Volume 18, Issue 2 July 2022, pp. 185–210 Download PDF

Regular Articles

Bridging out-of-school digital literacy through multimodal composition for EFL students with developing proficiency

Dian Marissa https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4358-892X1, & Shazia Hamid https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0864-982X2

1 Royal Commission Yanbu Colleges and Institutes, SAUDI ARABIA marissadi@rcyci.edu.sa
2 Royal Commission Yanbu Colleges and Institutes, SAUDI ARABIA mukhtars@rcyci.edu.sa

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v18n2.539


Abstract

This study examined how multimodal composition afforded opportunities to develop learner agency. It involved four EFL students with pre-basic and basic proficiency in a Saudi Arabian university. Using multiliteracies and sociocultural theory as theoretical frameworks, this study reveals the complex ways in which the students composed multimodal texts while relying on their agency to utilize the digital tools. Data sources include interviews with the students, teacher-researcher reflections, and the students’ multimodal texts. The data reveal that through three distinct bridging practices, the students skillfully navigated through different reading sources and digital tools when they composed their multimodal texts (technological bridging), thus affording the opportunities for them to express themselves authentically (identity bridging) and to engage with the text that they composed meaningfully (semiotic bridging). However, there was a trade-off in terms of the teacher’ s role in facilitating learner agency and linguistic accuracy. Focus on content lowered the bar on acceptable grammar mistakes. This insight corroborates existing literature on the need for a balanced pedagogical focus on content and accuracy in multimodal composition. This study has implications for teachers who wish to reimagine academic writing by connecting it to students’ literacy practices, particularly to those with pre-basic and basic proficiency.



Copyright

© Dian Marissa, Shazia Hamid

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


Suggested citation

Marissa, D., & Hamid, S. (2022). Bridging out-of-school digital literacy through multimodal composition for EFL students with developing proficiency. The JALT CALL Journal, 18(2), 185–210. https://doi.org/10.29140/jaltcall.v18n2.539


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