Multimodal Storylines in Language Learning

Hege Emma Rimmereide Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

This paper examines how students use wikis and tools for rich multimodal expressions in second language learning where the students are given tasks framed by a Storyline.

Various affordances of a wiki (Google Sites) have been explored to enhance basic language skills, particularly reading, writing and oral skills as well as emphasising visual literacy.

Scripts, written into various tools by their creators, have substantial influence on the texts produced by the end users. In second language learning several skills are equally important. The students must be able to express themselves in writing, which wikis seem to facilitate. The ability to let the text corpus evolve over time, as a result of collaborative efforts, is also a wanted feature. When it comes to oral expressions the wiki, in this case Google Sites, have some fundamental shortcomings. In addition the users have to possess more advanced skills to be able to make more than trivial visual expressions.

The paper will show examples of student works in the Wiki Storyline, and discuss how these multimodal expressions represent wanted learning activities, which correspond to specific learning goals.