IMprovement Of multimoDAl LITeracY in childhood

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Lancaster Literacy Research Centre are delighted to welcome Fernando Guzmán-Simón, Alejandra Pacheco and Eduardo Garcia.

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This Lancaster Literacy Research Centre event will be a talk from Fernando Guzmán-Simón, Alejandra Pacheco and Eduardo Garcia, titled IMprovement Of multimoDAl LITeracY in childhood (3-8 years old): development of an inclusive model in Areas with Social Transformation Needs (MODALITY).


The failure in the literacy development provided by the school system to children from Areas with Social Transformation Needs requires a profound understanding of the processes concurring and interfering in it. Previous research in international contexts has highlighted the complexity of multimodal literacy, described as dynamic, heterogeneous and vernacular. Children aged 0-8 grow up surrounded by this multimodal literacy, and cohabit with it when they begin their schooling, where their own literacies may get in conflict with the school literacy.

The New Literacy Studies propose a sociocultural approach to the literacy practices. This approach propounds an ideological model comprising new and heterogeneous ways of reading and writing in the 21st century society. The current social changes have led to a concept of literacy in early childhood understood as a spatial and collective practice, where literacy should be analysed as a reality “materialised” in artefacts, screens, embodiments and spaces.

Our research focuses on the ways children articulate space as a social practice, and on how they build new social spaces through the materialisation of literacy, created through the children’s interaction with artefacts, embodiments and screens. Our main objective is the proposition of an inclusive literacy model, where schools become social spaces, culturally negotiated, embodied and materialised by the pupils.

This research analyses the communicative and cultural practices of a group of children from low-income families in different urban contexts in Sevilla (Andalucía, Spain). This goal, combined with the age of the participants (4 to 7 years old), has led us to the adoption of a multimethodological and participative design, derived from the collaborative ethnography.

The participants in this research are children from three schools, aged 4-7, their teachers and their families. The data gathering adopts a multimethodological and collaborative approach, carried out by the researchers and the participants themselves. The data analysis is performed through co-analysis, thus enabling us to focus on the social values of literacy practices.

This research project aims to improve the families’ involvement in the educational processes, in general, and in the literacy in Childhood Education, in particular. This improvement relies on the strengthening of the sense of belonging to diverse communities (school, neighbourhood, etc.) of children and families, developed thanks to a collaborative research on the spaces of social interaction and the materialisation of literacy within children and their families.

Event schedule:

12:00 - Welcomes & introductions (please enter the meeting with your 'real' name as your display name, and your camera switched on, to allow us to all put faces to each others' names)

12:05 - Presentation from Speaker Name(s) (please turn your camera off and mute your microphone during the presentation)

12:40 - Discussion (please use the raise hand feature on Teams to indicate you would like to have a turn speaking and once asked to speak by an event facilitator, please un-mute your microphone and turn your camera on)

Presenter bio:

Fernando Guzmán-Simón obtained his PhD. in Spanish Language and Literature at the University of Seville (Spain), where he is a senior lecturer in the Department of Language and Literature Teaching. He has published several research articles on the assessment of academic writing in Spanish, as well as literacy practices in early childhood and Primary Education. At present, his research is framed in a broader project focused on the development of multimodal literacy in childhood from a posthuman and postqualitative approach. This project aims to analize the literacy events of students and their families, and how they create mattering through social interaction.

Alejandra Pacheco-Costa is a pianist and scholar, and is currently lecturer in Music Education in the Arts Education Department, at the Universidad de Sevilla (Spain). After a period as Honorary Senior Researcher at the Institute of Education (UCL, London), under the supervision of Prof. Lucy Green, she has developed research on informal learning and the role of music, popular culture and arts in the development of literacy. Since 2015 she has been part of the research team of projects funded by the Spanish government.

Eduardo García-Jiménez is a Professor of Educational Evaluation in the Department of Educational Research Methods and Diagnosis at the University of Seville (Spain). Eduardo is exploring the breakthrough research methods applied to the study of literacy. His main interest is to apply new ethnographic and post qualitative approaches to understanding literacy challenges in low-income communities. He helps children and families value their culture, language, and literacies to face daily life challenges. Eduardo is a member of the research group HUM1044: Literacies: Literacy, Multilingualism, Diversity, Professional Guidance and Social Justice, at the University of Seville (Spain). He was recently Co-Chair the research project 'Literacy as a Social Practice in Nursery and Primary School: Research and Intervention with children in social risk'. He is also the Co-Chair on the research project 'Improving multimodal literacy (3-8). Development a integrative model in social risk areas'.

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