Original Research

Remixing storytelling across modes

Fatima Vally Essa, Belinda Mendelowitz
Reading & Writing | Vol 13, No 1 | a372 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v13i1.372 | © 2022 Fatima Vally Essa, Belinda Mendelowitz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 March 2022 | Published: 25 August 2022

About the author(s)

Fatima Vally Essa, Department of Languages, Literacies and Literatures, School of Education, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Belinda Mendelowitz, Department of Languages, Literacies and Literatures, School of Education, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Using storytelling in a classroom context can be a powerful tool, but how can English language educators use storytelling in ways that are beneficial to their learners?

Objectives: In this paper, we simultaneously engage with the concept of storytelling, multimodality and creativity to show how these three concepts can work in tandem theoretically and in practice. The research is based on a collaborative multimodal storytelling intervention in a Grade 7 English Home Language classroom which entailed transducing the same story from a print-based mode to a performative mode. We work with the concept of storytelling across modes, rather than multimodal composition to highlight the fluid possibilities that our cross-pollination approach offers.

Methodology: The study is qualitative, and we thematically analyse data produced by one group of five learners. The research questions are as follows: (1) What are the different affordances of print-based and performative storytelling? (2) How do these two modes enable students to collaboratively draw on their linguistic, creative and social resources and repertoires?

Results: Collaborative storytelling created multiple access points in the English classroom which enabled the learners to draw on a wide range of modes, realities and resources in accessible and meaningful ways. The intervention created a space for the learners to reflect on past experiences, re-imagine their sense of self and future, and use their stories as a form of social action.

Conclusion: Each mode offered different pathways and distinct affordances to crafting and producing stories.


Keywords

print-based storytelling; performative storytelling; multimodality; transduction; cross-pollination; creativity; imagination; collaboration

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