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As well as maintaining the central role of literature, the new Australian Curriculum: English emphasises the multimodal nature of literacy and requires students in primary and secondary schools to develop explicit knowledge about visual and verbal grammar as a resource for text interpretation and text creation. This study investigated the use of visual grammatics in interpreting picture books by students across Years Four, Five, Seven and Ten following an intensive professional learning programme undertaken by their teachers. A proposed framework describes variation in students' interpretive stance from tactical to diegetic to semiotic. Levels of student semiotic understanding are differentiated and differences between students' oral and written interpretations are discussed in relation the need for explicit teaching of written interpretive responses to multimodal literary texts, drawing on an articulated visual and verbal grammatics appropriate to the teaching of English in primary and secondary schools.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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