Volume 5, Issue 3 December 2022, pp. 68–85 Download PDF

Special Issue: Reimagining the Role of Literature in Intercultural Language Education

Film and the intercultural multimodal reader

Hild Elisabeth Hoff1, & Jena Habegger-Conti2

1 University of Bergen, NORWAY Hild.Hoff@uib.no
2 Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, NORWAY Jena.Lee.Habegger-Conti@hvl.no

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v5n2.677


This article addresses key theoretical and practical concerns related to the intercultural encounter with multimodal literature. Previous efforts to incorporate an intercultural dimension into conceptualisations of literary literacy have primarily focused on competences associated with the reading of traditional, script-based texts. However, as the term “literature” is today associated with a wide range of new media texts, there is a need to take this into account in theoretical constructs as well as in pedagogical practice. The article provides insight into how the multimodal elements of film function as a complex meaning-making ensemble which adds layers of potential insight as well as potential misunderstanding to the text interpretation process. With a basis in the Model of the Intercultural Reader (Hoff, 2016), the article sheds light on how issues related to the narrative style and structure of a Hollywood motion picture can be navigated through an exploration of the recognisable audio-visual rhetoric of oft-repeated tropes. Drawing on Baz Luhrmann’s film Romeo + Julietas a practical example, concrete suggestions for pedagogical practice are offered. By integrating practices of script-based intercultural reading with new literacies, the article expands upon previous theorisations of the intercultural reader and provides insight into how teachers may facilitate nuanced intercultural explorations of literary multimodal texts in the 21stcentury language classroom.


© Hild Elisabeth Hoff, Jena Habegger-Conti

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Hoff, H., & Habegger-Conti, J. (2022). Film and the intercultural multimodal reader. Intercultural Communication Education, 5(3), 68–85. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v5n2.677

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