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The Life-Changing Magic of Multimodality: Stories from Culturally Diverse C...

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Wyndham Tech School

Victoria University, Werribee Campus

Hoppers Lane

Werribee, VIC 3030

Australia

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The Life-Changing Magic of Multimodality: Stories from Culturally Diverse Classrooms

Wyndham City Libraries and Wyndham Tech School invites teachers, parents and carers of children aged 7-12 years old to attend a fascinating free talk from Professor Kathy Mills of Australian Catholic University (ACU).

This event will expand your understanding of the role technology can play in teaching, learning and developing literacies, and of the importance of fostering cultural and linguistic diversity within our schools. It draws on real stories from multilingual language learners and discusses the role that multimodal learning can play in developing agile and inter-culturally aware learning communities. It will be followed by a panel discussion with local educators and moderated by Wyndham City’s Councillor Josh Gilligan.

The talk will be preceeded by a tour of the Tech School, and followed by a panel discussion with members of the Wyndham Learning Community.

The campus tour will commence at 4pm, and Professor Mills' talk will start at 4.30pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Hearing Loop available.

Tickets to this event are limited and bookings are essential. A livestream of the talk will be broadcast via our social media channels - please check closer to the date for details.


Location: Wyndham Tech School, Werribee Campus of Victoria University, Hoppers Lane Werribee.

Date: Thursday 14th November 2019

Time:

4-4.30pm Tour of the Tech School and light refreshments
4.30-5.20pm Presentation from Professor Kathy Mills
5.20-5.50pm Panel discussion


Abstract

We live and work in culturally and linguistically diverse societies that are increasingly interconnected through a broadened range of multimodal and digital textual practices. Educators, librarians, parents and caregivers in Australia support students from diverse cultures, language experiences, and socio-economic backgrounds, tasked with the role of preparing students for digital futures and that are unpredictable. Bilingual and multilingual speakers are integrated into mainstream classrooms, where the teacher is expected to help them “catch up” with English speakers of the dominant language. In addition, many educators in Australia have Indigenous students, for whom cultural knowledge and multimodal ways of communicating go hand-in-hand.

This presentation draws on stories from multilingual language learners, such as Paweni, a Thai immigrant, describing how she and her peers negotiated cultural and linguistic difference in the making of animated movies. I also share positive stories about Indigenous students’ multimodal designing at school, and multimodal making by students whose families encounter economic adversity. The presentation problematises the privileging of narrow, logocentric, and Western forms of literacy and its implications for rethinking the role of the whole body in multimodal literacy and learning for agile and interculturally aware learning communities in the 21st century.


About Professor Mills

Kathy A. Mills is Professor of Literacies and Digital Cultures at ILSTE, ACU Brisbane. Professor Mills recently become a Future Fellow of the Australian Research Council researching sensory orchestration for multimodal literacy learning in primary education. She was recently awarded a group Discovery grant on Coding Animated Narratives as Contemporary Multimodal Authorship in Schools.

Mills has published over 100 academic works, including 6 sole-authored books, an award-winning edited Routledge volume with USA co-editors, and significant journal articles and chapters. She has published first-authored or sole-authored research in journals that include Review of Educational Research, Written Communication, and Qualitative Research. Her sole-authored 2016 monograph, Literacy Theories for the Digital Age, won the Literacy Research Association's 2016 Edward Fry Book Award, USA. Her lead edited Handbook of Writing, Literacies, and Education in Digital Cultures won the 2017 Divergent Award for Excellence in 21st Century Literacies, USA.

Professor Mills has won five Australian Research Council grants (category 1), as a Fellow (x3), or lead investigator, or both (x2), recently developing a culturally-responsive approach to support Indigenous students' multimodal literacy learning, and developing a teaching and learning approach to strengthen the multimodal expression of emotions of economically disadvantaged primary students.

She serves on the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Literacy Research (Arizona), and on the Review Board of the Reading Teacher (New Jersey), English Teaching Practice and Critique (New Zealand), and the Australian Journal of Language and Literacy. Professor Mills is actively sought as an international grant collaborator, reviewer, and assessor, and has forged a number of industry partnerships across education and cultural sectors nationally and internationally. Mills recently completed a two-year international research leadership role as elected President, American Educational Research Association, Writing and Literacies SIG, USA (2017-2019). She also maintains a strong public research voice for literacy research through national radio, TV, news media and social media, and assesses research grants in Australia and internationally.

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Location

Wyndham Tech School

Victoria University, Werribee Campus

Hoppers Lane

Werribee, VIC 3030

Australia

View Map

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