Multimodal texts and the Australian Curriculum

Background to workshop

An important part of the new Australian Curriculum: English is teaching students to read and create multimodal texts. For example, students are to:

  • learn to listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts across a growing range of contexts with accuracy, fluency and purpose
  • and to understand how Standard Australian English works in its spoken and written forms and in combination with non-linguistic forms of communication to create meaning.

This workshop is designed to give teachers the tools they require to help students communicate more effectively using multimodal and digital texts. While the use of technology underpins everything in the workshop, the focus is on communication skills rather than technology skills as such. As such, this workshop will also support the introduction of one-to-one computer programs in schools.


The primary audience is English teachers across year levels, but particularly in Years 6 to 12. However, the workshop is also very relevant for teachers across the curriculum and can be easily adapted for all teachers.

Outline of workshop

  • The Context-text relationship underpinning the National Curriculum
  • Purposes for studying verbal language (i.e. written and spoken grammar) and how this relates to multimodality
  • What does multimodality mean: defining and explaining text, mode and multimodal
  • An introduction to a selection of multimodal ‘grammars’: space, typography, voice quality, action (body movement and angle, social distance), images (gaze, shot types and social distance, involvement, composition), sound (perspective, social distance)
  • Using multimodal grammars to analyse texts, including advertisement, video clips and live performances
  • Links to the the National Curriculum, including the teaching of literature
  • Practical, multimodal projects: using multimodal resources for the creation of texts (including digital stories and book trailers)
  • Conclusion

Time required

The full workshop takes approximately 5 hours. Shorter versions can be tailored to your school’s requirements.

Resources required

A data projector will be required. Teachers will be provided with a hard copy handout; no other special technology is required.

WA PowerPoint

Here’s a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation used in Perth on September 14: Multimodal Analysis Pearson WA

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