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LRDG: An ontogenetic and multimodal analysis of Hong Kong textbooks

Date: 8 July 2013 Time: 4-5 pm

Venue: B 89, County South

Nancy Guo, Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, will be speaking at the next Literacy Research Discussion Group meeting on:

An ontogenetic and multimodal analysis of Hong Kong textbooks

Pivotal studies on language development in English-as-mother-tongue contexts have raised new issues concerning language development in English-as-second-language (ESL) or English-as-foreign-language (EFL) contexts. My ontogenetic analysis of ESL/EFL textbooks, one of main resources for classroom language learning, employs insights gained in English-as-mother-tongue contexts to examine the affordances of a textbook series widely used in Hong Kong. In particular, it identifies significant linguistic challenges created by the sequencing of functions across grade levels and variability in visual scaffolds.

Based on the socio-semiotic theories of language and images, this study charts a dynamic map of both linguistic and visual literacy scaffolded in a series of textbooks published by Pearson Longman Hong Kong and used in conjunction with the new three-year senior secondary academic structure in Hong Kong. Thirteen textbooks cutting across upper Primary, Junior Secondary School and Senior Secondary levels were used to create a corpus and images extracted from those textbooks were logged and analysed in relational database. Linguistic analysis included analysis of contextual variables and targeted lexico-grammatical features of these texts,and the ontogenesis of scaffolded linguistic literacy across textbooks was mapped. Image analysis concentrates on the images' functions across the levels so as to identify a developmental trace of scaffolded visual literacy. Finally, the results of the analysis are combined with interviews with textbooks designers and teachers to identify critical periods for teachers' scaffolding of linguistic development, and larger implications for language teaching, textbook design, and curriculum design.

Event website:


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Diane Potts (Linguistics and English Language)

Organising departments and research centres: Educational Research, Lancaster Literacy Research Centre, Linguistics and English Language

Keywords: English for academic purposes EAP, Multimodalities


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