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"Now I Test My English Everyday": Multi-modal Narratives Pedagogy for Teaching Adult Language Learners (Mahmuda Sharmin, The University of Memphis, United States)

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4:30 PM, Thursday 29 Apr 2021 EDT (30 minutes)
  Virtual session
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Mahmuda Sharmin, The University of Memphis, United States

Title: "Now I Test My English Everyday": Multi-modal Narratives Pedagogy for Teaching Adult Language Learners

Kkeywords: Multimodal Narratives ; Language Learning; Identity Construction


Language learners’ identity construction and language learning through narratives (Norton, 2000, 2010) and multimodal technologies (White 2007) have been investigated and found to be an effective way to facilitate ESL learning. Narrative writing helps learners build their identity and share their knowledge (Crandall 2018) and multimodality is a successful pedagogical tool that helps language learners express their experiences and construct their identities and agency (Johnson & Kendrick, 2017). Community-based English language programs focus on limited grammatical rules, memorizing, and practicing those rules instead of focusing on critical thinking about learners’ own identity (Zhalehgooyan 2017). Women learners tend to remain silent in the language classroom although the classroom is the only initial place for adult learners to practice (Sylvester 2002). Few studies, however, have examined the production of multimodal narratives by adult language learners. The current study investigates adult immigrant women language learners’ social identities in a new place and language learning by analyzing multimodal narrative writing in a community-based ESL program in the USA. The study explored the pedagogical implications of multimodal narratives practice tool in the L2 classroom and contribute to learners’ identity construction and language learning.

The study takes a qualitative approach and employs action research in which the researcher asked learners to produce multimodal narratives about using English outside the home. Five beginning intermediate immigrant adult language learners participated in in-depth interview and each of them produced approximately ten multimodal narratives writing in a shared Google Docs. Participants were asked to share their narratives orally in the classroom.

The findings suggest that multimodal narratives practice affords adult language learners’ opportunities to convey their lived experiences in the language classroom and this facilitated language development by reconstructing the conversations learners had outside of the classroom. The study contributes to the field of language learning.

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