Exploring the impact of multimodal composition on the learning and composing of creative writing

Vally Essa, Fatima
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This research explores the impact that multimodal composition can have on the learning and composing of creative writing. A key element of this research is to use a culturally relevant pedagogical approach to identify the impact and effect of using multimodal composition as a tool to work with epistemological resources, identities and languages that learners bring into the classroom by means of creative writing and multilingualism. The study uses a qualitative approach to conduct the research. The research tools used for collecting data included a textual and multimodal writing intervention with a group of grade 7 learners. The intervention was conducted over a limited time of two weeks in every English period allocated to the participating class. The participants consisted of one grade 7 class, all between the ages of 12 – 13 years old. They were selected based on having a multilingual repertoire and they all came from low to middle income households. Once the multimodal intervention was completed, questionnaires and a focus group discussion was used to explore learners’ perceptions and choices made during the writing process. Theoretically and empirically, this research has attempted to bring together creative writing, multimodality and a culturally responsive pedagogy. The main findings of this study suggest that creative writing pedagogy requires a shift towards the performance/ dramatization modes. It had the potential to encourage multilingualism through oral modes whereas the textual mode was associated monomodally with English and reproduced anglonormative ideologies. Unlike the textual mode, the performance genre generated more vivid and engaging stories due to drawing on creative elements. The performance genre created opportunities for embodiment by constructing and exploring multiple identities. A limitation of this study is that the learners’ did not select a range of modes to work with as they all chose the performance mode which influenced the data collected. Hence, I am not able to make broad conclusions about multimodality, but only about the performance modes. This research was a call for all educators to question if their pedagogy and approach to teaching creative writing is indeed creative at all.
Master of Education by Research (HRA00) University of the Witwatersrand 2019
Vally Essa, Fatima. (2019). Exploring the impact of multimodal composition on the learning and composing of creative writing. University of the Witwatersrand, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/28020