Critical Transmodal Pedagogies

Project: Non-funded project

Project Details


This paper explores how student teachers navigated moving between different modes of representation
from written text to image. This enabled some students to play with genre conventions, rethink
the relationship between word and image, and explore multimodality in interesting ways. Working at the
intersection of Kress’ work on Multimodality, Newfield’s transmodal moment and the critical literacy
project, I designed and implemented a course for English secondary education in one school of education
in South Africa. Firstly, this article outlines the course’s aims and assessment to consider how multimodality
might feature in a unit of work for student teachers. Specific focus is given to the final assessment
task that required students to make a ‘transmodal shift’ from linguistic to visual-linguistic; from written
narrative to multimodal storytelling. Secondly, a critical multimodal discourse analysis of students’ visual
narratives is applied to explore how critical transmodality enabled some student teachers to imagine
beyond traditional narrative structures and explore multimodal semiotic resources in innovative ways,
relevant to the secondary English classroom. Finally, I conclude by considering the implications of multimodal
semiotic play for both research and classroom practice in language and literacy education, including
assessment, the value of non-linguistic modes, and genre as a construct of power.
Effective start/end date1/06/171/06/19


  • critical literacy
  • transmodality
  • multimodality
  • literacy
  • teacher education
  • narrative

Research Output

Critical transmodal pedagogies: student teachers play with genre conventions

Govender, N. N., 1 May 2020, In : Multimodal Communication. 9, 1, 20190009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Impacts

    Critical Discourse Analysis in Teacher Education: Power, Place, & Text

    Navan Govender (Participant)

    Impact: Education, Professional practice, training and standards, Public understanding, information and debate


    UKLA position statement: Critical Literacy

    Navan Govender (Participant)

    Impact: Education, Public understanding, information and debate


    • 1 Participation in conference

    United Kingdom Literacy Association

    Navan Govender (Participant)

    12 Jul 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference