By Ruby, Nicole and Julie

An introduction of multimodal text:

Part 1. Summary of the article

In general, digital multimodal composing (DMC) refers to a textual practice in which people use digital tools to compose a textual production with various semiotic modes, including word, image, soundtrack, etc..
In this article, the author Liangjiang Jiang aimed to examine how DMC can stimulate English learning in EFL contexts and, meanwhile, raise the English teachers’ awareness of the instructional potential of it for specific learning purposes, with reference to the experiences and opinions of 5 teachers and 22 students who participated in a DMC project carried out in China.

It is found out that there are three main affordances that can be offered by DMC for English learning:

1.Technological Affordances

a. First, by using technological tools to transform English learning performance into various digital production of video or audio clips that recorded their speaking as voiceover and writing as subtitles, they commended that it could allow students to constantly replay and revise the production in a self-paced way. Especially for those who are shy in the conventional classroom, it could improve their confidence and engender a sense of having control, bringing about a new competent identity in the area that they used to be afraid of.

b. Second, being aware of the fact that their exhibitions would be posted online to a broader authentic audiences, they would maintain a much higher standard, trying harder and more earnestly.
c. Furthermore, DMC also allowed students to translate meanings across different modes, offering the opportunity to approach meaning-making beyond the limits of language and helping them relate the learning process with their one media world.
d. All of these made English learning a more comfortable experience and were conducive to re-engaging students with text-based reading and writing.

2. Educational affordances

a. On one hand, learning in the way of DMC provided the students with more opportunities to access information and learning materials that are lacked in the conventional curriculum. On the other hand, it also helped in increasing students’ classroom participation.
b.It could also create opportunities for students to use English in authentic contexts for interactive purposes, which they could barely experience learning in the conventional manner.
c.Some teachers highlighted that it could also nurture students’ creativity in expressing ideas.

3. Social affordances

DMC could also stimulate peer interactions and civic participation by providing them with the opportunity where they can use both authentic social and cultural resources in their community to express ideas that are of their own concerns.


The study has shown that DMC has made these three main affordances available for English learners, with multifaceted influence on them. However, it’s also indicated that only through the positive collaboration among teachers and students can these affordances work well. Teachers play a very important role in actualising these affordances.

Part 2. Evaluation

The study is of great value of the curriculum design for EFL learners in a socio-cultural and responsive multimodal context in the digital age. The study sheds a new light on the application of DMC in EFL learning, by looking further into the way in which such a learning approach facilitates L2 learning, which brings about profound and multifaceted insights into the essential role of multimodality and digital learning.

Furthermore, it comes up with numerous conducive implications for the use of DMC in L2 teaching and learning. To tackle the troubles brought up in the test-oriented educational context, teachers are suggested or recommended to accept the concept of DMC and then combine the textbook-based exams with the digital technology.

However, despite the achievements it has made, the study is not flawless, and there are some problems to address.
First, for several times, the study has mentioned DMC as a barrier in conventional literacy and high-stakes tests, but little practical and effective solutions have been offered to this matter.

Second, the study is conducted based on the educational context in China, which constraints its further implications to a certain education system.

The third one is more about the DMC effectiveness in L2 learning. In some cases, to save the expense and energy, students or learners are usually grouped up, and accomplish their task together. This collaborative learning may not cater for each individual’s learning needs, and they would not make much progress in the L2 learning. Technical problem should be attended to.

Additionally, there are still abundant researches and studies on this topic or relevant topic, and the outcomes are quite constructive and informative. Down below are some of them.

In Multimodal Composing in Classrooms by Miller and McVee (2012), they points out the importance of DMC in the 21st century literacy and the actions teacher should take to implement multimodal composing teaching.

Part 3. Example of digital multimodal composing: digital storytelling

Digital storytelling is a short form of digital media production that allows everyday people to share aspects of their story. The media used may include the digital equivalent of film techniques (full-motion video with sound), stills, audio only, or any of the other forms of non-physical media which individuals can use to tell a story or present an idea.

Please take a look at the link below to enjoy a digital story.

If you are a language learner, isn’t it interesting to learn language in this way?

Oak Hill School has already put digital in their language teaching and achieved great success. When an interviewer ask what students’ favorite part of digital storytelling is, most of them says “all of it”. The reason why they say so is because digital storytelling provides language learners with a great amount of motivation and interests by adding personal relevant and meaningful purposes to language learning. Students write scripts and then produce a story by collaborating with others in which they finish specific tasks such as voice-recording, photo- editing and sound effects. Unlike conventional language class, digital multimodal composing offers students the opportunity to customize meaning-making beyond the limits of language, i.e. students combine speaking and writing with multiple sources into a digital video so that a relevance between language learning and their own media world is built.

In addition, digital storytelling enables students to learn beyond-textbook knowledge and social skills. When producing a story, students need to learn basic computer and film-editing skills before they could output a qualified video and the motivation behind encourages them to be autonomous in the process of learning. Because it is a team work, interaction with others is a must, then students can learn something to facilitate interpersonal relationship. And the success of video production helps them to overcome fear and shape a competent identity in the process of learning.

Here is the case of Oak Hill School.

Questions:(choose one or two from the following questions)

  1. Do you have any experience of using DMC as a method of English learning or teaching? If you have, can you share your perception of it?
  2. What is your opinion towards the benefits of DMC? And what about the drawbacks?
  3. What is the role of teacher in applying DMC? (As a teacher, what should be done to maximise the positive influence of DMC?)



45 thoughts on “The Application of DMC (Digital Multimul Modal Composing) in Language Teaching

  1. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie! Thanks for your detailed introduction to DMC.
    Last semester, I had a film project in Joanna’s class. In order to finish this task, we had to combine our language knowledge with digital technologies. We learned how to make a storyboard, how to shoot with various angles for delivering different messages or emotions, how to edit the video, like adding the scripts and soundtracks. It is a tough but really interesting and fruitful project, I think. Although there are some drawbacks or challenging in applying DMC in language education, I think it is still worth trying to combine DMC with L2 learning. In this process, teachers should play as instructors, facilitators and researchers. Teachers should not only provide related knowledge about digital technologies, but also help students conduct this kind of tasks. Besides, teachers should keep learning new technologies and seeking for better ways to make use of them in language teaching.

    • Michelle, your interpretation of the questions is comprehensive. I agree, in particular, that teachers should take up a variety of different roles. In the experience that I shared, it was a pity that the teacher did not know how to use our video-camera, and there was actually not enough time to ask our teacher when the shooting took place. If she had known more, she could have straightened out some of our problems even during the script writing and storyboard drafting stages.

    • Hi Michelle, thank you for your comment! I agree very much with your opinion that in the process, teachers should not only take the role as instructors, facilitators, but also as researchers. In fact, DMC approach is still in the emerging phase where more effort should be made to explore an effective and fruitful way of exploiting it in the field of education. And teachers should certainly be the leading force in the process of realising the goal.

  2. Although I have not learned English language via DMC method, yet I have the experience of learning the history of English via digital storytelling on NetEase OpenCourse ( This experience provides me with a perception that digital storytelling has the magic of turning the complicate things into simple ones. Considering digital storytelling is often matched with the animation, with the simplified version of knowledge presented by digital storytelling, learners will have a stronger impression on what they have learned.

    However, in view of the attribute of digital storytelling, it only contains limited time for illustrating specific target knowledge. Therefore, simplification of the knowledge of digital storytelling cannot be avoided. In this case, learners will probably learn something incomplete. To solve this problem, teachers should works as the illustrator and facilitator to help learners learn better.

    • Hi Laurel, thanks for the sharing of your own experience when using Net Ease Open Course, I just clicked your link and watched the clip. Actually this is a very good example of digital storytelling and I now have a better undertanding of Shakepeare’s influence on English vocabulary and the whole development of English language history because of the animation and special tone of dubbing which give a deep impression just as you mentioned. And I also agree that knowledge shown on the screen may be incomplement so that as language tachers we need to lay the foundation of essential knowledge background and this way of teaching can serve as an output of students’ performance.

  3. Ruby, Nicole and Julie, I had a movie-making experience back in my undergraduate years. At that time, our English teacher asked us to make a short movie of around 15 minutes based on a script that we wrote in groups. It was a task we had to do in addition to analyzing a movie in paper using the mise-en-scène terminologies that we learnt from the tutor. I think that the project was very challenging – our team was no expert in shooting movies but the script that we wrote was complicated, as we tried to write one about two different versions of “truth” by shooting the same story from two different angles. At that time, since we could only borrow the video-camera from the department for one day, we had a hard time running back and forth in different buildings to shoot the movie. Despite the difficulties, the project enabled me to understand the multi-modal elements of a movie much more thoroughly (in our case, “angles” were an aspect explored in detail, i.e. not just the camera angles but also what we put in each frame in the storyboard and in the actual setting) than just analyzing a movie on paper. Also, after the experience, I was more motivated to watch movies from the perspective of the producers. It gave me some “insider’s” knowledge which I wouldn’t obtain otherwise.

    • Hi Camie, thank you for sharing your interesting experience with us! As you have mentioned, shooting a movie as a producer brought you a whole new perspective of appreciating a movie, which can be seen as one of the technological affordances of DMC—providing you with the opportunity to engage with your language work in a way that can let you explore more things than just the knowledge about the text. And your experience has also reminded me of a parallel experience of mine back in my undergraduate years as well. Only after finishing the shooting, we just submitted it as an assignment to our teacher instead of posting it online. So how about yours? Did you finally upload it online?

    • Hi Camie, “insider’s” knowledge is exactly one purpose of DMC. DMC is not about facilitating language learning in authentic contexts bu also about providing extra and useful knowledge student may put into use in their future. So your personal experience is a typical model to prove effectiveness of DMC. Also, I admit that it is a little time-consuming when shooting the film because you need digest teacher’s requirements into practical actions and you meet some obstacles in the whole process, but I’m sure the affordances far outweigh disadvantages.

  4. Hello, Ruby, Nicole and Julie. Thank you for presenting such a clear post. I personally do not have much learning or teaching experience related to DMC. According to your post and some literature I read, I believe teachers should play roles as instructor and facilitator in this kind of task. They should provide the learner with adequate scaffolding since DMC is relatively new to them.
    Benefits: 1. Help student foster not only their writing skill but also digital literacies.
    2. Allow students to be creative and more engaged.
    Drawbacks: 1. Time-consuming 2. Need guidance on both writing process and also the digital techniques, resulting in more workload on teachers.

    • Hi Eva, your point of affordances and drawbacks really make sense, students will be more creative and engaged in this process of learning because they need to create and design materials from scratch to works. And they also accumulate some skills in using technologies to be better participate public and work lifes in the future. As for the drawbacks of DMC, it worths time and efforts to produce a work which can be commemorated for a long time

  5. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie. Thank you for offering such a thorough introduction to the application of DMC in language teaching to us. Although I don’t have much experience relevant to DMC, I do think it would be a good attempt to include digital literacies practices into language teaching. Compared with traditional teacher-oriented instruction, this approach allows students to finish the task through cooperating with others. So I believe their learning autonomy and cooperative ability could be enhanced greatly in the process. Also, engaging with this digital literacie practices would also foster their digital literacies. The limitations could be that the effectiveness of learning would largely rely on students’ participation and motivation as a result of the student-oriented nature of this task. As such, to ensure the learning effect, teachers have a vital role to play when conducting this teaching activities. In addition to being instructors, they are required to acting as planners or organizers, in an attempt to provide proper guidance for students. After finishing the task, they would also need to provide certain feedback for their students.

    • Hi Evelyn, thanks for your insightful comment! I found your opinion about the teachers’ important role really convincing. Just like you’ve mentioned, DMC is a student-oriented approach in which the effectiveness of learning may vary greatly due to students’ different level of engagement in the learning process. However, if teachers can take a more comprehensive role, both as instructors and, as you’ve mentioned, organisers, then I think the situation will certainly be improved a lot.

    • Hi Evelyn, I totally agree with your opinions over the teacher’s roles. In order to maximize the effectiveness of DMC, the teacher has to play more than one roles during the process, and it is very significant for the teacher to gets used to switching from one role to another.

    • Dear Evelyn , I agree with you that students’ learning autonomy ability could be enhanced greatly in this process.Besides that, another advantage of it is that it gives learners an access to make full use of individual competences as well as cooperative efforts since the group work is involved in this learning process. Every participant is assigned with a part of tasks when working in a team according to his expertise, ability and interests, which will enhance the whole productivity.

  6. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie. DMC seems to be a quite ‘versatile’ approach to incorporate many ‘talents’ including audio and visual forms, enabling students to be more active in participating in these creative activities compared with the conventional class. But I think the possible drawbacks of DMC may be the assessment from the teachers since the individual (or group) work in this contribution will increase teachers’ workload, the assessment of the online society seems to be tricky. But I do still encourage this approach instilling more energy to the learning!

