to integrate multimodality in L2 writing courses.