Workshop on Multimodality

Dylan Yamada-Rice


Multimodality is probably relevant to all IED work. This is because it considers the various modes of communication and how they relate to the dissemination of information.

This workshop started with a brief introduction to some of the main concepts used in relation to multimodality such as:

  • What is a mode?
  • What does it mean to transduct information from one mode to another?
  • How do modes relate to culture and history?

Slides + Discussion

A mode is a resource for making meaning such as:

  • image (moving/ still)
  • writing
  • sound
  • speech
  • gesture

Every mode has conventions which can be shared between author and receiver of the message. The conventions of some modes are more widely understood than others which might require specialist training such as music or architecture.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 21.32.18

Kress (2003) writes that the use of modes is affected by:

  • cultural and social changes
  • economic changes
  • advances in technologies

In order to understand how foregrounding different modes changes the information/ message being disseminated we looked at different versions of  Dr Seuss “Green Eggs and Ham”.

9780394800165_p5_v3_s550x406Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 21.44.51.pngWatch Green Eggs and Ham being sung here

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 22.00.46.png

This was illustrated in relation to changes in the CBBC website over time:

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 22.03.02.png

Practical workshop

The practical focused on dividing into pairs and finding a way to transcribe just one modal experience of being in the Garden Place and then bringing each individual mode together to form a multimodal map of the ground floor.

IMG_20180112_161745_679.jpgImage: Transcribing writing in the environment in relation to lines of sight

IMG_20180112_161233_952Image: Combining modal transcripts into one map

Further Reading

Jewitt, C., Bezemer, J. & O’Halloran, K. (2016) Introducing Multimodality. Routledge.

Halliday, M A K. Language as Social Semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning.

Kress, G. & Van Leeuwen (2003) Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design.



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