    • hi, Doreen, thank you for your comment and I think you gave a deep insight into the multimodal composing in classroom teaching. Indeed, it is very hard to set rules to assess the project in that certain approach aims at creativity cultivation. students are encouraged and welcome to utilize certain technologies to do the tasks, during which they could explore their own potentials. but at least, I think one’s work could be evaluated in terms of how much he/she has contributed to the project, and whether the project’s content is completed and so on. certain criteria are set not only to stimulate students to work better, but also guide them to think about an issue in a broader way.

  7. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie. In my opinion, DMC is beneficial for English teaching and learning. With the help of digital multi-modality, students can express themselves in various ways. They are allowed to get their meanings across via images and videos, apart from speaking and writing. It is a very good way to integrate learning with entertainment and thus can arouse students’ interest in communicating in English. Furthermore, using English in meaning-making context, will certainly motivate students to learn it, as they are clear about what their learning is for and what their learning can achieve.

    Perhaps some argue that DMC shifts students’ attention away from language learning. But living in an environment with ubiquitous technology, students have to learn to combine learning with digital technology. It is also teachers’ job to prepare students for the digital world.

    • Hi Eric, thanks for your comment! I totally agree with your point that we are now living in a society which is so technologically developed that it seems like we cannot live without it anymore. In this case, it is just a matter of time that integrating DMC approach in language teaching becomes a certainty. The thing now is to figure out an all-round way to apply DMC, which I think may need lots of effort not only from teachers, but also from the collaboration among teachers and students.

  8. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie. Thanks for your sharing. The video clips in your post are very interesting and lively. It is undeniable that DMC has its merits and demerits. By combing DMC in language teaching, the classes would be more alive and students have chance to contact with more and more authentic materials and resources. What’s more, students’ skills in reading, writing, critical thinking would also be improved. However, there are some drawbacks that we cannot overlook. As you already mentioned in your post, the technical problem is not only a stumbling stock in students’ learning process, but also an important issue that the teacher has to solve during the preparation of the project.
    As for the role of teacher in applying DMC, I think the teacher plays more than one roles during the process since the purposes of the project may be diversified. On one hand, when illustrates the basic language knowledge and technology knowledge, the teacher is the model and the authority. On the other hand, during the period the students work in groups, the teacher plays the role as a facilitator and instructor in order to promote the students grasp the skills and knowledge.

    • Hi, Grace Fu, thank you for your comment on our post and I really appreciate that you and I share the same view on the technical problems as a drawback in applying multimodal composition in class. However, as to the roles of teachers, I think I have viewed them differently. as you mention, to ensure students would enjoy themselves in multimedia learning activities, teachers have to provide some scaffoldings.what I want to address is that teachers are doing so in order to provide technical help. In this sense, I might suppose they are facilitators, rather than the dominants, in that what they did before implementing the approach was to accelerate or help the learning process afterwards. Anyway, thank you for your enlightening thoughts again!

  9. Hi Ruby, Nicole and Julie, thanks for your specific introduction to DMC. As a matter of fact, I did not have any experience of using DMC as a method for English learning. To maximize the positive influence of DMC, I think teachers should do the following:
    1. Teachers should get familiar with relevant multimodal software, such as the 3D animation software, movie-making software, e.g., iMovie, Moviemaker, and photostory, and 3D game creation/3D world software, and so on.
    2. Teachers should have high levels of familiarity with the metalanguage of multimodal authoring, and awareness of theoretical frame-works associated with test design and construction to improve the effective teaching of narrative texts.
    3. Teachers should provide guidance for students to compose the effective multimodal text, encourage students to engage in systematic review of their work, pay attention to how texts work and can be constructed, and make sure that elements and modes adding to the text do help meet their intentions.
    4. Teachers should encourage the proper use of DMC, the use of multiple modes does facilitate language learning and teaching, but don’t add modes for the sake of adding more modes, what is important about DMC is when to engage the different modes of communication and why they bring meaning to test.

    • Hi, Grace J. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Honestly, it does not really matter if you have experienced by composing multimodally. what our group intended to do is to introduce the approach and inform you of how new techs are integrated into language teaching and learning. What is more, your suggestions in maximizing the effects of multimodal composition really impressed me. In my opinion, students could indeed benefit from this approach. not only because they will uptake some technological skills that will be useful in future, but also because they could be more active and creative or even more critical, which for sure will play a important role in future workplaces.

