Implementing and Evaluating Multiliteracies in College French: A Nested Case Study
language program evaluation
AdvisorSmith, Blaine E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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EmbargoRelease after 05/01/2023
AbstractIn our globalizing world, language learners must navigate meaning across languages, audiences, and spaces to build multicultural and multilingual dialogues (Douglas Fir Group, 2016; New London Group, 1996). Second language (L2) researchers have responded to this multilingual paradigm by proposing multiliteracies curricula (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009; New London Group, 1996) to better equip language learners with the translingual and transcultural competencies necessary for interacting with other users of a language (Kern, 2003, 2004; MLA Report, 2007). Some scholars have further evaluated the implementation of such curricula to demonstrate the feasibility of innovative assessments (Byrnes, 2002; Van Gorp, 2018). While studies in language program evaluation and multiliteracies have contributed to the field of L2 teaching and learning, there is still little known about how stakeholders experience multiliteracies in L2 programs. To understand the tensions and opportunities fostered by multiliteracies, this three-article dissertation involved a nested case study (Thomas, 2011) of an undergraduate French program at a large university in the United States. Grounded in the overarching framework of complexity theory for L2 development (Larsen-Freeman, 2007), this design-based implementation research (DBIR) (Fishman et al., 2013) study explored the implementation and evaluation of multiliteracies at the macro, meso, and micro levels of an undergraduate French program. The first article, a language program evaluation grounded in complexity theory (Larsen-Freeman, 2007), examined the implementation of multiliteracies at the macro level of the French program by zooming in and out across the perspectives of 26 program stakeholders. Qualitative coding of program documents, 26 interviews, and 7 classroom observations revealed that multiliteracies provided opportunities to contextualize language learning and create social learning amongst multiliteracies instructors. Findings also indicated challenges for implementation such as the persistence of decontextualized “culture,” “language,” and “content.” At the meso level, the second article demonstrated how 185 undergraduate students enrolled in an Intermediate French II multiliteracies course experienced designing digital multimodal compositions. Grounded in multiliteracies, this qualitative analysis involved multimodal transcription (Flewitt et al., 2014) and open, axial, and selective coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) of 376 video reflections, 122 multimodal country presentations, 72 hypertext poetry projects, 32 multimodal presidential campaign projects, 39 final video projects, and 10 student interviews. Findings illustrated that digital multimodal composing helped students to develop critical literacy and a growth mindset while also creating a sense of community among classmates. The third article, a qualitative analysis grounded in multimodality (Kress, 2003; 2010), explored multiliteracies at the micro level by examining how seven undergraduate students from the United States leveraged multimodal composing to reflect on language, culture, and identity while studying French abroad in Paris, France. The study used multimodal transcription and open, axial, and selective coding to analyze 21 vlogs, 14 blogs, 21 video reflections, 7 final projects, and 7 design interviews. Findings elucidated how students developed their metalinguistic awareness and multilingual identities through their digital multimodal compositions. The examination of the macro, meso, and micro levels of the undergraduate French program holds important implications for conducting program evaluations, implementing multiliteracies curriculum for language learning, and applying multimodal composing in domestic and study abroad language learning programs for college students.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching