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024705 Multimodal Texts: Comprehending and Creating

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Applied Language and Literacy Studies
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade, no marks


In this subject, students develop an understanding of the elements of multimodal texts (in print, visual, aural, static and moving forms) and the way multimodal texts can be navigated and interpreted. They learn to make appropriate choices of multimodal texts for a primary school curriculum and to address the needs of learners from diverse backgrounds. They develop teaching strategies to support learners’ comprehension of, response to, and creation of multimodal texts.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Identify and interpret the elements of visual grammar in multimodal texts
b. Select appropriate multimodal texts to support learners from diverse linguistic, cultural, gender, and socio-economic backgrounds
c. Develop knowledge of teaching strategies to support learners’ comprehension of, and response to, multimodal texts
d. Develop knowledge of teaching strategies to support learners’ creation of multimodal texts for particular purposes
e. Design suitable tasks to assess learners’ understanding of multimodal texts
f. Produce accurate and cohesive academic and professional texts.

Teaching and learning strategies

Teaching and learning strategies

Teaching and learning will take place in block mode: over 5 days x 6 hours per day in workshop mode. Students will receive ongoing formative feedback during workshop sessions.

Teaching strategies:

  • Short lecture input to introduce key concepts, and to illustrate application of theory to practice
  • Scaffolding of readings, class activities, and assessment tasks
  • Facilitation of student discussion and learning activities

Learning strategies:

  • Group based practical activities in workshops
  • Group based discussions of readings in workshops
  • Independent reading of specified academic texts
  • Independent research and assignment preparation

Content (topics)

The subject content is organised around three modules. The first module focuses on the development of a semiotic grammar for analysing multimodal texts. The second module focuses on the selection and critical analysis of appropriate multimodal texts. The third module develops strategies that use multimodality as a basis for generating classroom literacy activities.


Assessment task 1: Assessment Task 1 - Analysing and teaching a multimodal text


a, b, c, d, e and f

Weight: 50%

1000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Appropriateness of visual grammar analysis 30 a 1.1
Effectiveness of reading activity 20 b, c 1.2
Effectiveness of extension activity 30 d, e 1.2
Cohesiveness and accuracy of written assignment 20 f 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Assessment Task 2 - Produce a multimodal teaching resource


a, b, c, d and f

Weight: 50%

Multimodal text plus 1000 word exegesis

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Effectiveness in design and production of multimodal text 30 a, c 1.1
Appropriateness of multimodal text for specific group of learners 20 b, c 3.2
Depth of rationale and discussion of relevant issues 30 c, d 1.1
Accuracy and cohesiveness of written text 20 f 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Required texts

Subject textbook:

Callow, J. (2013). The shape of text to come: How image and text work, Newtown, PETAA.

Available, in print and e-book form, from the Primary English Teachers Association of Australia. Order e-book from


Adoniou, M. (2013) Drawing to support writing development in English language learners, Language and Education, 27:3, 261-277.

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.) Australian Curriculum: English. Retrieved from

Baroutsis, A. & Towers, C. (2017). Makerspaces: Inspiring writing in young children. Practical Literacy, 22(3), 32-34.

Barton, G. & Unsworth, L. (2014). Music, multiliteracies and multimodality: Exploring the book and movie versions of Shaun Tan’s The Lost Thing. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 37(1), 3-20.

Callow, J. (2017). ‘Nobody spoke like I did’: Picture books, critical literacy, and global contexts. The Reading Teacher,71(2), 231-237.

Cleary, A. (2016). Contentious picture books in our culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. Practical Literacy, 21(2), 17-19.

Dale, L.P., Higgins, B.E., Pinkerton, N., Couto, M. et al (2016) Princess picture books: Content and messages. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 30(2), 185-199.

French, R. (2017). ‘The picture is pleading with us to help’: Primary school children interpret a persuasive online video. Practical Literacy, 22(3) 29-31.

Gallen, V., Kervin, L., & Mantei, J. (2016). Using visual representations of the school environment as a stimulus for story. Practical Literacy, 21(3), 9-12.

Janks, H. (2014). Doing critical literacy: Texts and activities for students and teachers.New York: Routledge.

Kwaymullina, A. (2017, 14 June). Indigenous picture books offering windows onto worlds. The Conversation, Retrieved from

Lau, S.M.C. (2012). Reconceptualizing critical literacy teaching in ESL classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 65(5), 325-329.

Mantei, J. & Kervin, L.K. (2017). Using short films in the classroom as a stimulus for digital text creation. The Reading Teacher: A Journal of the International Reading Association, 70(4), 485-489.

Mills, K.A. & Levido, A. (2011). iPed: Pedagogy for digital text production. The Reading Teacher, 65(1), 85-91.

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2012). Suggested texts for the English K-10 Syllabus.Retrieved from

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2018). English K-10. Retrieved from

NSW Education Standards Authority. (2018). English K-10: Work samples. Retrieved from

Primary English Teaching Association of Australia. (2015). Teaching visual literacy with multimodal texts.Retrieved from

Pahl, K. & Rowsell, J. (2012). Literacy and education. London: Sage.

Scanlan, M., Feiler, A., Johnson, D., et al. (2005). Boxing clever: using shoeboxes to support home-school knowledge exchange. Literacy, July, 97-103.Janks, H. (2014). Doing critical literacy: Texts and activities for students and teachers.New York: Routledge.

Somerville, M., D’warte, J. & Sawyer, W. (2016). Building on children’s linguistic repertoires to enrich learning. Report to the NSW Department of Education.

Staley, B. (2017). Vamp TV: Curating multimodal literacies for remote Northern Territory schools. Practical Literacy,22(3), 19-20.

United Kingdom Literacy Association. (n.d.). Occasionalpaper on multimodal texts. Retrieved from

Victorian Department of Education and Training. (2018). Literacy teaching toolkit: Multimodal literacy. Retrieved from

Victorian Department of Education and Training. (2018). Visual metalanguage for comprehending and composing visual meaning.Retrieved from

Visible Thinking. (n.d.). See think wonder. Harvard Project Zero. Retrieved from

Walsh, M., Durrant, C. and Simpson, A. (2015). Moving in a multimodal landscape: Examining 21st century pedagogy for multicultural and multilingual students. English Australia, 15(1), 67-76.

Yenawine, P. (2013).Visual thinking strategies: Using art to deepen learning across school disciplines. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Picture books (additional to NESA list of suggested texts):

Dembricki, M. (2012). Xoc: The journey of a great white. Portland, OR: Oni Press.

Greene, G. (1992). Tjarany Roughtail. Broome, WA: Magbala Books.

Kobald, I. (2014). My two blankets. Richmond, Vic: Little Hare.

Stamaty, M.A. (2004). Alia’s mission: Saving the books of Iraq. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Winter, J. (2014). Malala, a brave girl from Pakistan / Iqbal, a brave boy from Pakistan. New York: Beach Lane Books.