  10. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie, thank you for your post. I have to say it is very enjoyable to see your post started with a relaxing video introducing multimodal text, which is very easy to understand. Also, your headlines are very clear and it is better if it can be more creative.
    For digital multimodal composing, I agree with the three main affordances which you have mentioned. As learners make the multimodal composing, they get accesses to these new technologies, are exposed into the authentic language environment and real materiel, and they can also be more competent in their communication when they interact with each other.
    But I think maybe there are some limitations in digital multimodal composing, 1) not so effective for EFL learners; 2) high demand for the teachers’ own efficiencies in using these digital tools.

    • Hi, Eating, thank you for your reply, and your observation is impressive.At first, I admit that our words are slightly inflexible. Then, the video at the beginning can be an good example for what we are talking in this post, from printed-text to the digital text. This transformation, as you mentioned, is very effective. The affordances were cited from the article, if you want some more details, you could refer to the reading lists. As to the two aspects you mentions when discussing about the downsides of this approach, more elaborations are expected, for I do not quite understand what you want to express. Anyway, thank you again for your sharing!

  11. HI, Ruby, Nicole and Julie, thanks for your post.
    I have been asked to do a DMC project in my undergraduate studies. It was really hard for our girls in the beginning as most of us have little experience in processing videos. Luckily, we had a new member joined later who was so interested in mass media. We assigned different jobs, including making a storyboard, shooting, editing and related material collecting etc, to every individuals in terms of our strong skills. It’s really a time-consuming but meaningful task. The whole project practice lasted for almost two weeks so that we had less time to prepare other course assignments, which is one very typical drawback among all DMC tasks. However, I still believe the advantage of DMC outweigh its disadvantage. It is that two-week teamwork that enhance our relationship and cooperation skill. More importantly, in the process of doing these multiple work, including collecting image material, reading literatures, selecting background music, etc, various modal-related knowledge and skills were acquired unconsciously.
    As a teacher, they should fully learn about DMC and its application first. In this way, they would introduce DMC skills more appropriately and better motivate students to engage in DMC work. 
In addition, as I mentioned above, many students have less background knowledge with audio/video/graphic editing, it is necessary for teaches to guide them into very elementary level with presentation before project start.

    • Hi, Fiona, I agree with you that DMC is such a energy-consuming and time-consuming way to learn. For sure, I experience the same thing when in high school. I and other members were assigned to do a presentation on any topic we were really into. So we spent almost two weeks to accomplish the task. I have to say the outcome was really satisfying but behind the presentation, it will cost you lots of time. As to the skills mastering, I think you would more active than passive to tackle the problems. the technical skills and technological skills are fostered when you want to master them with the aim to finishing tasks. therefore, in my opinion, you learn them consciously and intentionally. Anyway, thanks again for you considerations!

  12. Hi Ruby, Nicole and Julie!Your question reminds me of my similar experience when I was an undergraduate student. It was a C-E translation lesson, I was required to translate a short video and record the translated text and finally add both the voice and text into the original video. Although it is a group project, I must say it costs me a huge amount of time. Without teacher’s instructions, we have to overcome some technical problem, which is the most difficult part in the whole process. Although most of the classmates showed their curiosity and excitement for this new form in the beginning, few of them thought it is a meaningful assignment. Therefore, in my view, teachers should introduce the use of video editing tools at first if they apply DMC in their teaching, and try to minimize the technical difficulty so that students are able to have more time focusing on the language learning itself.

    • Hi, Danella, thank you for your story sharing. I feel bad for your terrible experience in DMC. Most students are highly interested in computer-based course or assignment due to that they have more time in Internet surfing. but such enthusiasm would decline for lacks of relevant skills. This is why teachers’ supports and guidances are needed. but worse could it be when teachers are not familiar with such kind of technologies. with respect to it, as a becoming teacher, we should always pay attention to the new technologies in teaching and enhance our skills in technology handling. in this way would our students benefit more from our teaching. Anyway, thanks again for your opinions!

    • Hi Danella, thanks for your comment! I have to say I had a very similar experience with yours as well. It was also a digital kind of task assigned by my university teacher without giving us enough introductions to both the underlying technical and academic problems involved in the process. So consequently we found that task a bit boring and confusing, without understanding the goal of doing all the stuff. Therefore, teachers should do more to improve students’ participation and engagement in the process.

