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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The shape of joy, the colour of fear: multimodal abduction in the foreign language classroom

Nelson, Mark and Johnson, Neil (2014) The shape of joy, the colour of fear: multimodal abduction in the foreign language classroom. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 9 (1). pp. 45-62. ISSN 1554-480X

Item Type: Article


In this article, we describe a programme of qualitative research and interpretive analysis around an approach to foreign language pedagogy that aimed to develop learners’ symbolic competence through experience with and examination of the of signs in acts of communication. Learners were presented with the problem of visually
representing the abstract concepts of envy, excitement, joy and fear as a means of exploring relationships between mode and meaning and how meaning may be transformed as a result of re-presenting ideas in different modal forms. The data set included learners’ visual compositions, observational field notes on in-class interaction and transcribed semi-structured interviews and student presentations on their work, all
of which were analysed through the interpretive lens of Peircean semiotics, specifically the notion of abduction. Findings suggest that facilitating learners’ creative engagement in shifting meaning across representational boundaries of mode can serve to stimulate socio-cognitive processes of abduction, and thereby heighten students’
awareness of and connection to unique linguistic resources afforded by the target language.

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Depositing User: Neil Johnson


Item ID: 7380
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ISSN: 1554-480X
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Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2017 12:48
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:41


Author: Mark Nelson
Author: Neil Johnson

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Education


Culture > English Language and Literature

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