Journal of English Teaching through Movies and Media 2014;15(3):149-169.
Published online December 30, 2014.
The Argument for Representation in Multimedia Approaches to ELT
Pederson Rod
This paper examines how theories of representation may be of great use to the corpus of theories and pedagogies in multimedia approaches to ELT. The term representation comes from a body of theories used in a variety of fields of study including semiotics, sociology, cultural studies, and critical media literacy to describe how meaning is encoded and decoded through linguistic, visual and other multi-modal forms of the transmission of meaning. Through an examination of theories of representation and their possible pedagogical applications, this paper demonstrates how representation is inherently connected to expanded notions of textuality (intertextuality) that not only foster greater student understanding of the myriad cultural meanings embedded in media texts, but also enhances student voice and social agency by encouraging students to create their own media representations of meaning. The implications of representational theory for ELT include the necessity for teachers to not only understand the use of technology and media in ELT, but also the relevant theories that enable them to create pedagogies that engage students and foster higher levels of language learning. It is concluded that although representational theory is greatly applicable to multimedia approaches to ELT, representational theory is also largely ignored in the professional literature of ELT.
Key Words: ELT;multimedia;movies;representation;critical literacy
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