    • Hi, Denalla, I also had the very similar experience of digital translation before when were asked to watch an advertisement video without any subtitles, pay attention to the voiceover, translate it into Chinese and add subtitle for that with one particular editing software, which was the most challenged part for me. But luckily, our teacher has told some basic skills to deal with that new edging tool and shared one instruction link to further explore that application. As you said in your post, it is very necessary for teachers to guide students using this editing tool before they beginning their composition work, which means teachers should better know that software well before they assigning that project, otherwise, it would be too time-consuming for students to try to handle the multiple function of that tool.

  13. Hi, Danella, thank you for your story sharing. I feel bad for your terrible experience in DMC. Most students are highly interested in computer-based course or assignment due to that they have more time in Internet surfing. but such enthusiasm would decline for lacks of relevant skills. This is why teachers’ supports and guidances are needed. but worse could it be when teachers are not familiar with such kind of technologies. with respect to it, as a becoming teacher, we should always pay attention to the new technologies in teaching and enhance our skills in technology handling. in this way would our students benefit more from our teaching. Anyway, thanks again for your opinions!

  14. Hey, Ruby, Nicole and Julie, you did a great job!
    I have experiences related to DMC when I was a junior student. At that time, we are required to make a film based on the story Blackmail written by Arthur Hailey. Students are given the access to make several changes about the story and incepting manifold sound or visual effects in the video. It’s a really unforgettable experience in my bachelor life, from which I learned the significance of cooperation.
    Benefits: Firstly, it helps students to grab the basic digital tools, which can help them to gain better career prospects and specialized expertise; Secondly, it triggers students’ learning interests and helps to enhance their reading, writing and speaking English abilities; Thirdly, it helps students to develop an appreciation of art, poetry and literature.
    Despite the benefits of multimodal assignments I have discussed above, there are also several drawbacks of it: Initially, it adds large amount of pressure to students who already have a heavy workload in school tasks; Secondly, it may constitute a distraction of language learning itself.
    During this process, teachers play the role of facilitator since they inspire students to highly anticipate in the learning process meanwhile students are self-disciplined and self-autonomy for the most of time.

    • Hi, Alice, thank you for your appreciation! I am so glad to know that your experience on DMC is quite intriguing. I agree that DMC boost learners’ four language skills. But I still wonder how it could affect the ability to appreciate art and literature. As to the negative effect it has on language learning, I think time-wasting and time-consuming is one of the most obvious features it has. What is worse, if not made use of appropriately, it would hinder the learning process, so the point you bring up that self-control is essential also reasonable. I could tell you have enjoyed this approach so well and thanks again for your sharing!

  15. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie. Thank you for sharing this interesting topic. I haven’t tried learning English through DMC method in school but we did do something similar in college. That was an activity organized by our class, English majors and IT majors. In order to show both the speciality of the two majors, we reedited the English story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” with the IT students together. They were really creative in adding background music which helped promoting the atmosphere, creating cartoon characters who fit the identity in the original and creating the funny facial expression which made the story much much more attractive. I remember that after we showed the video to the classmates, they spoke highly of it and keep talking about it for the whole night. It was sured that even the students who could make best speeches and the best story teller cannot could not receive that much applause. Therefore, I think teachers should take advantage of the advanced technologies to make the teaching procedure more attracting and memorable.

    • Hi, Annie, thank you for your sharing. your story draws my attention because I notice something different. your class project is connected with English major and IT major, from which, I could probably tell that DMC has an interdisciplinary function in learning. Through the teamwork, learners’ collaborative ability could be enhanced, which linked back to the social affordances mentioned above. Thanks again for your participation!

  16. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie, thanks for your sharing. I’ve never tried DMC in my second language learning, but I’ve tried this method in my L1 learning, on Chinese class in my first undergraduate year, our teacher asked us to Adapt the narrative poem ‘木兰辞’(the ballad of Mulan) into a video. Firstly we had to change the poem from ancient Chines into the contemporary one, then adapted it into a narrative story. We added the background music and some pictures, we found ourselves highly creative while we were making our video. The picture and the background music selection is as important as the story writing.
    The advantages of DMC is that it is a new way of composing, students prefer to try something new to satisfy their curiosity. Also, the new multimodal form is in accordance with the way they receive the information online, which makes them feel interesting in writing.
    But one of the limitation of our L1 DMC writing is that this task is really time consuming and requires some technical capabilities. We knew about some applications to edit our video from internet, but the process of making it was struggle.

