Meaning making through multiple semiotic resource in a secondary science classroom : a systemic functional multimodal discourse analysis (SF-MDA)

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Meaning making through multiple semiotic resource in a secondary science classroom : a systemic functional multimodal discourse analysis (SF-MDA)

 

Author: He, Qiuping Ares
Title: Meaning making through multiple semiotic resource in a secondary science classroom : a systemic functional multimodal discourse analysis (SF-MDA)
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2013
Subject: Discourse analysis.
Semiotics.
Modality (Linguistics)
Interaction analysis in education.
Science -- Study and teaching (Secondary)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: vi, 62 pages : illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2687635
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7675
Abstract: The present study intends to investigate the meaning communication with the co-deployment of multiple representations in one secondary science classroom in Australia. The present study focuses on the teacher's use of animation, gestures and language to maximise the meaning-making possibilities when teaching a biology explanation. The present study employed a multimodal semiotic perspective to analyse the teacher's use of animation, gestures as well as verbal and written language to scaffold the learning of the digestive process in the oesophagus in a Grade 9 classroom in Australia with 23 students. Data were drawn from lesson transcripts and the video recording of the classroom. Through the analysis, the findings of this paper revealed that the multimodal semiotic discourse analysis was useful at illustrating how semiotic functions of modalities compounded meanings. Animation was used at the beginning to give an overall account of the process, following the schematic structure: orientation of the digestive system, identification of the oesophagus and presentation of the digestive process in the oesophagus. The taxonomy of the digestive system and the digestive process has been reinforced by the teacher's use of gestures. Following similar sequence of the animation, language was used to scaffold the students' understanding of the taxonomy and the digestive process, with the schematic structure - orientation, identification and statement formation. The present study conclude that the similarity in these modes, such as similar schematic structures, has the potential to bridge the links between meaning-making processes by students and representational choices that support science learning. Most significantly, the multimodal semiotic discourse analysis has the potential to (1) highlight the meaning in each modality and the meaning through the interplay of several modalities, (2) identify the connections between modalities to facilitate science learning and (3) help science teachers reflect on the selecting, sequencing and scaffolding of modalities to maximise the input to students.

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