    • Hi, Lissie, thank you for your participations. Actually, DMC is not exclusively used in L2 learning, since you have already been there when learning L1. Surely, this article focuses on how DMC functions in L2 learning, but still, out there are lots of other trials on L1. From your experience, I could tell DMC is a medium of creativity cultivation. How you adapt the poem reflects your characteristics, and the ability to deal with the discourse. i believe once your are devoted to your work, you will enjoy it no matter how much time it will cost you.

    • Hi Lissie, thanks for sharing your personal experience of L1 DMC learning. This form of language learning/teahcing enabls learners to experience authentic materials and feel involved in it especially for those who have relatively more free time. In this process, learners learn from teachers, peer students and technologies, which is better than one-sided direction from teachers, in addition, teachers have more freedom to train students into creative individuals and students’ ability learned in this class can be transferred to other classes as well.

  17. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie, Thanks for the illustration of DMC in application of learning writing. It is a creative way to combine multimodality with traditional way of language learning. Unfortunately I haven’t had experience on this. But as is analyzed by other students, this new form of learning provokes students’ strong interest and engagement with the subject. Motivation and proper attitude are some of the most crucial elements for language learning. Thus DMC can probably make it. However, editing and shooting videos are skills that need extra training and not everyone has the experience or talent for the process. This may cause a problem by distracting energy or attention from the target content and even may dismay the learners when they find it too complicated to perform the video. I think teachers need to provide necessary technical supports like instruction or training of editing and shooting, which help build a base for this creative activity.

    • Hi chiwei2, your point of potential problem of DMC is quite to the point, but the merits of DMC is far outweigh demerits. If teachers are trained to be qualified techonological instructors, this won’t be a problem. But for students at a youngage, the problem would be they are too young to be self-disciplined when using these technologies so that we need to make sure they are under appropriate control before producing their artwork.

    • Hi, Dallas. Glad to have you on this post. It has been a heated discussion on the drawbacks of DMC. I believe you and other classmates are right because DMC needs time and energy and technical skills. Therefore, teacher should have the knowledge in this aspect so as to offer scaffoldings and to facilitate learning process. What is more, I have some questions about the ‘proper attitude’ you have mentioned. could you clarify it in more details? Anyway, thank you for your engagement!

    • Hi, Chi. I agree with you that teachers should first give enough instructions about how to use the technology in order to minimize students’ stress and make sure that they are focused on language learning. What’s more important, I believe it is our teachers’ responsibility to introduce digital technology to students, as nowadays it has been a requisite skill to be equipped with digital knowledge.
      So it also poses a new challenge to teachers, who have to keep pace with technology development. I know a lot of teachers are not familiar with DMC, and therefore, it is impossible for them to apply it into their teaching. Only if teacher are multi-literate, will students be able to acquire new literacies.

  18. Hi, Ruby, Nicole and Julie! Thank you very much for your summary, evaluartion and the examples you given. When i was in my undergraduate, i was assigned to complete a micro class with my team. To complete the task, combination of language teaching and digital technologies was needed. After this assignment, i have learned how to take the videos with a proper angle, how to edit the video, for example, editing the scripts. It was a very difficult task for me but i actually did learn a lot through this experience. In my opinion, teacher plays a significant role in giving students guidance and help them since that some students are equipped with knowledge in thier major but with poor digital skills and they may need a lot of help during this kind of process.

  19. Hi, Ruby, Nicole, and Julie. Thanks for your post.

    After knowing much more about multimodal composition, I believe it is beneficiary for language teaching. Last night I talked about the application of digital technology in language classroom with a friend, who is an English teacher in an international senior high school. Although he ever asked students to deliver a presentation with help of PPT, a way of digital literacy, he actually never thought about this issue carefully, like its accordances or constraints. He then showed much interest in multimodal composition and I introduced to video editing software, PowerDirector, to him. He said he would use it next week, dividing students into different groups and asking each group to choose a module in the textbook to transform it into a multimodal version. In this way, students will be able to review and check what they have learned. In addition, I reminded him that he must explain how to use this technology in advance in order to minimize students’ worries about it.

    We also discussed the feasibility of it in Chinese educational context. Because his school is an international school, students suffer less stress from examinations and have more time to spend on this activity. But for the other schools, it remains to be seen whether it can be applied.

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